Sock Club - Join the Knitting Adventure

by Charlene Schurch, Beth Parrott
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Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott invite knitters to stay close-knit using patterns from sock clubs everywhere! In today's knitting community, socks are hot--they're small, inexpensive, quick to finish, and completely portable. With this collection of 23 patterns, knitters of all skill levels will find something to tickle them down to their (sock-covered) toes!

  • Discover unique patterns from local and Internet yarn stores as well as indie dyers and designers
  • Learn techniques including top-down and toe-up knitting, various heel construction methods, cable and lace patterning, embellishing, and customizing sock sizing
  • Enjoy a sense of connection and camaraderie with others in the knitting world

by Charlene Schurch, Beth Parrott
8.5" x 11" printed on your home computer
Format Description:
full color, PDF digital download
Product Code:
Publication Date:
January 19th, 2010

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From Jillian Moreno,

This book lets you peek behind the scenes at secret sock societies--23 women's sock patterns that were originally designed for sock clubs and KALs. There are a tremendous variety of patterns and yarns used. Because independent designers designed the patterns and many of the yarns used are from independent dyers, there is a remarkable variety of patterns. My favorites are Acorn Stash by Anne Hanson, Ariel by Debbie O'Neil and Reims by Alyson Johnson--all wonderfully lacy, complex-ish socks, my personal sock obsession right now.

A huge, helpful section in this book talks about the different ways to adjust the sock patterns for size. Most sock patterns, in general, are written for one size. These clever authors give us 6 ways to adjust for our own feet from changing gauge by changing needle size to adding a small repeat between pattern repeats.
From Jennifer Hansen, Knitting Like Crazy

This week's review brings me to a new sock knitting book: Sock Club by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott. The first thing that grabs me right away are those socks on the front cover. I definitely want to be knitting some of those! Once I opened the book, I found there were many more patterns that I want to knit. In fact, I counted ten patterns that on first glance I wanted to knit. That's a lot of patterns to love in a book of 23 patterns. Other than maybe Cookie A.'s Sock Innovation book, I can't think of another sock book I have ever seen that I have wanted to knit so much out of. That's saying a lot, because I am kind of picky when it comes to sock patterns!

In addition to all those patterns, there are also a few pages on making socks your own size. I always appreciate this kind of information with sock patterns, because I don't think my size 11 feet are going to be shrinking any time soon! Some of the details this section goes into are changing the number of pattern repeats and adding a small motif in between pattern repeats. I also appreciate that the patterns give directions or options for making the socks bigger.

After all the patterns in the book, there are a couple pages with techniques, useful info, and foot measurements. I was so happy to see the foot measurements in the book. I mean, when you are trying to surprise a friend with birthday socks, it kind of ruins it if you take a tape measure to his or her foot. Hooray for the chart that at least gives you some average numbers to shoot for when knitting those gift socks!

The other thing that is making me totally in love with this book is the fact that several of the patterns featured indie dyer yarns. Makes me hopeful that someone will be designing sock patterns for books with one of my yarns one day!

So, I guess it's pretty obvious that I am in love with this book, huh? :)
From Deb Boyken,

Yes, of course, it IS a book of sock patterns. Twenty-three of them. Most of the patterns were available as part of a "sock club." You know the kind, where a designer or yarn-seller sets up a club where, once a month, every member gets specially-dyed yarn and a brand-new, exclusive pattern, just for the members. Most if not all the patterns in this book saw light of day in just that way.

Except ... most sock patterns come in one size. Maybe two, but here? The authors tell you right up front that they wanted to do better than that because one has a narrow 5.5-shoe foot, and the other wears a 10.5 EE. They've obviously been frustrated over the years over the lack of fitting patterns and wanted to make sure that the patterns in their book would fit just about everyone.

So, the patterns themselves not only come in several sizes--most of them, anyway--but they are sorted into groups by what you would need to do to change the size. That's practically unheard of! (In fact, I can't think off-hand of another sock book that does that.) As a perennially "loose" knitter with narrow feet, whose standard stockinette socks are knit over 44 stitches, believe me, it's nice to have someone who's already thought through the sizing options and can give me hints to make socks that actually fit.

Each sock comes with a "skill level" and gives the finished circumference and size right up front. They cover the gamut of sock methods, too. Cuff-down, Toe-up. Short row heels, traditional flap heels, etcetera, etcetera. That makes for a lot of variety. Most of the patterns come with sidebars with suggestions about how to re-size if necessary, or about construction, how to choose the right kind of yarn for that pattern ... helpful stuff.

The patterns themselves? Not only are the construction techniques varied, but so are the socks. Lace, cables, color, texture--they are all here. All the socks are for women, in theory, though they could easily be adapted for men, if you so desired. (See? Those sizing options are already coming in handy.)

The pictures are good knitting-book pictures, in that they show the items in a graceful, tasteful, attractive way, without looking like they're trying to hide something. (I admit that's actually harder to do when photographing socks, but I have seen suspicious sock photos!) The patterns are listed out in the Table of Contents, though there's no Index. The section on techniques in the back is only four pages long, but I think this book assumes you've already knitted a sock or two and focuses on providing new patterns, rather than detailed instruction about the concept of turning a heel--nothing wrong with that.

My Gush: Creative, attractive, with a nice variety of techniques--plus sizing options. Good book.
From Ida Walker,

Sock clubs are big in the knitting world. In fact, getting into some of them borders on cutthroat. In Sock Club, the authors share patterns that have been created for many sock clubs. There are projects for all interests, from a more basic sock to Gothic Temptress by Janine Le Cras, a homage to such icons as Elvira, Morticia Addams, and Vampira. You'll find patterns for cables, lace, and slipped stitch projects. In addition to Janine Le Cras, other designers include Judy Alexander, Lisa Dykstra, Adrienne Fong, Anne Hanson, and Ellie Putz.

Besides featuring very doable projects, Sock Club includes methods those of us who don't have feet or ankles that readily accommodate most patterns can use to adjust the project to fit comfortably. The adjustments do not compromise the integrity of the artist's original design, which is important to all of us who support designers and the design process.

The patterns are well written and easy to follow. Although most are marked as being for experienced knitters, I've no doubt that less-experienced knitters would achieve excellent results.

The book's technique section is well done; it is clearly written, and the instructions are easy to follow. Knitters will find a variety of cast-on and cast-off techniques included. There's also a foot measurement chart that will be handy for those knitting socks for friends and family members whose feet are readily available for measurement. Sock Club is a nice addition to a knitting library.

Sock Club was created and inspired by both physical knitting clubs and online knitting clubs. Many of the sock patters were designed by knitters who have had many patterns published, and some are the knitters' first published pattern. But all of them share this--they are creative, unique and beautiful.

The special thing about the patterns is this: in the front of the book, Schurch and Parrott give a variety of suggestions and instructions on how to adjust the size of the sock by altering the pattern slightly, or changing the needle size, or the yarn, etc. For each pattern, they give which specific ways work best for resizing for that pattern. In the back, there are 5 different ways of casting on (sometimes you need a different cast-on for a pattern to make it work), and the instructions and pictures are pretty good. There are other little tips and tricks for technique, like knitting with a circular needles, wrap and turn, suspended bind-off, and finishing techniques. There's also a sizing chart for men and women, information on yarn types, and a list of sources to find recommended yarn for your new socks.

There are 23 patterns, a million colors you could work with ... do you realize how many beautiful socks you could make with this book?

Recommendation: This book was designed for the intermediate to experienced knitter. Many of the patterns work with lace, cables, bobbles etc. One even includes beads, and other more complicated patterning. Happy knitting!
From Bookvisions: Thoughtful Book Reviews

This unique knitting book is a collection of original designs for sock clubs from both Internet and local sock club groups. All thirteen clubs are described in the book. The section on Making It Your Size has excellent information on changing gauge, pattern and spacing to make the fit just perfect. There are instructions on six different ways to change the size and fit.

The skill level is mostly categorized as expert, but some are for intermediate. After reading through the instructions I found a few stitch terms that were new to me, but there were clear instructions to walk the knitter through the process. I find charts difficult to follow so I appreciate that the patterns have both charts and written instructions. I took the pattern Havana Lace, which was labeled as expert, and decided knit up a sample. I cast on and then knitted about 10 rows of the main pattern. I consider myself as an experienced beginner, but I had no problem following this more advanced pattern. I think if you can handle the double-pointed needles you can handle most of these patterns.

The book contains five cast-on and six bind-off techniques. There are also instructions for wrap and turn, circular knitting, no-gap gussets and grafting. The photography in Sock Club is also very good. The pictures are large, and the pattern is easy to see. I highly recommend this fun sock knitting book.

Charlene Schurch

Charlene Schurch is the author of a growing number of knitting books and numerous magazine articles about knitting and spinning. Her articles have appeared in Vogue Knitting, Knitters, Interweave Knits, Piecework, and SpinOff. She divides her time between Connecticut and Florida.

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Beth Parrott

Although Beth Parrott has been knitting for more than 60 years, until recently she designed socks and other garments only for family and for charity projects. She loves to teach and is an avid collector of tricks-of-the-trade and tidbits of information that make knitting easier. She works, plays, knits, and teaches in Charleston, South Carolina.

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