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Knee High

May 21, 2011

Imagine my surprise when the Booksneeze website had a knitting book available for review. Naturally, the minute I saw it available, I grabbed my copy of Knitting Knee-Highs Socks from Classic to Contemporary by Barb Brown. I confess I had never heard of Barb Brown and really don’t care that much for knee socks but I was intrigued because I hadn’t seen a book dedicated solely to knee-highs so I thought I would give it a go.

Brown begins by showing us how to convert standard socks into knee-highs. She includes a formula for constructing a top-down knee-high sock that actually fits. The steps are clearly explained with examples given to clear up any confusion you might have. The calf shaping section was something I found especially interesting because it wasn’t something I had seen covered in other sock books. Brown also includes a handy dandy table of foot length vs. shoe size, in case you are knitting for someone else.

Brown next includes some great tips for making sure your knee-highs fit properly and stay up. For example, were you aware that knee-highs should have a longer ribbing than standard socks?
She then presents a section for converting knee-high patterns into other sock styles so if you don’t want knee-highs you can still knit the patterns from this book.

One of my favorite sections is how to swatch without swatching. She gives you dozens of ways to use that swatch-that-isn’t-a-swatch. Her humorous presentation makes it much more likely that the swatch-reluctant knitter will actually knit that swatch. As a knitter who has frogged my share of projects because they were the wrong size, I appreciate her method of making swatching pain free.

The book then presents 20 sock patterns, most including the instructions for knitting each pattern as a knee-high, a standard sock, leg warmers and/or ankle socks. Her colorwork is quite beautiful. She has some great combinations of solid and semi-solid yarns. The pattern instructions are a combination of charts and written instructions. The main stitch patterns are charted and there are written instructions for the heel, gusset and toe of the sock.

I guess my biggest complaint with the book would be the photos. Some of them are just plain, silly. Socks with slip dresses. Seriously? If it is warm enough for a slip dress, why would you want to wear knee-high wool socks? Once you get to more sensible fashion combos the photos are much better.

On the whole this is a nice sock book. It is probably not something I would have purchased simply because I am not really that fond of knee-highs. However, now that I have read it I find it to be a valuable asset to my library.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 21, 2011 4:48 pm

    Think Brianne will knit me a pair of these?

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