Wendy D. Johnson's first book on toe-up socks, Socks from the Toe Up, provided great detail on the techniques required and plenty of pretty patterns to get knitters hooked on working toes up.
Her second title on the subject, Toe-up Socks for Every Body: Adventurous Lace, Cables, and Colorwork from Wendy Knits, doesn't offer as much in the way of instruction but does have 21 lovely patterns, including projects for kids and men.
As the subtitle suggests, the patterns in Toe-up Socks for Every Body are divided into categories: lace, cables and colorwork. While no skill levels are given for the patterns, many are beyond the basic, better for intermediate or advanced knitters comfortable with the skills required to knit from the toe up.
The exception would be some of the colorwork patterns, which feature largely solid, plain Stockinette feet and just have bands of colorwork on the legs rather than all over the sock.
As in the original book, lots of photographs make it easy to see what's going on in the socks and make them even more enticing to want to knit.
Some of the socks I'd love to have on my feet (or on my needles for someone else's feet) include the spring-inspired lacy Crocus Socks; the classic Manly Aran Socks and the similar but less traditional Wrought Iron Socks and Kneesocks (you knit the length of your choice); the Bob and Weave Socks, with their intricate interlocking cables (one of the more challenging patterns because something is happening on every round); the clever Sneaky Argyle Socks, using stranded knitting instead of the traditional intarsia;the super cute and easy Critter Socks for kids, decorated with either birds or cat faces; and the gorgeously complex Norwegian Rose Socks, with colorwork all over -- the sample socks are worked in a bold and beautiful combination of green and brown.
Knitters who are already fans of knitting socks from the toe up will want to grab this book for its fun range of beautiful socks sure to make a wide array of feet happy.
Those who haven't worked from the toe up before might do better to start with Johnson's first book, which does offer more detailed instructions and easier patterns. This book does have somewhat of a refresher section in the back including how to make for different toes, three heels and two ways to bind off.
Once you're hooked, come back to this book and enjoy exploring how fancy and beautiful socks from the toe up can get.
Publication date: March 2010