Book Review: New Methods for Crochet Socks

It's no secret that crochet has a reputation for being knitting's ugly stepsister, but no one can deny that nothing feels more luxurious than a hand crocheted sock. Rare is the foot that is so pampered that it is wrapped in something made stitch-by-stitch over several hours, and the designs are so much more interesting and intricate than anything you can ever find in the store. This is why we were so excited to learn that Annie's has a new book on crocheted socks.

New Methods for Crochet Socks

New Methods for Crochet Socks by Rohn Strong presents both standard methods for crocheting socks, as well as some new ideas. The very first pattern is a basic top-down sock, followed by a pattern for a basic toe-up sock. From there things get a bit more interesting as we begin to explore socks with cabled legs, lacy socks, and even argyle. And if you've ever wondered how you might crochet a sock with vertical stripes, there's a pattern for one that's neither top-down nor toe-up, but instead crocheted from side-to-side.

What I love about this book is that it really does what its title suggests: it presents several different ways of crocheting the basic parts of the sock. Have you ever made a short row toe? Or worked the heel in the round? Did you know you can work socks in Tunisian crochet? Strong not only covers all of these methods but also explains how to mix and match the different types of heel and toe constructions.

For our first foray into this book, we chose to try the toe-up Diamond Lace sock (what can I say? We just love the toe-up sock technique). We normally prefer the standard dual toe, but we thought it would be fun to try the short row toe presented in this pattern. I'll be honest--after working the first sock, we still prefer the smoothness that comes from the standard dual toe, but the rest of the sock worked up beautifully, and it's still good try out new techniques once in a while.

New Methods for Crochet Socks
Note: In the book, this sock is crew length. We chose to end it at the ankle in the interest of conserving the hand-painted yarn in which we chose to work it.

My one complaint about the book is this: The Animator's Wife wears a size 8.5 shoe, which is the most common women's shoe size, but according to the measurements in the book, she is a size large sock. And in keeping with the author's gauge, the large size did fit her foot perfectly. Okay, okay, we can admit The Animator's Wife has big feet for her 5-foot-3-inch frame. However, if you are taller and wear shoes larger than a size 8.5, you may find that these patterns will be too small to fit your feet. It would be nice if Strong gave some advice on how to adjust the patterns to your exact foot measurements, but I believe he was aiming for simplicity in these patterns, in which case custom instructions may have gotten confusing.

Other than that, this book is a fantastic resource for both the beginning sock crocheter as well as the more experienced sock crocheter who wishes to expand their sock skills. It's available now at Annie's Craft Store.