It's not unusual for knitters -- sometimes not even sock knitters! -- to have big stashes of sock yarn lurking in their homes. We often collect sock yarn because it's easy to justify buying just one skein of something pretty, but if we really knit socks with all the sock yarn in our collections, we'd have enough to cover the feet of the whole neighborhood.
That's why editor Judith Durant set her sights on sock yarn for Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders: 101 Patterns That Go Way Beyond Socks. Here you'll find patterns for baby clothes, bags, armwarmers and accessories, and, yes, a few pairs of socks, too.
Stash Busting Inspiration
Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders provides a variety of options for using up your sock yarn, including:
- From Head to Toe (and Fingers, Too) -- hats, mitts, gloves and socks
- It's a Wrap -- scarves, shawls and shrugs
- Knits for Kids -- clothes for little ones and their dolls
- Bag it and More -- bags, accessories and items for the home
The patterns are not rated in terms of skill level but really run the gamut from things a new knitter could accomplish to projects that are better left to advanced knitters given their multiple charts or other tricky bits.
Many of the projects are one size, and because using one skein of sock yarn limits your yardage pretty considerably, most of the projects that need to fit a body are made for a small body. Many of the baby items are for newborns up to 6 months; there's not much for bigger infants or toddlers.
But that's a necessary constraint of the material and can be overlooked somewhat, thought it would sure be lovely to have some of these patterns sized for different sized children. (Not that it's too terribly difficult to do yourself.)
It shouldn't be too surprising that in a book with 101 patterns, there are a lot of them that strike my interest and probably will yours, too. Among the notables in my book:
- Twist and Slouch, a Stockinette cloche with a Garter Stitch border
- The Basketweave-covered "Woven" Fingerless Gloves
- The funky and colorful Mitered Square Gloves, with mitered squares on the cuffs and plain Stockinette hands
- The clever Cable My Big Toes Socks, made for flip flops with a cable that runs down the leg and ends at the tip of teh big toe
- The whimsical School at Play Scarf, featuring a lacy fish motif
- The flowery, lacy, somewhat complex Celeste Shawl, one of the bigger projects in the book, shaped to sit well on the shoulders
The adorable knitted openwork Baby Hat takes full advantage of a variegated yarn, such that every knot is a different color from the ones surrounding it. The Little Hanten kimono-style sweater uses Garter Stitch triangles on the front and is reminiscent to me of the Baby Surprise Jacket. The Festive Frock is perfect for a baby, worked in Seed Stitch, Feather and Fan and Stockinette in colorful Noro sock yarn.
There are also fun projects for dolls, knit bags, items for the home -- from a lace curtain to a French press cozy -- even a tiny dog sweater. Readers of this book will certainly never again think that sock yarn is just for knitting socks!
There's a lot to enjoy about this book, but one complaint I have is that the real estate inside is so maximized sometimes you see the beginning of a pattern before you've seen a picture of the finished item. There's also just one photo of each project, and several could benefit from close-up shots.
A book with 101 patterns in it is sure to have something for just about anyone, especially if you're someone who hoards sock yarn like there's a coming nylon shortage. There are patterns that are cute, patterns that are classic, projects you'll use again and again and ones you'll pull out for special occasions.
There are projects to greet new babies and fancy up your sock drawer, and even if you don't end up knitting a lot of these projects, Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders is sure to open your eyes to the many, many different things that can be done with sock yarn. It just might make you feel a little better about your stash.
Publication date: October 2010