Monday, November 7, 2011

I've done software testing, so why not test patterns and readability with craft books...

Cool variation on stripey socks
Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders: 101 Patterns That Go Way Beyond Socks edited by Judith Durant

The About: Third in the series of One-Skein Wonders, this book makes use of stashes of sock yarn that knitters love to hoard. Patterns are divided into mittens and gloves, shrugs and scarves, socks, baby clothes and random accessories. Each pattern is designed to use just one skein of sock yarn specified.

Thoughts: Being one of them hoarders of sock yarn and a very... frugal person, nothing delights me more than the idea of completing a project with one skein only. The problem with many socks I have made is that most, if not all of them, require about 1.2 skeins of yarn, and then I'm left with just not enough for another pair of socks--grr!

This book has cute but easy patterns from straight-forward knitting to lacy creations. In contrast to some other knitting books, the instructions here are easy and leave no room for ambiguity.

I ended up making two pairs of socks using one of the sock patterns that was easy to memorize and looked great, and as I followed each step by the word, I managed to make a pair of socks without any problems or needing to stop to scratch my head.

The only downside to my eagerness in knitting these was that I did not check what size this one skein was supposed to be, and so my first pair ended up using again about 1.2 skeins of yarn--which is why the first pair has non-matching toes...

There are patterns in this book where I'm thinking, "OK, so you can make a skein as big as you want--can you still call it just one skein pattern?" Most of the sock yarn skeins I have are less than 300 yards each, whereas most of the patterns in this book require skeins in sizes somewhere between 300-500 yards. I wish the introduction already had stated that most of the yarns here are high-quality, indie-made hand-spun sock yarns and not the kind that you can buy off Jo-Ann shelves.

Despite that, this is an extremely useful book for learning quick projects to be made out of a fairly small amount of sock yarn. Because instructions are written extremely clearly and are accompanied by illustrations you can't go wrong buying this book. Next I'll try out some of the scarves...

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