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Folk Socks: The History & Techniques of Handknitted Footwear

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Handknitted socks are a luxury everyone should experience. Here are 18 sock patterns inspired by a host of folk knitting traditions.


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Handknitted socks are a luxury everyone should experience. Here are 18 sock patterns inspired by a host of folk knitting traditions.

30 review for Folk Socks: The History & Techniques of Handknitted Footwear

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    Nancy Bush talked me into making my first pair of socks back when she had time to run her store in Salt Lake City. This book is a great book, not just for patterns but also as a technique reference.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    More than just a book of patterns, Folk Socks opens with a useful series of concise articles on the history of stockings, beginning with ancient examples made with cloth or leather, the transition to naalbinding and then knitting, the growth of the stocking as fashion accessory, and the transition from hand to machine production. There are also brief sections on knitting tools and knitted stocking traditions in countries throughout Europe. This is one of the best short accounts I’ve seen. Nancy More than just a book of patterns, Folk Socks opens with a useful series of concise articles on the history of stockings, beginning with ancient examples made with cloth or leather, the transition to naalbinding and then knitting, the growth of the stocking as fashion accessory, and the transition from hand to machine production. There are also brief sections on knitting tools and knitted stocking traditions in countries throughout Europe. This is one of the best short accounts I’ve seen. Nancy Bush knows her stuff and how to present info in an interesting way. She also provides a good tutorial of the “anatomy” of socks and the various techniques used to knit the individual parts, including “clock” designs. The rest of the volume contains patterns designed to represent traditional socks/stockings from 18 different countries. These patterns are beautiful, but many are quite complex, requiring sophisticated knitting skills and experience. I would be able to make most of them, and if planning to use them for display purposes, might give them a try. All but a few would be very time consuming to produce, however, and nice as they are to admire, I’d never wear them. I enjoyed reading Folk Socks, and have referred back to it many times in my work as amateur textile historian.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Julie Bates

    Beautiful socks, each with their own story & techniques. I love this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Karen Hartshorn

    my very first pair of hand knit socks were made from a pattern in this book

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mckinley

    Nice variety.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jaye Sudar

    Lovely book. History and patterns.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bethany Anne

    Fascinating book. Checked out from my library but I will have to but a copy for myself.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Read just enough to try and determine if this was a book I’d like for my library. I think I would. It has beautiful patterns and lots of history. A winning combo in my book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mrs. V.Malcom

    The history is fascinating. The patterns look doable, with patience. Lots of patience. More patience than I probably possess.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susan Eubank

    Loved the history. Would have loved more patterns. Indeed, I was able to knit a sock using this book. That's a major accomplishment for me. Loved the history. Would have loved more patterns. Indeed, I was able to knit a sock using this book. That's a major accomplishment for me.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Love knitting socks! This book offers beautiful patterns and also includes a brief history as well as techniques.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Davis

    Got me started doing Scandinavian sock knitting. Clear instructions.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tonileg

    There are patterns in this book, but the knitter should be warned that this has a lot of history and stories about Folk knitting which fills more then half of the book. I did like the writing because it is for all audiences and not just advanced knitters. If you're looking for a sock knitting book, then I would recommend buying Socktopus or Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn or Around the World in Knitted Socks: 26 Inspired Designs which are filled with different patterns as well as different There are patterns in this book, but the knitter should be warned that this has a lot of history and stories about Folk knitting which fills more then half of the book. I did like the writing because it is for all audiences and not just advanced knitters. If you're looking for a sock knitting book, then I would recommend buying Socktopus or Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn or Around the World in Knitted Socks: 26 Inspired Designs which are filled with different patterns as well as different techniques for sock knitting for example, two circular needles method, toe to top as well as the classic cuff to toe style and the different choices of heel forming. This is a cute historical knitting book, but not what I was looking for which is a pattern book. 3 stars

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Dorsey

    I have read and studied this book over a long period, as befits a reference work, and will continue to consult it as I explore hand-knitting sock methods in my own work. Ms Bush gives an interesting history of the development of footwear from protective wrappings to fine figured silken stockings, and various stages along the way. She shows archeological examples, and then is able to translate museum artifacts she has studied into the stitches necessary for a modern knitter to replicate those pat I have read and studied this book over a long period, as befits a reference work, and will continue to consult it as I explore hand-knitting sock methods in my own work. Ms Bush gives an interesting history of the development of footwear from protective wrappings to fine figured silken stockings, and various stages along the way. She shows archeological examples, and then is able to translate museum artifacts she has studied into the stitches necessary for a modern knitter to replicate those patterns. She gives the technical basics of sock construction, with detailed instructions for the novice, and then discusses various historical and regional variations and how they are created. There is enough information to enable this inexpert knitter to have developed a working pattern for kilt hose, which I could not find to fit me, and knit a creditable pair. Beyond the basics, Ms Bush goes on to give several specific patterns for tradition socks from Norway, Scotland, Canada, Greece and elsewhere, using each of the heel, toe, and pattern variations she has discussed earlier. This book is both a useful reference and a fun tour of traditional folk knitting.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Camilla

    I'm sure that a lot of people would love this book - it's a very detailed history of sock-making with some really intricate and lovely patterns. But sock-making for me is something to keep my hands busy. I don't need something this complex and detailed, and I don't want to have to concentrate that much on them. I'm sure that a lot of people would love this book - it's a very detailed history of sock-making with some really intricate and lovely patterns. But sock-making for me is something to keep my hands busy. I don't need something this complex and detailed, and I don't want to have to concentrate that much on them.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn

    I bought this book BECAUSE I was interested in the history of sock knitting. That seems to be the one complaint others have about this book, but the title should have been a clue to them and IF they knew anything about the author they would know she is interested in knitting history. I LOVE THIS BOOK! I can't wait to try out some of the patterns. I bought this book BECAUSE I was interested in the history of sock knitting. That seems to be the one complaint others have about this book, but the title should have been a clue to them and IF they knew anything about the author they would know she is interested in knitting history. I LOVE THIS BOOK! I can't wait to try out some of the patterns.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Janell

    There are a few interesting facts and some nice patterns in the book. Somewhere inside I realized my friendships, Knit Nites and Knit a Longs with knitters are just part of a reoccurring history of knitters. I love where the minister complained knitting corrupts morals and puts knitters in bad company! Still true today.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah

    I love knitting socks. There's something very peaceful about it. These are intense, though with color work and patterns. I want to try them to jazz up the repetition of regular sock knitting, but at the same time, I'm afraid to intrude on the zen of my sock pattern. I love knitting socks. There's something very peaceful about it. These are intense, though with color work and patterns. I want to try them to jazz up the repetition of regular sock knitting, but at the same time, I'm afraid to intrude on the zen of my sock pattern.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Nancy Bush is a knitting goddess, and I love all of her sock books. This one in particular recreates and updates old patterns that Nancy has seen and observed in museums and old photographs. I've knit several pairs of socks from this book and it is a great resource. Nancy Bush is a knitting goddess, and I love all of her sock books. This one in particular recreates and updates old patterns that Nancy has seen and observed in museums and old photographs. I've knit several pairs of socks from this book and it is a great resource.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ann Johnson Davis

    Excellent, Excellent, Excellent. More than what you thought you wanted to know about socks. Different heels, toes, fit information. A great reference. Note: written before the craze for toe-up magic loop sock knitting.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Thalia

    Excellent book, concise instructions on toe and heel constructions, with some history. I'm not interested in triple-zero needles and fingering-weight yarns (most of the patterns enclosed are for typical or smaller-than-typical gauges), but still a great reference book. Excellent book, concise instructions on toe and heel constructions, with some history. I'm not interested in triple-zero needles and fingering-weight yarns (most of the patterns enclosed are for typical or smaller-than-typical gauges), but still a great reference book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lil' Grogan

    Nice book for reference of different heels and toes. Liked the passing history and her tips. Though I won't knit any of the socks, I liked the tie into traditions. Would buy this for reference and in honour of the work she's done. Nice book for reference of different heels and toes. Liked the passing history and her tips. Though I won't knit any of the socks, I liked the tie into traditions. Would buy this for reference and in honour of the work she's done.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Contains five chapters about the history of sock knitting in Europe (mostly), followed by one chapter of how-to and then 18 patterns for socks based on historical examples for men and women. A very informative book with great-looking photos.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kaarin

    I have to make those Norwegian stockings.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mumsie

    Interesting history of socks. However, the sock patterns (particularly the Classic Sock) are in my opinion what makes the book a keeper.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Janelle

    I love the research aspect of this book. It's a combo history/knitting book. But then, you knew that, because it's a book by Nancy Bush. Love ya, Nancy! I love the research aspect of this book. It's a combo history/knitting book. But then, you knew that, because it's a book by Nancy Bush. Love ya, Nancy!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Julane

    Great history of socks and contains a simple, basic sock pattern.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amberjean

    A classic. It has a little encyclopedia of heel and toe constructions; what more could a person want? I return to it again and again.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Agnes

    Love the book, but it would be nice if she had bigger sizes.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    This is the book that got me started in knitting and is still a favorite.

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