**Note – I was gifted an e-copy of the book Sock Architecture for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are solely my opinion and do not reflect the author, publisher, photographer, or any other persons relating to this book.**
Sock Architecture by Lara Neel
$16.95 US for Paper copy
$26.95 US for Paper and E-book Copy
Published by Cooperative Press
I first discovered Lara’s book by following her on Instagram. She was posting photos from the patterns and describing them, and I asked if I could please review the book for her. As it turned out, this book is an absolute gem!
In a total of 136 pages, Lara takes the reader on a journey through everything one would want to know about sock knitting. She gives a brief (though very interesting) look at the history of sock knitting, from technique to names, then describes the modern terms and basics of construction in sock knitting today. My favorite part of the book is when she outlines the different types of feet; feet are so unique and definitely not a one-size-fits-all part of the body. She demonstrates how to measure one’s feet and decide which type of heels, toes, and other techniques would be useful. Her book is organized very well as a fantastic reference, fairly easily picked up on a spur of the moment to help the knitter make quick decisions during sock knitting. Lara also provides incredibly helpful tips that had previously never been shared with me, such as using dental floss to see how the yarn naturally lies in a toe before grafting, or knitting only a heel or toe to figure out how well it fits without having to knit an entire sock. After all of her tips and tricks, she shares 17 specific sock patterns, along with a very wide variety of heels, toes, and ways to construct socks in general. All of these techniques can be easily blended to create the perfect pattern (or patterns) for sock knitters.
(Top) Strie Socks, (Right) Uncommon Dragon, (Bottom) Mouchoir Sock (Toe Up), images Copyright Cooperative Press
What I Loved:
The photography is absolutely stellar. All of the images are well lit and sharp, the color palette is pleasing to the eye, and the use of a foot mannequin creates a consistency through the entire book that is stylish and clear. I never had any questions about odd angles or out-of-focus images. I also love the color palette chosen, modern colors that are not crazy allowed me to envision socks in my own fantastic socks.
Lara’s tips are incredibly helpful and sprinkled throughout the book in a fashion that makes her feel like a helpful friend. Her voice is conversational, humorous, and full of her own struggles in finding fit and how she perfected her technique. The patterns themselves are treasures, full of stitch patterns and new techniques that can easily be used in any size (from children to very wide feet). I love how all of the socks are shown in single color or complimentary palettes, allowing the reader to imagine his or her own gorgeous socks in a variety of colorway styles. Lara appears to be the Amy Herzog of socks; she empowers knitters to appreciate their own feet and find the perfect patterns just for them.
(Left) Check and Square Socks, toe up, (Right) Boot Strap Heel, images Copyright Cooperative Press
What Can Be Improved:
In some ways, tips were given assuming the knitter might not be experienced in sock knitting, which is great (ex. she writes about which parts of the sock need to be reinforced, as they rub against shoes.) However, I felt there were sections that might a bit overwhelming of those new to sock knitting. Some of the vocabulary and techniques described would be very helpful if they were linked in the e-book version to tutorials. That being said, with some digging and imagination, this might actually be the perfect book to help new sock knitters achieve well-fitting socks in their early attempts!
Without a doubt, this book is absolutely a staple for the sock knitter who wants fantastically-fitted socks every time. It is creative, warm, interesting, and clear. I thoroughly read the text and left feeling confident in my sock-knitting abilities. I am so excited to really dig deep and discover and appreciate my own feet in a completely new way, and to figure out my new favorite sock patterns. I have to say, I have looked a lot of sock knitting books recently, but this is the first time I really connected with the author and the information and could hardly wait to cast on! Thank you so much, Lara, for writing such a fabulous book!