10 May 2010

Basic socks

I don't usually buy pattern books; not as a rule, but more out of habit and a complete lack of storage space in our house. But with so much fuss over this new book that came out recently -- Knits Men Want -- I was more than tempted to see for myself what it's all about. First of all, it's men's book, not men's per se but knitting for men; I knit a total of one jumpers for my husband, many moons ago and well before he became my husband. I think it got worn through the whole afternoon and then the sweater spent a couple of years on the very top shelf of the cupboard, the kind of shelf where you tend to put things you don't need very often, before one way trip to the charity shop. Needless to say, I was never tempted to knit anything intended for a man again. Second, the title on its own made me raise my eyebrows in a kind of "Get off your high horse!" way, I don't need anyone telling me what I need to know before knitting for a man. (Or do I?) But anyhow, I was curious about the book, the photography looked fantastic and Amazon was within a click away. Two days later I had the book in my post box and what do you know, now I've plucked up some corouge to knit something for my man after all. No, it's not a jumper, I truly don't think I'd ever go that far again, it's a pair of socks and I have high hopes for those socks.
The book. I enjoyed reading it as a whole, although there were a couple of things that I have an issue with, like the side-by-side women and men comparison (if you've read it you'll know what I am talking about), or it claiming to be knitting instructions and relationship therapy all in one, what's that one about? That aside, I loved the patterns, very wearable, classic garments with some great design elements and plenty of stocking stitch. The pattern layout needs a special mention too: you can pretty much use any yarn to knit the sweater of your choosing by simply picking your finished garment size and yarn tension and then following the cross section in the tables provided. I love that. The tables are clear, easy to follow and for me it's a much better way of finding numbers in a multiple size/tension pattern. Not your usual pattern layout and perhaps something to get used to, but it's very close to a stroke of genius for me. All in all a great buy.

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