Sock knitters know that among the many wonderful reasons to knit socks is the fact that they are great traveling projects. They don't take up a lot of space, the needles are small and relatively non-threatening-looking to airport security, and the repetitive nature of the pattern usually means you can keep your eye off the pattern and on the scenery passing by.
Nancy Bush provides 17 sock patterns inspired by traveling in her classic book Knitting on the Road: Sock Patterns for the Traveling Knitter.
You Can Take it With You
This book is designed for traveling, with its rather compact shape and interior spiral binding, which allows the book to lie flat and open to whatever pattern you're using. The only way this book could have been more travel-friendly is if it didn't have a hard cover so that the book could be folded so you'd only see one page at a time.
The book includes basic information and drawings dealing with casting on, joining stitches into the round, two ways to turn heels, picking up stitches and the Kitchener stitch.
It also has information about different types of sock yarns so that you can exchange one yarn for another with a similar yardage and gauge if you prefer. Know, however, that this book was published in 2001, and some of the yarns listed may no longer be available.
The book includes 17 sock knitting patterns, each one named for and inspired by a town or region in the world where bush has traveled. The socks often include techniques or motifs native to those parts of the world.
There is a "Latvian twist" technique, Estonian colorwork, a twined design inspired by a Swedish technique, a sock fashioned after skiing socks once popular in Norway and a Shetland lace pattern.
Other designs are inspired by whiskey barrels, the art of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the ranch "brand" logos found throughout the America west.
None of these patterns are by any means plain, and though some could easily be accomplished by those new to sock knitting, most new sock knitters would probably be more comfortable trying a few simpler socks first, but there are socks with basic cables and simple stripes that would be fine for a new sock knitter.
More experienced sock knitters will enjoy the lacy stocking inspired by New England, the Estonian Christmas stocking and the intricate "Traveler's Stocking" that's perfect for a journey.
Each sock is one size and sizes range from 7 to 9 inches around, so there may only be a couple of socks you can knit from this book as written if you are knitting just for yourself. Still, these patterns are entertaining and sure to be enjoyable for knitters whether on the road or on the couch.
Publication date: June 2001.