Folk Socks: The History and Techniques of Handknitted Footwear
a Book Review by the Fibre Guild of Lochac; Back to All Book Review
"Folk Socks" is an interesting book, and extremely useful for anyone interested in knitting socks, whether historic reproductions or for modern use.
The first 32 pages cover the history of socks and stockings, from animal hides to cloth hose to knitted stockings. The information is useful, and includes some photographs of extant pieces and historical knitting tools.
The next chapter leads the reader through knitting a basic sock. This gives a plain modern ankle length sock, and covers all the techniques a beginner sock knitter would need for this basic sock.
The next section is the most useful for me- the author leads the reader through 8 different heel styles and 8 different toe styles. The instructions are clear, and include photographs of the finished product.
The author then gives patterns for her versions of various historic and ethnic socks. The patterns are clear, and produce truly beautiful socks, but these are generally not beginnerŐs projects! The patterns will give lovely socks, which are based on, but definitely not exact copies of the original socks.
A disadvantage of this book is that the techniques only cover socks knitted from the top down towards the toes. This is a particular issue when she gives a pattern for Mamluke socks, which were knitted from the toe up in period. Furthermore, many of the sock patterns require yarns which are not readily available here. There are no patterns that you could follow exactly and produce a really authentic sock, but the information and techniques are there so that you could write your own pattern.
Overall, a useful book for those interested in historical knitting
The most recent Guild Meeting was at Rowany Festival, A.S. XXXVIII
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