Cookie A makes socks tempting. Her patterns are like small puzzles that give great satisfaction in their solving. They are smart but not daunting, complex yet easily worked. You feel clever and proud with each sock you finish, and you long to cast on the next.
Cookie A has published patterns in Knitty, Vogue Knitting, and Knit.1 magazine. Last year, she wrote the wildly successful Sock Innovation. Since then, her fans have been eagerly awaiting her next collection of sock patterns.
It's arrived. knit. sock. love. is a "best-of" collection of the Cookie sock oeuvre.
The book features 19 sock patterns, including the much-beloved Monkey and Hedera that brought Cookie great acclaim early in her career. Here, Monkey is offered in two sizes and Hedra in four, where the original free Knitty patterns only offered one size each.
Assuming you're ready to knit socks without delay, Cookie wastes no time explaining what a DPN is or how to cast on. She launches right into the patterns, divided into three stylistic categories: patterns whose motif is based on columns, tessellations (shapes arranged with little space between), and diagonals.
The book's brilliance lies in the patterns themselves, both from their style and content. The designs are innovative and highly sculptural, with swirls, waves, and layerings of stitches that evoke the line drawings of M.C. Escher. But the designs aren't just about thinking outside the box, they're about fitting and flattering the human foot.
Exceptional Pattern Design
But what really knocks this book out of the ballpark is the presentation of the patterns. Cookie designs from the top down, and she relies almost exclusively on charts. Because most of the patterns are presented in multiple sizes, you'll find either several charts for each size, or heavily marked, elaborate charts showing each size within the same chart. If you're afraid of charts, you'll need to face your fears or find another book.
These are beautiful charts with elegant symbols that are visually intuitive and well explained in words. Cookie also offers schematics for all the socks. While a schematic may not seem like that big of a deal (we all pretty much know where the toe and heel go, right?), they're invaluable for making sure your sock will fit a muscular calf, especially with socks whose stitch motifs offer little room for extra elasticity.
More intriguing than the charts and schematics, Cookie also gives diagrams for each sock. These colorful drawings often look like unfolded origami, but they show where each section of the pattern manifests itself in the finished sock. Between the schematic, the charts, the diagrams, and the patterns themselves, you could not be in more capable hands.
As they say in the infomercials, "But wait, there's more." Photography. Pages upon pages of lavish, evocative, tactile imagery showing the socks both in a fashion/lifestyle context (think Anthropologie) and also in an extremely clear and detailed context that illustrates stitches knitters need to see. The photographer Laura Kicey gets full (and much-deserved) credit in her biographical sketch at the beginning of the book.
Between the socks, the photography, the book layout, and the extraordinary written and graphic detail of the patterns themselves, this book obliterates any possible vestiges of the old stereotypes about self-published books being at all stodgy or unprofessional. Professional publishers take note, Cookie A has just stepped up the game.