People who knit socks tend to get a little obsessed, and sock yarn is so pretty that it can be kind of hard to resist buying it, even when we know we could never knit as many socks as we have skeins.
Carol J. Sulcoski has a solution: use sock yarn for a variety of projects that aren't socks. Her book Sock Yarn Studio: Hats, Garments, and Other Projects Designed for Sock Yarn has nearly 30 ideas for using up your sock yarn stash one, two or more skeins at a time.
About the Book
- Pages: 144
- Format: paperback
- Number of patterns: 27
- Skill level: 10 are rated easy, two easy to intermediate, 13 for intermediate knitters and two for more experienced stitchers
- Sizing: most of the patterns are accessories; two tops for adult women have four or five sizes, one baby pattern has three and one child's pattern has five (a few of the accessories come in a couple of sizes, too)
- Illustrations: full-color photographs
- Knitting lessons: none, but there are tips and thoughts on knitting with sock yarn
- Publication date: October 2012
All About Sock Yarn
The book opens with a look at sock yarn, including an overview of what it is, the different kinds -- solid/semi-solid, self-patterning and multicolored -- and tips for using sock yarn in other projects.
The discussion of pattern repeats and avoiding color pooling is interesting, and I'll admit I'd never really thought of using self-patterning sock yarns in projects that would be about the same width or circumference as a sock so that the pattern holds up. (Though I did actually do that unconsciously when I made armwarmers out of self-striping sock yarn.)
Sulcoski encourages thoughtful yarn substitutions by suggesting knitters stick to superfine yarns and, of course, swatch if a project needs to come out a specific size.
Sock Yarn Studio offers patterns divided by how much yarn they use: one skein, two skeins or three or more skeins. The larger projects do not always use large quantities of the same yarn, so it may still be possible to complete projects found there even if you typically only buy a skein or two of the same yarn.
The book is naturally heavy on accessories, with lots of hats, scarves, wraps, cowls, mitts and the like. There's a baby-sized cardigan, a child-sized sweater and two tanks tops sized for women (the only men's projects in the book are a diamond lace scarf and a striped hat).
Some of my favorite patterns include the Vert Lace Cap by Hunter Hammersen, a pretty hat covered in a sort of floral lace; Elizabeth Morrison's Thornapple Wrist Warmers, which feature a panel of entrelac along with ribbing to make the sizing flexible; the dramatic Fair Isle Peacock Hat by Tanis Gray; Wendy D. Johnson's cute colorblocked Kitteh Mittens; and Sulcoski's own Newkirk Intarsia Vest, which uses a panel of self-patterning yarn to set off a ribbed pattern.
There are also some projects in here I can't even imagine making, like the Calico Scarf, a 9 inch by 44 inch piece of Stockinette Stitch. It's worked in an interesting yarn, but even that would not make this project much fun.
If you're a fan of sock yarn and are ready to admit that you have more of it than you will probably ever make into socks, you'll probably be interested in some of these projects to help trim your stash (and make room for some new goodies!).
This book might also make a gateway into sock knitting for people who love the look of sock yarns but are a little intimidated by actually knitting a sock. Once you get used to knitting with the smaller yarn and needles, there's actually not much to fear in knitting socks, so this book could help build a knitter's confidence and give her some cute accessories along the way.