My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


New Directions in Sock Knitting

I have in my hands a review copy of this:


This is New Directions In Sock Knitting: 18 Innovative Designs Knitted From Every Which Way by Ann Budd, published by Interweave and new this month.

Speaking generally, there have always been two ways to knit a sock: top down or toe up. Do you think that’s all? Think again!

This book is a collection of 18 sock patterns by a variety of well-known designers that will change the way you look at knitting socks. The designs are knit using a variety of techniques (double knitting, intarsia, short-rows, etc.), and in a variety of different directions! Different directions? Some examples:


This pattern is Vanishing Point, designed by Jeny Staiman. You start knitting at the center of the diamond at the instep. Then you work a Judy’s Magic Cast-On down the length of the leg and foot, working it around the diamond. The sides of the sock are worked back and forth simultaneously, so when a gradient yarn is used, the pattern is mirrored across both sides. Clever, huh?


Smokey Zickzacks by Natalia Vasilieva are knit side to side in garter stitch, and increases and decreases form chevrons that produce the traditional knitted-in-the-round sock shape.


For Boomerang by Louise Robert the back leg, heel, and sole are worked in one piece that’s shaped like (you guessed it) a boomerang, then the top of the foot and front of the leg are worked in a lace pattern while the sides of the boomerang are joined into a tube.

You can view all eighteen patterns here on Ravelry and read the description of how they are constructed.

The book features nice clear instructions and includes a very useful illustrated glossary of techniques.

This is definitely not just another book of sock patterns, but a great collection of creative approaches to sock knitting. Who’d like to try out these patterns?

To be entered in a drawing to receive my review copy, leave a comment on this blog post by noon Eastern Time next Wednesday, March 2, and I’ll select a winner at random from the comments posted.

Bogus Bohus

I’m working on the lining of my Bogus Bohus cowl — a much simpler colorwork pattern from the outside.


The construction is this: I started with a provisional cast-on (the green at the bottom of the cowl), cast on approximately a million stitches, knit to the depth I wanted, purled one round for the turning round, and am continuing to knit the lining to the same depth as the outside. The cowl’s circumference is large enough to double around the neck, and I think it’ll be pretty to have the simpler lining show in places. Or you could turn it inside-out so the simpler pattern is on the outside.

Right now it’s smooshed up on the needles so it’s looking rippled. Once off the needles and steam-blocked, everything will lie nice and flat.


There was a question in the comments about working with two yarns held together. For a couple of the colors I am using two laceweight yarns held together. I do not twist them together — just hold them loosely together.


Loki would like you to know that among the various yarns I am using for the cowl is about 1% Ragdoll fur!



  1. I would love to receive that book! I love your cowl, just lovely.

  2. This book looks really fun and there are definitely some patterns I would like to try out!

  3. I’d love that! Certainly want to try garter stitch socks – sooo squooshy! Please include me in the draw.

  4. webdoyenne says:

    I’m been on a sock-knitting binge. Fortunately, I have sons who like hand-knit socks.

  5. Thanks for answering back about gauge/2 yarns together. The sock book sounds like great fun! And a plainer lining in the cowl will reduce some of the bulk. Clever idea.

  6. Sure, sign me up! It’s always good to learn crazy new ways to knit socks.

  7. Seems like a lovley book! Count me in!
    Katrina´s last blog post ..Två ärmar

  8. I would love to have a copy of this book!

  9. That book looks like fun…but since I am just learning to knit socks, I’m not sure it’s right for me (only on my 3rd pair now). Your cowl looks wonderful…as does Loki.

  10. Toe up, top down, even a couple of double helix pairs from the pattern on Knitty, I just love socks. What a lovely opportunity to get a copy. Thank you!

  11. Elaine in NYC says:

    It would be great to try some different construction methods. Every cat I’ve ever had has has some of his or her fur knit into almost everything I’ve knit. Just sayin . . .

  12. Oooh, that book sounds so interesting! I hope I win! I’m working on a pair of toe up socks right now, though I usually knit them top down.

  13. Stephanie Bardwell says:

    What a wonderful book. I’m very intrigued by the socks that are worked neither toe up or cuff down.

  14. What an interesting book; I’d like to win it. Hugs to the furball!

  15. Love the cowl. What a different take on socks!

  16. I would like to try those patterns. Thanks.

  17. That book looks like a lot of fun. I knit all my socks top down and it would be neat to try new techniques.

  18. Planning to buy this book in the near future is to win it would be the icing on the cake.
    Life is nothing without cat fur mixed in.

  19. Janet White says:

    Always enjoy your posts. Thank you, Janet

  20. I’d like to try sock knitting…it’s definitely on my list of skills to acquire

  21. Peggy connolly says:

    Wow, I’d love to see how these socks are constructed. It would be a real mental exercise m

  22. I’m loving the Bohus

  23. I would love to learn some new ways to knit socks. Love the cowl.

  24. “…cast on approximately a million stitches” lololol, made my day.

    That book looks FASCINATING. Yes, please sign me up!

  25. I am going to have to check out those designs, I love different sock methods!

  26. Shirley Ryan says:

    Now these are fun socks….I haven’t knit any socks for a while, but I see several here that are just my style. i love that they are so different and innovative!

  27. Yes! I’d love to win this book. Otherwise I’ll have to buy it myself. i just love new puzzles to knit. I can wear wool socks and Birkies here most of the year, and I really enjoy all the comments I get about the socks.

  28. Kathleen Kennedy says:

    I would LOVE a copy of this book!!! Oh, and the majority of my knit projects are a certain percentage critter fur 🙂

  29. Jill McKibben says:

    Your projects are always so intriquing… Would love the sock book.

  30. Sock book. Yeah. I’m waiting on more yarn so now I need more patterns.

  31. I would love to win a copy of this. I am hoping to be able to take a class with her in April aat my LYS

  32. Ellie Wilson says:

    This could rekindle my desire to knit socks. and love the cowl.

  33. I am a huge sock knitter and always looking for a way to mix things up and this sounds like just the book for me.

  34. Good thing that I am just starting to knit a lot of socks. I am believe that knitting sideways and more will be a lot of fun! Thanks!

  35. Lucy Portland says:

    I would love a copy of Ann Budd’s book. I think it would be a challenge to make socks in unique ways.

  36. I love knitting socks and would love to add this book to my collection!

  37. Sounds like such a great book!

  38. Kris Peters says:

    Time to try other sock architecture and this book looks like the perfect solution. Please pick me!

  39. Those patterns look very interesting to knit

  40. I wonder if the patterns in that book could help me relocate my sock mojo. (I know they can’t find more room in the sock drawer, alas.)

  41. I would love it! Looks very interesting.

  42. Love knitting socks. Just finishing my second pair of socks in as many months and would love to try something different! Please pick me on this one.

  43. LINDA A ROLLER says:

    I want to knit socks. This book gives many knitting options.

  44. I LOVE knitting socks!

  45. I’m a huge fan of sock knitting. I have Wendy’s toe up sock knitting book and love her patterns. I would really like to win this book! Thanks!

  46. I’d love to win the sock book, but more important – thanks for introducing us to all these new books!

  47. This looks like a great book! I recently purchased “Op-Art Socks: Creative Effects in Sock Knitting” and this would be a wonderful companion book to add to my library.

  48. I would love to win the sock book and appreciate you offering it. Thank you

  49. Monica Cortada says:

    I love knitting socks. It’s such a subtle way to be whimsical.

    Your cowls (yes all of them) are lovely. Do you wear them all day at work, or just when you are outside? I’ve never made a cowl thinking they would be too warm to wear.

  50. I love Ann Budd. I met her at the last Yarn Fest – a lovely, lovely lady. I consider her one of the pioneers of knitting. Her book is sure to be fantastic.

  51. Since I love both your toe up sock books . . it would be fun to add this to my library as well.

  52. I would really like to try those zickzack sock, what a fun pattern

  53. I love knitting socks and these look like very interesting projects.

  54. The book looks very interesting. Thanks for showing it to us.

  55. Jeanie Babbage says:

    Socks are so much fun! I love all the different ways to go!

  56. Just started a new pair of socks…would love to learn new ways of knitting them!

  57. What an interesting sock book. I would love to win it.

  58. Your cowl designs are so pretty and I’m sure the addition of Ragdoll fur is the piece de la resistance!

  59. I love to knit socks and this book sounds fascinating. I was just gifted a gradient yarn that would look great in the Vanishing Point pattern.

  60. Denise Nash says:

    Ooh, love the boomerang! And it looks like it may be do-able for me, who is rusty on my sock knitting these days!

  61. I love knitting socks, toe-up, cuff-down, any way at all. This books sounds inspirational, and I’d love to have a copy!
    Tee´s last blog post ..More hats

  62. I would love to win this book!

  63. Lauren Kowalczewski says:

    I learned to knit socks toe up on Crazy Toes and Heels. I’d love to learn other ways and top down now. I’m retired now so I have time to knit whenever I like!! I love all the patterns and would love to win this book. I have lots of cousins and would so love to knit for everyone.
    If you brush Loki, save and spin some of his gorgeous fur and add to your fiber. I bet he’d follow your sock around all day long!!

  64. Anne Patton says:

    Who knew you could do all this with socks,

  65. Those socks are incredible – I’d like to think I could knit them!

  66. Yup, that would be a good gift for myself. I’ve been totally knitting socks for a while now.

  67. Socks are my ‘thing’. Pleeeeesse pick me!!!

  68. Thank you for the chance to win this book!

  69. I soooo need this book! Thanks for another great giveaway.

  70. Sharon Bailey says:

    I love knitting socks and would love this book.

  71. So many interesting designs, but I’m really drawn to Cleave.

  72. Beautiful book!! Would love to add it to my library!

  73. Jane Kettlewell says:

    The idea of new approaches to sock knitting and not just patterns sounds interesting. I love sock knitting!

  74. What cool sock patterns!

  75. I would LOVE that book!! I’ve already been eyeing all the patterns on Ravelry and can’t wait to try out the patterns!

  76. Wow, I’ve been coveting that book, knitting socks is actually why I learned to knit!

  77. Hey, everything in my house is at least one percent cat fiber!

  78. Oh pick me!!! Finally some new and interesting ways to do socks

  79. I love learning new ways to make socks, it looks like a great book!

  80. I’ve bought all your books & Ann Budd’s – love her handy guide ones – so this would be a nice addition to my collection even though after knitting five pair of socks thought that was enough, even though I still use sock designs for fingerless gloves.

  81. What fun! I’d love to be entered to win the sock book. Thanks for giving it away!

  82. I’m on a sock knitting kick right now so this book would be a perfect.

  83. Ohhhh I’d love to try some new ways of knitting socks. thanks!

  84. I would love a new sock knitting book!

  85. I love knitting socks! I would definitely love this book and will have to get it eventually 🙂

  86. Amy Schulze says:

    I always have a pair of socks on the needles. This book is speaking to me!

  87. Karen Hancock says:

    Lots of interesting constructions there.

  88. Interesting construction techniques.

  89. Shelley Dawson says:

    I love that socks are evolving and always enjoy a challenge. Thanks for offering a book, awesome – and would be used cover to cover!

  90. Chris Reeske says:

    I knit the worst looking socks ever. Maybe with this book I can improve.

  91. I would love to win. I keep starting to knit socks and not following thru. Maybe it will be the ticket to finishing a sock!

  92. If anyone is interested and does not know Ann Budd is kitting several of the patterns in the book and chatting about it on line and her blog. I don’t know if she is going to knit them all but it is interesting to watch. Thanks Wendy for the drawing. Give Loki a squeeze for me please.

  93. Jean Palionis says:

    I think these would be fun to try and even more fun to wear!

  94. I am intrigued by these constructions and can’t wait to try them. I have knit toe-up patterns only for over 5 years. It is time to try something new.

  95. I’d love to try some of these sock patterns — I’ve also seen Ann Budd’s own progress on the Boomerang sock on her blog and it looks quite interesting to knit.

  96. I only just started Knitting at the beginning of January and have two dishcloths and (almost a) scarf done. I really want to tackle a pair of socks next and this book seems really interesting!

    Love your blog!

  97. Gina Zahra says:

    I am planning socks for Christmas this year and this book would be a great help!!

  98. I love the Vanishing point socks!!! They look amazing!

  99. That book makes my little sock loving heart sing!
    Please let Loki know that my knitting contains 1% Siamese fur, it’s just how it’s done!

  100. Venice Smith says:

    Hi Wendy! I love knitting socks and typically turn to my books authored by you as I usually knit them toe up. I do find alternative and innovative approaches intriguing, however, and would love to add this to my sock knitting library!.

    I always warn people when giving them knitted gifts that there will definitely be some other animal hair — including human – in the finished product! Doesn’t that make it extra special?