Tuesday, May 25, 2010

REVIEW: Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks

Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks
by Melissa Morgan-Oakes

Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Storey Publishing (April 23, 2010)

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Knitwear designer Melissa Morgan-Oakes revolutionized the world of sock knitting with 2-at-a-Time Socks and now she's back... with a new book, Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks.

If you find yourself constantly suffering from "second sock syndrome," Melissa's ingenious techniques are just what the doctor ordered - and now you have a choice, top-down or toe-up! By knitting socks 2-at-a-time, toe-up, you'll not only be able to try on the socks as you go (who doesn't love perfect fitting hand knit socks?), but you'll also be guaranteed not to run out of yarn before the foot is complete (yay!). And for those of you who do everything possible to avoid the kitchener stitch, you won't need that either.

Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks includes the usual chapter on materials (needles, yarn, etc), as well as a glossary, abbreviations list and a handy standard sock sizes chart for men, women and children. Step by step directions for the technique are included, beginning with toe-up sock anatomy and math, followed by clear instructions for the sample socks. Large, colorful photographs document all steps and are a wonderful visual aid.

In Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks, Melissa combines the pleasures of toe-up knitting with the convenience of her 2-at-a-time approach in 15 original designs for men, women, children, and babies. From the delicate and graceful ballerina sock to the kaleidoscopic, nubby peppercorn pattern, there is a style here for every pair of feet. Row-by-row instructions and charts for both large and small feet are included for each pattern, as well as stunning photographs of the finished products.

My personal favorites include Soft Waves, a great thick sock for winter; April, adorable ankle socks for teeny-tiny toes; Ballet, beautiful cables and twisted stitches combine for a delicate dance; and The Keep, the angular lines of the design form a fun jagged pattern.

The best thing about Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks is that it's really not just about limiting you to Melissa's 15 patterns. Instead, it's about learning a techique that, once mastered, can be applied to any sock pattern. If you love knitting socks, this is definitely one to add to your knitting bookshelf!

About the Author: Melissa Morgan-Oakes learned learned to crochet, tat, and sew at an early age from women who encouraged her to work without commercial patterns. During her children’s early years, she created award-winning sewn and crocheted garments. Melissa later taught herself to spin and knit, so she brings the perspective of a self-taught knitter to her work. She now teaches and designs patterns for WEBS, America’s Yarn Store. Melissa lives in western Massachusetts with her family.

CONTEST! How would you like to win your very own copy of Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks? To enter, simply choose to Follow This Blog if you don't already (see "Followers" on the right hand side bar), then leave a comment here telling me what your favorite sock yarn is and why. To get an extra entry, send your friends here to enter and be sure to have them mention your name. Winner will be selected by random number generator and must be a follower of Lapdog Creations in order to win. Deadline for entries is Tuesday, June 1 at midnight. So get those referrals coming in ... blog, Tweet, Facebook and text away!

37 comments:

Mary Hough said...

My favorite sock yarn is enya from Saffron DyeWorks. It's such a pleasure to work with, wears beautifully & her colors are incredible.

Karla said...

I currently adore Wollmeise 100% because of all the fabulous colors from which I can choose!

Keri said...

I was just browsing this book today at Barnes and Noble - I would love to win a copy!

Axia said...

Oops - I forgot to tell you about my favourite sock yarn. I like Trekking XXL - I made my first pair of socks out of it. They regularly go in the dryer and come out ok.

Anonymous said...

I love to knit socks with Blue moon sock that rock lightweight and Malabrigo sock. I just love the way they feel and also the finished product. I have also bought some Madelinetosh sock over the weekend and can't wait to cast on.
My email is sahep7@yahoo.com. I am Sahep7 on ravelry.

Thank you.

Psylova said...

I think my favourite sock yarn is always subject to change - at the moment I am in love with DIC Smooshy for socks and anything else I can think of! It is so soft and nice to knit with, and the colours are right up my alley. I love it.

Margie said...

My favorite sock yarn, hmmm.... There are so many to choose from. I think I will have to say Fiberoptics Footnotes.. Soft merino, lovely colors (batiks) and the socks look incredible. I found this yarn at the Sock Summit and bought 4 skeins, which I almost nevr do. Cascade heritage comes in a close second--also extremely soft. I'm wearing my yellow Saimaa socks tomorrow.

Janet said...

I am now a follower! I love knitting and also volunteer with dog rescue :)

My favourite sock yarn is Dyelectable Yarns Lolita - I love it because of the wonderful colors :)

It's available at etsy.com

(hope this doesn't post twice and look like I'm trying to load the odds! I had problems the first time!)

Barbara B. Solbrig said...

I am not sure I can pick just one yarn as a favorite for socks, but I do really like Fixation for its washablility and how fast it knits up.

Susan said...

I follow in Bloglines! Hmm, my favorite sock yarn... I like Brown Sheep Wildfoote because it's fun to overdye!

Susan :)

sandrajager said...

I've never made socks two at a time before. And toe up is still new to me. Hmm....Sounds like a good book to learn from. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for reviewing it.

lstaple said...

Favorite sock yarn: Sanguine Gryphon Bugga. it comes in dozens of beautiful colors and the base yarn is glorious.

Lisa said...

Hi Nichole!

My current favorite sock yarn is Caper Sock, by String Theory. I recently knit a shawl using this yarn and it is SO soft and wonderful to the touch! The yarn has a nice sheen to it and it really shows off the pattern. I don't actually know that I'd knit socks out of it. but I plan on doing another shawl very soon!

Lisa

blueadt said...

I love Regia at the moment due to it's hard as nails wearing ability & that it comes in both solid & patterned colours.

Elena said...

Hi Nichole!
I just started knitting socks a few years ago, mostly for my daughter and other kids around. For her, I used Cherry Tree Hill merino sock yarn. It is really soft and withstood many machine washes (wool cycle). The other sock yarn I like is Malabrigo sock, but IMHO it is more suitable for scarfs and shawls rather than socks, but I still love it!

Since I started knitting socks I bought a few books, but not the one you are offering in this contest.

Cheers,
Elena :)

Dianne said...

Favorite sock yarn? I like lots of sock yarns, but I'd have to say Opal is my favorite! Not too thick, wears like iron. Machine washable and dryable is a must for me!

P.S. I'm a long-time follower!

Channon said...

Look at all these comments! My favorite sock yarn is any indie sock yarn, like SpringValley, Gypsyknits, Creatively Dyed, etc. Why? Because it's wonderful and because these days, I'd rather support my friends than some faceless corporation.

(And I *SO* want this book... Her first one is what pushed me over the edge to two at a time, so maybe this one can restore my sock mojo.)

Barbara said...

Caper sock by String Theory and I would to have this wook.

Linder said...

I would love this book. I knit all my cuff-down socks 2AAT, and would love to be able to do that for toe-up socks, as well.

My favorite yarn is BMFA STR lightweight.

crzyknittengran said...

I love Wollmeise 100% because of the lovely colors and the yardage.

Linda said...

My favorite sock yarn so far is Trekking XXL. Very warm yarn and I love how it washes, etc. But then the next week who knows, I'm still looking for my favorite sock yarn!

Beth said...

My favorite sock yarn is Wollmeise - both the 100% and the Twin, but it's the brilliant colors that really grab me!

Heather said...

My favorite sock yarn is Wollmeise 100% because it is soft and comes in such beautiful colors!

StarSpry said...

I don't have a favorite sock yarn yet because I'm actually knitting my 1st pair of socks right now using the 2-at-a-Time Socks book! I would love to be able to knit toe-up socks.

By the way, Channon sent me :)

Laura said...

Hummm favorite sock yarn - well at the moment Unplanned Peacock has my attention, but STR, malabrigo, J Knits, and almost any indi dyer gets a look!

MissMasala5 said...

I just started knitting socks, so I can't yet claim a *favorite*, but I can say that I can't keep my hands off of the Malabrigo. Lush!

KnittySue said...

My favorite yarn so far is fixation though I have several different yarns yet to audition. I've never been able to master toe up socks though.
I'm a follower now though I do visit often.

stephanie said...

I don't have a favorite yet. I haven't graduated beyond budget yarn. So... right now, my favorite is Knit Picks stroll.

Bubblesknits said...

Favorite sock yarn is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight. :) Love Tina's color sense and the base is so strong and durable.

Wasie said...

My favorite sock yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy! Cuz it's so smooshy!! Oh and it come's in great colors too.

donnza said...

My favorite sock yarn is GothSocks. I love the colors, and I cannot put it down. I love the feel.

Jerrica said...

Oh, what a wonderful concept! I've always wondered about that technique - is it available now in stores?

My favorite yarn right now is a toss up between Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock, Madelinetosh Sock, and Malabrigo Sock - all have exquisite colorways and knit up beautifully in lush, gorgeous socks that are so wonderful to wear! I have to admit, I also think Bugga from Sanguine Gryphon is pretty amazing too and have a half dozen other companies I've bought yarn to try but have yet to do so --- Wollmeise, Strong Theory, Sweet Georgia, etc....too little time!

cheryl:) said...

I really love Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock. Fabulous colors and it feels so good while knitting!!!!! :)

Lisa said...

My favorite sock yarn? Gosh, I own so many -- I think it might be Cherry Tree Hill -- the twist is tight and it's wonderful to feel in your fingers. It wears really well and is my "go to" yarn.

~margaret aka dragonflysock said...

Now a follower. Enjoyed the review of the MMO Toe Up Socks book. I love doing my socks 2AAT. My favorite sock yarn is Socks That Rock-any flavor. I have also enjoyed knitting with Madelinetosh.

maryalice said...

Great review! Love the book!

colleenBurke said...

My absolute favorite is Hand-Dye Effect by Regia. The colors are brilliant and the yarn is OH SO SOFT!!!