Fitted Knits & Simple Socks

knitting books

Originally uploaded by Vellan

If I wrote a post every time I bought a book or magazine…I’d have many more posts, that’s for sure.

These arrived in the post yesterday. (Although the AUD isn’t as strong against the GBP as it is against the USD, free postage worldwide transports me with delight.)

It was only when I had them in my hand that I realised that these books are complete philosophical opposites. Well, neither of them are concerned with crochet, so they’re not *that* opposite, but as far as knitting goes they’re at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Simple Socks Plain and Fancy was an impulse buy. (Impulse click?) But now that I’ve seen what’s in it, I love it. I like to (and do) knit my socks toe-up with a short row heel. It’s so rare that you almost never see it in published patterns. I’m sure there must be some; I just can’t think of any. Most are cuff-down. Most have heel-flaps. And from time to time, I have wondered what’s wrong with me. What makes cuff-down heel-flap sock preferable? What am I missing?

Priscilla Gibson-Roberts (who is also a spinning afficionada) says I’m missing: nothing. She likes her socks toe-up too. I feel so vindicated. As an aside, I think that the appeal of the heel flap is that it makes it immediately apparent to non-knitters that what they are looking at is not a mass produced item but a lovingly hand knit sock. That’s as may be, but short row heels seem to fit me better.

The book is informative and useful and yes, vindicating, but it isn’t pretty. I’ve got so used to glossy pages with beautiful photographs that rough paper with black print and hand-drawn diagrams was a bit of a shock. This book doesn’t need photos. It isn’t trying to sell you on some design the author wants you to knit. It’s a book to give you the tools to knit your own design. People’s imaginations are hard to photograph. Trust me on this.

Fitted Knits, however, not so useful. I bought it for one pattern – the Two Tone Shrug – that I will make for my prospective sister in law, sorry, my brother’s girlfriend. She’s worth the cost of the book and the yarn. I don’t know that I’ll be making anything else from it. A) I would have to recalulate the sizing and B) there are other designs that I actually, you know, like.

There’s nothing in the book that makes me think ‘wow, that looks great!’ and admittedly, I don’t tend to be drawn to knits that don’t flatter my shape. Usually. And the girls in this book (with their diet-sculpted bodies and their vacant expressions) represent my shape in the same way that a stick is like the M808B Scorpion Main Battle Tank (UNSCDF, of course).

It’s a very pretty book, nice for a knitter’s coffee table (does anyone still have coffee tables?) but aside from gift knitting, not as valuable as Simple Socks.

IMMV, as always.


~ by dreadlordvellan on March 5, 2008.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: