Guest Author - Marjorie Colletta
Toe-Up Socks for Every Body by Wendy D. Johnson is Ms. Johnson's latest offering to the sock knitting community. She has created a series of patterns that look incredibly complex, but often are not complex to actually knit.
In this book, the sequel to Socks from the toe up, she covers all of the basic techniques in an illustrated appendix. Other than the appendix the book is broken into three main sections; lace, cables and color work. Each section has instructions specific to the method it is detailing. For example, in the color work section Johnson details all of the areas a knitter is likely to run into trouble. Color work causes the resulting fabric to be stiff, and she describes how to avoid this by not twisting the floating yarn or carried yarn. She shows a few ways to hold the yarn so that the two colors you are working with will not have to be dropped and picked up repeatedly.
The illustrations and photographs in this book are stunning in that they show the patterns so clearly you almost feel like you do not need to have the written pattern (note I said almost)!
However the thing that stands out in this book is the beauty of the patterns. Ms. Johnson has an inspired creativity that she shares with the readers of her books. She has somehow created socks that are complex in design, moderate to execute and yet simple enough to wear comfortably. She suggests when the glorious hand painted sock yarns are appropriate or inappropriate, for example, "You'll want to use a solid color yarn for these socks--the lighter the color you use, the more striking the effect."(p. 87)
One final note, this book also contains some patterns for men and children, and many of the patterns written for women could be altered easy by adding a pattern repeat for men, or by simply increasing the needle size.
And one more thing, Corrections to some of the patterns in the book.
Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by the publisher. For a full explanation of BellaOnline’s ethics and review policy click here.