Monday, September 7, 2015

Book Review - Custom Socks - and a Giveaway


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Interweave/F+W; $27.99

By permission Interweave/F&W
Kate Atherley is serious about socks.  She has written a book, Custom Socks, with a near encyclopedic amount of detail on everything you need to know about hand knitted socks.
The sizing chart is great – there is lots of detail. I was happy to see that she included socks for children. I recently knit a pair of socks for my granddaughter, and not realizing how fast she was growing, knitted the socks about an inch too short.
I also like that she even included whether to measure bunions in the total measurement of the circumference of the foot. That attention to detail is what sets this book apart.

Kate takes the measurements and the good fit of socks very seriously. By telling us how to measure our feet, what to measure, and what amount of ease to allow for, she really helps us get on the right path to well fitting socks.
The most valuable and perhaps unique Section of the book is adjustments for non average feet. I don't think this material has been covered in such detail before.
The patterns in the book are beautiful. The patterns alone would make the book worthwhile, but the added attention to detail, and the directions on how to get the best fit, take this book to the next level. In my opinion, any serious sock knitter would appreciate this book.
Here are some of my favorite designs. The Wellington Road socks feature beautiful cables that twine up the sock in a graceful way.
Wellington Road

Each sock has both a top down and toe up version. This is really helpful and again, something I don't think I have seen before. 

The Harcourt  is lovely with an easy lace pattern to give it distinction. 


A beautiful colorwork sock is the Lindisfarne . The stranded color work produces a striking graphic pattern that both men and women would be happy to wear. 


The Carpita is another colorwork sock that has a really pretty design on it. 

 For each design, Kate has paid attention to how the pattern flows from the top to the bottom and how it is treated at the heel and gusset. Nothing is left to chance.

For example, the Wellesley Sock has graceful cables flowing down from the top to the bottom. 
Kate includes a basic sock for those who like to use self-striping yarns, and don't need to put a lot of work into a complicated sock pattern to get interesting socks. 

The author has done a great job of compiling and amassing all the knowledge that is needed to produce great socks that your family and friends (those lucky enough to receive them), will enjoy for years.

Once again, Interweave is sponsoring a giveaway of this book. Please comment on this blog post saying why you would like to win this book, and also sign up for my newsletter (top right corner of the blog) to to be entered into the drawing. Please include an email address or Ravelry ID so I can contact you if you win. I'll choose the winner on September 16, 2015 and announce it here on the blog.
Good luck!
Next time, I'll continue my series on choosing and using Color. Did you miss Part 1?  It's right here!

Disclaimer: I was given a review copy of this book.

New Design
I just published the Willowbrook Shawl.

This is a pretty side to side shawl especially designed for gradient sets. The pattern gives instructions for using several types of gradient sets, plus directions for various sizes of a single skein.

This pattern uses mostly garter stitch with a delicate lace edge for a nice relaxing knit. The simple stitch will really show off a unique variegated, semi-solid or handspun yarn.

And there's a coupon code - get 20% off right now with code 'SEPT20'.



  1. I love knitting socks! My go to project when traveling, working on bigger projects, or when I just need something different. They are never boring as there are so many ways to vary every part.

    1. Beverly, how shall I contact you if you win?

  2. I recently (just under a year ago) started knitting, and I've become obsessed with socks. I made thick ones for my husband and step mother, then I made my first fingering weight pair for myself and finished them last week. (I'm wearing them right now! ) I started my second pair yesterday.
    This book would be so helpful in my quest for the perfect sock!

  3. Sorry, I failed. Here...
    Ravelry: frydaze1

  4. I'd like to win this book because not only are the designs beautiful but because winter is coming!!!

  5. I like making socks! I hope I win... On Ravelry I am emjay.

  6. I've heard great things about this book. Would love to do colorwork socks again. Rav amchart

  7. I have not knit socks in a few years, and I need some new socks.

    I am finnknitter on Ravelry.

  8. I love knitting socks. This book would be a great addition to my library.
    Lmecoll on Ravelry

  9. I'm not a knitting veteran, but I'm obsessed. I've been teaching myself with online videos. Socks are my next lesson. The lesson plan includes toe up and top down lessons. I can't wait to use both and fill my sock drawer! Ravelry ID: Booshkaboo

  10. I'd love this book because I don't have any sock knitting books and this one looks like the ultimate book to have.
    knittylucia on Ravelry

  11. I'd love to win this book because the designs are beautiful and I have been making more socks this year than I ever have. Thanks for the giveaway!

    rav ID fishgirl182

  12. I would live to win Kate's book to add to my repertoire on sock techniques. I really like textures like that on the Marpleridge sock. I'm Potchke on Raveley.

  13. Thanks for the giveaway! This book sounds like just what I need - all the little details! My mom has bunions and my daughter has narrow feet, so this is perfect. I'll buy it even if I don't win.
    I'm emzmom on Ravelry.

  14. I am a new sock person, although I've been knitting for most of my life, but I have a terrific friend who adores knitting socks and has surprised me with a couple pairs. I'll give this book to her - not as a hint, though! I'm also MLH860 on Ravelry.

  15. These socks look amazing. I love your shawl design using the gradient sets!
    kathyg on Rav

  16. I love knitting socks and have got my eye on the gorgeous lace Harcourt socks!
    lindarumsey on Ravelry.

  17. Very interesting comments about this book. I feel like I am in such a rut with my sock knitting, this might be just the thing to jump-start me again!
    dianelaces on Ravelry

  18. I love to wear hand knit socks, and this book would be a superb addition to my library. Sumac on Rav

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  20. Thank you for reviewing this book and for offering the give away. I love the idea of custom knit socks because two of the people I knit socks for, including myself, have hard to fit feet. YarnMoll on Ravelry

  21. I would love to win this book for my sister who knits socks for me.
    Thanks for a chance to win this great book.
    knittingdancer on Ravelry

  22. Thanks so much for reviewing this book. It sounds like a great resource for making well fitting socks. 100Creations on Ravelry.

  23. I would love to become a sock knitter.
    doobee60 on Ravelry.

  24. I want to knit better fitting socks.
    sparky136 on Ravelry

  25. This book is a must have. Unfortunately with the static charge ability of our carpet I can't wear slippers, and socks are the only way to keep my feet warm in winter.
    TimRachel on Ravelry

  26. I love knitting socks and always look for better ways to get a good fit. Thank you for your wonderful blog.
    I am NurseKimKnits on Ravelry.

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  28. I'd love to win this book so I can get started on my Christmas knitting. I had already decided that I would like to make everyone on my list a pair of socks. There are some really pretty socks in this book. My Ravelry ID is fiberfetish.

  29. I have always wanted to learn to knit socks. This book is perfect. Rav ID dieborl

  30. I have never knit socks in my many years of knitting. Socks have been an intimidating project for me. This book looks like just the right inspiration to get me started, and rid the fear factor! Rav ID cllcraft

  31. This book looks like a perfect addition to my knitting library! I am an avid sock knitter and I gift most all of them. Having knit several hundred pairs I know I could use all the ins and outs of custom fitting for the recipients. The patterns look wonderful as well! Wrenknits on Ravelry.

  32. I'm a fairly new sock knitter, and I am totally hooked! I'd love to expand my pattern repertoire! Mamamb on ravelry

  33. I'd love to win because I have very large feet (UK women's size 10) and have yet to find a pattern that works. My Rav id is gricey27.

  34. DCAlaneKnits just finished my second full pair of socks, and they have some fit issues. I'd love to get some great advice on how to fix them. Just what is a tall instep? Where should you start the heel? How tight around the toes should the socks be?

  35. I love to knit socks and this book will make it easier!
    alikat2004 on ravelry

  36. I would love to learn how to knit a well-fitting pair of socks. This book sounds like it would really help!
    shoebee on Ravelry

  37. I love Kate Atherley's approach to sock knitting, I especially love the Lindisfarne ones! Love your shawl as well!
    woolyeyes on Ravelry

  38. I am addicted to knitted socks! But I often have to rip the heel out two or three times to get them to fit right. Would love to know the secret to getting them right the first time!

    GypsyScarfWoman on Rav

  39. I would love to win this book Custom Socks!!! I have knit 4 pairs of socks over the last 10 years and none of them fit me properly. This book could really help me!

    CraftT on Rav

    Good Luck everyone!

  40. I love handmade socks but I've only made one pair for myself. I could really use this book (asimplehomestd on Rav)