Just Socks – A Review and a Finish

I purchased the Just Socks book, published by Lion Brand Yarn, from one of my local op shops/goodwill stores because I love woollen socks and they are close to impossible to buy in clothing stores these days, especially in women’s’ sizes. When I spot woollen socks for sale (especially fine ones for wearing with shoes, not boots) I generally buy several pairs.

Cover of Lion Brand Barn Book Just Socks

I am not a happy or an accomplished knitter but I can usually work from a knitting pattern if I have to, as long as it’s not too complicated. This does rely on the pattern being reasonably clear and correct.

Not one to fear leaping boldly into a project that may stretch my capabilities, I started with the Intermediate level reversible cable socks in the Just Socks book. The socks turned out OK but I did have to watch some online videos and borrow a book from the Victorian Handweavers and Spinners Guild library to source detailed instructions on the short row method that this pattern uses. I struggled with the instruction Continue until no double wrapped stitches remain. As I am an inexperienced knitter it would have been helpful to me if the pattern had set out how many stitches to knit on each and every heel row so I could count along. I did my best but one of the socks had a couple of holes I had to sew closed because I had overlooked a wrapped stitch and didn’t pick it up when I was increasing to shape the heel.

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Reversible Cable Socks in 12 ply 100% Wool. The wool is greasy, meaning the lanolin is still present, making the socks sturdy and handling the wool a dream.

The heel shaping instructions didn’t seem right though. They read:

Row 1 Knit 22, slip, slip knit, knit 20, slip, slip knit.

Row 2 Knit 1 row.

Repeat these 2 rows until only 16 stitches remain.

Traveling Sock pattern p 22 of Just Socks.

The first problem was that I had 47 stitches on my needle, so one stitch was ”extra”. The second (and more serious problem) was that the instructions said to continue until 16 stitches remain. I did, and the result was an elongated and misshapen heel that I had to cut out and redo, after checking afterthought heel patterns on the internet. I believe there were some decreasing steps missed in the pattern. Or I misread the instructions.

I wonder whether this pattern was test knitted as described before the book was published. If you are an experienced knitter please comment. Did I miss something or did the editor?

Based on my experience I could not recommend this book as each pattern was contributed by a different designer and there is little evidence that the patterns were sufficiently tested or standardized for gauge.

2 responses to “Just Socks – A Review and a Finish

  1. Barbara Lindsay

    Oh Karen, you’re so productive.
    I’m no knitter and I just know I’ll never try knitting socks. How challenging. Good on you. Regards Barb

    • Thanks Barb. You don’t need warm socks so often, I imagine. I could take a few tips from you on being social and participating in group activities 😀

      How are we going to be productive together now that we can’t go to Kay’s weaving school? We’ll have to look out for courses somewhere else. I have no good ideas on that yet but I’m thinking about it.

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