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 http://goknitinyourhat.blogspot.com/, 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.
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.