With all my talk of sock knitting, you may have heard me mention my favorite resource on the subject, Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. This book is the best resource for anyone knitting socks top-down on double pointed needles. If you plan on learning this method, pick up this book!
Charlene Schurch explains, in detail, how to knit socks, step by step. Each part of the sock is explained; you literally learn the anatomy of a sock. She then provides you with a pattern to knit a “practice” sock – baby socks! But there are two invaluable sections in the front of this book: tips and tricks and sizing.
Sensational Knitted Socks has many tips about sock knitting that you won’t find in any single sock pattern off Ravelry. Schurch addresses holes at the gusset, how to reinforce your toes, and how to best pick up stitches to get nice, clean lines. And there are visuals of most things, for those of us who learn better that way.
Schurch’s information on sizing is perfect. I’ve never had a sock that didn’t fit when I used her methods. She provides calculations for every number of stitches, needle size, and gauge. She also tells you the size of sock to knit based on shoe size – so you know how long and wide to make the sock. I try to measure whenever possible but sometimes you can’t measure someone’s feet – especially if you want the socks to be a surprise!
The patterns within Sensational Knitted Socks are enough to keep you busy for your sock-knitting lifetime. She provides patterns based on the number of stitches in the pattern repeat – that way, she can give you lots of cables and stitches all based on a 4, 5, or 6 stitch pattern.
This also means that you can flip to her book, no matter what pattern you’re knitting, to knit the sock based on her fabulous, easy to read instructions. I do this all the time. And it’s saved me from having socks that don’t fit!
This book is invaluable for sock knitters. And it’s the perfect way to start knitting socks! I learned more in this book than from any sock knitting class I took. When you get it, just sit down and read it. The tips and tricks pay for this book by themselves! And the basic sock pattern – for vanilla socks – is one I come back to time and again.
There is a second volume, More Sensational Knitted Socks, that adds on to the lessons in the first volume, but I have yet to purchase it. Maybe when I get bored with the first, I’ll move on – not that I ever see that happening. I have a friend who told me that she has sock knitting friends who have taken this book apart, had it laminated, and put back together again. I may have to do that someday!
If you love socks, do yourself a favor and buy this book!