Son-of-a-No-Bull Book Review: Sock Yarn Studio by Carol Sulcoski

I was a lucky girl a few weeks ago, and I won a book from the WEBS yarn store. The book is Sock Yarn Studio by Carol Sulcoski, published by Lark Crafts. Carol is the proprietor of Black Bunny Fibers and author of another book in my library, Knitting Socks from Handpainted Yarn that I like very much; by chance, I just finished a pair of socks from that book. Carol also blogs at, and I’ve followed her blog for quite a while.

One of Carol’s regular features on her blog is her series of “No Bull Book Reviews”. To honor the enjoyment I get from reading her blog, her terrific sock book, and the generous gift from Carol and WEBS of a free copy of her latest book, here is my Son-of-a-No-Bull book review of Carol’s latest book.

Like Carol, I love sock yarn. Usually tightly twisted, smooth, and strong, sock yarn also comes in a dazzling array of colors. You can get shiny yarns with silk and tencel in the blend, rugged wool and nylon blends, and fuzzy, soft alpaca blends. I’ve knit with a wide variety of sock yarns at this point, making mostly socks, shawls and baby sweaters, and I’ve loved working with them all.

This book is about using sock yarn to make projects that are NOT socks. Carol divides the projects into those needing just one skein, those needing two, and those using three or more skeins. Most of the projects are clothing accessories for women, with some items for babies and a few items appropriate for men added to the mix. The designer list includes some very influential contemporary designers (Veronik Avery, Franklin Habit, Wendy Johnson, Brooke Nico, and Melissa Morgan-Oakes), some up-and-comers (Tanis Gray, Laura Grutzeck and Hunter Hammersen) and many designers who are new or not well known to me (Barbara Brown, Anmiryan Budner, Erica Flory, Ruth Garcia-Alcantud, and Elizabeth Morrison).

Carol gives us a lot of information about how to work with multicolored sock yarns, especially the ones that tend to pool into blobs of color as you knit the project. After reading this book, you will know exactly why that happens, and will have a whole toolkit of techniques to either avoid or work with the tendency of some yarns to pool. Also included is some information to help you evaluate a yarn’s thickness from the information on its label.

Do you ever love all of the patterns in a knitting book? I don’t, either. That said, there are eight projects that I can imagine making, and a few more that I am pondering. That’s a pretty respectable percentage in a book with 27 patterns in all.

I don’t have a lot of in cowls by interest and large, but this one, the Fortunate Cowl by Melissa Morgan-Oakes, caught my eye. It’s an interesting cabled pattern knit in a luxurious blend that includes a healthy dose of silk.

Gloves! I’ve never knit them, but I’m fascinated by the prospect, and I WILL knit a pair someday. This elegant pair is called Deux Violettes Gloves and was designed by Ruth Garcia-Alcantud. The buttons are a perfect finishing touch, and I like the use of a tonal yarn. The originals were knit in a blend with 60% alpaca, so they would be warm.

I’m always on the lookout for a type of scarf that I call studly lace. Scarfs knit from sock yarn are my husband’s favorite, and I know that I will be knitting this particular pattern up for him. Designer Brooke Nico calls the pattern the Habitude Lace Scarf, and she also includes a variant with nupps in the solid diamonds. His and hers scarfs perhaps?

Carol Sulcoski gives us the Anu Baby Hat, a great fast knit for a gift to a wee newcomer to our planet, knit with 2 strands held together. I look at the hat, and think “a perfect use for a soft handspun”.

I probably will be knitting these Kitteh Mittens, designed by Wendy D. Johnson, for a particular cat lover in my life. She knows who she is. There are even kitteh faces on the thumbs!

I love this Alexander Street Hat by Carol Sulcoski. It’s a simple design that makes excellent use of a color changing yarn. She also includes a version for men, with a different hem and in darker colors. The silhouette is very contemporary. Make this one fast, while beanies are still in fashion!

Finally, two versions of one idea from Veronik Avery, the Nuit Blanche Stole and Scarf. Ah, Veronik - she is one of my favorite designers, due to her consummate care with the details of her projects. I do wish I could see what the underside of these projects looks like. It’s a slip stitch pattern, not fair isle, so it could look very tidy and interesting in its own right. One wee glitch - the chart for this pattern was not included in the book. It’s available at the Lark Books errata site, at

Would I say this book is worth buying? If you are a sock yarn lover who wants more variety in the projects you make from your favorite yarns, the answer is “yes”.

Carol likes to summarize the projects in a book at the end of a review, so I will do the same. There are 27 patterns in total:
- 2 cowls
- 5 hats
- 5 scarves
- 3 shawls/capelets
- 4 projects for the hands (mittens, gloves, fingerless gloves)
- 3 projects for babies and children
- 1 pair of legwarmers (hmmm - isn’t that almost a sock?)
- 2 women’s tops - sleeveless halter and vest
- 2 household projects - a pillow and a blanket

Thank you, Carol, for giving a copy of this book to me through WEBS. I enjoyed reading it, and I will enjoy making several projects from it in the future. I’m not sure if there can be higher praise for a book of knitting patterns.

Thank you also, Carol, for giving me permission to use pictures from the book and the book’s official Flickr page for this review. Here is the legal language for this gift: Photos used with permission from Sock Yarn Studio by Carol J. Sulcoski, published by Lark Crafts an imprint of Sterling Publishing.


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