A Bold Twist on Socks: The Enchanted Sole

By Amelia © October 19, 2009

Welcome to the third stop on The Enchancted Sole's blog tour! Janel Laidman's second book of sock patterns takes you on an adventure through fairy tales and legends for your feet. If I were to sum up this book in one word, it is this: bold.

Color knitting, cables, lace, cables-and-lace, beads with cables or lace: it's all packed in here. Toe-up, cuff-down, sideways - yep, all accounted for. The book is well worth its price for Janel's unvented stretchy slipknot cast-on and her clear instructions on two methods for knitting with beads -- both clearly photo-illustrated in the back of the book.

Janel's patterns show off solids, semi-solids, and handpainted yarns wonderfully. Her advice on choosing alternate colors is delightful to this spinner -- it lets me know where in my stash to dive, for a given pattern. Most of the patterns are for 400 yards/3.5 ounces of sock yarns; some take a slightly finer yarn, and some combine two colors in one sock, so may work for your smaller skeins. The Tinker looks to be a great sock for a semi-solid and little bits of leftovers, actually.

I have three handspun skeins waiting for perfect patterns. The one shown with the book above is super-special, being not only handspun sock yarn, and not only an Abby batt, but also completely spindle-spun and plied. It shines from its Romney and silk, and is soft from its Merino and silk. I've been letting it come of age, waiting for the perfect sock pattern to fall into my lap.

And you know, it just may have: when you get this book, and if you are an adventurous sock knitter, you will!, check out Selkie. Why did I choose this pattern? It's perfect for my "semi-solid", its texture will gleam with the luster of my yarn, and if you look closely, you see it puts the knit stitches next to the skin -- a delightful treat for the skin! Try it -- take a handknit sock and put it on inside out. Doesn't that feel nice? Ahhhh.

I'm planning on another read-through; I think the second half of my skein called "Elk" may also have met its pattern here ... Naiad, or Lothlorien, I wonder. What do you think? Naiad is on the left, my skein in the middle, Lothlorien is on the right. Let me know in the comments.

Janel, thank you for these lovely socks. I'm sure they'll be as gorgeous in handspun as in the lovely yarns in the book -- and I'll enjoy the knitting as much as I enjoyed the spinning. And for my readers: if you are itching for your own copy, they are purchasable directly from Janel's Rustling Leaf Press, your local yarn store may have a copy or can order one for you, or add a copy to your next order from Amazon.

Now, I'm off to dig up my size 2's (2.75mm) for some swatching ...

If you'd like tips on spinning yarn for socks, see the posts labeled Sock Spinning.
© 19 October 2009 by Ask The Bellwether, posted at http://askthebellwether.blogspot.com/


Rhonda Wilson said...

Oh, I think Naiad would be great! It will like like undulating sand and waves - sea and shore!

See you at SOAR!


Anonymous said...

I'd like you to know your review has enabled me - I'd been wavering on this, holding out, etc. You did it Amelia :) And by golly, I just may have to drop in at EK....Terry