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Folk Socks: The History & Technique of Hanknitted Footwear

by Nancy Bush

 

As many of you know, we had an inspirational program in October about Socks! One of the books Candy mentioned was "Folk Socks" by Nancy Bush. I have a personal affinity for this author because she taught me how to knit a sock via this book.

 

My first pair of socks should be framed and labeled "How NOT to knit socks". I had help from someone but neither the explanation nor the demonstration were really sinking in - and it didn't help that the knitter was left handed so things got a bit backwards - for both of us. My first sock - a very narrow and anemic looking thing was... well...ok. Maybe. It was meant for my daughter but I seriously wondered if I knew a six year old it might actually fit. The second sock somehow looked different....like... the purl side was facing me but than it would change back to stockinette. (Time and experience reveal that I HAD knit the sock inside-out!).

I'm a big believer in reading for pleasure and instruction and the Knitting Goddess guided me to this book, my first sock book. Nancy gives a very nice history on socks from various countries - Great Britain, Norway, Estonia and more. In chapter 5 she gives thorough and 'almost' idiot-proof instructions on the construction of a sock. By following her instructions and clear drawings I made my first pair of serviceable socks. I was thrilled!

 

In chapter 6 she presents the "Classic Sock" with several variations on Heels and Toes. The reader is given options and choices that range from the simplest to more complex construction. I found this chapter so valuable that I wrote up a "summary" that consists of the basics and I carry it with me in my tote to have handy if I ever had a memory lapse.  You may want to do the same!

 

Chapter 7 than presents over a dozen individual sock patterns. Again they range from simple to complex. She coaxes the reader into trying the heel and toe variations by dispersing them throughout the patterns but also assures you that you are free to use whatever method you are most comfortable with. How nice. No pressure.

 

If you've attempted knitting in the round and have looked enviously at another member's hand knit socks - you're ready for Nancy Bush and Folk Socks. It will become a wonderful addition to your library for both the patterns and as a practical reference book.

 

Respectfully submitted, Robin Connolly-Medici

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