WENDY D. JOHNSON is the renowned knitter behind WendyKnits.net and the author of Wendy Knits and Socks from the Toe Up. In addition, her work has been featured in many major knitting magazines. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia.
I have always been hesitant when it comes to knitting lace socks, even though I have made lace sweater, jumpers etc. Maybe iit was the size and charts that I found a bit scary. Wendy D, Johnson has done such a beautiful job writing this book. The instructions are excellent. The pictures of the socks are beautifully done with a good look at the details of the socks. This is the second book of hers that I have purchased and they are both a joy to follow and read. She has the book set up nicely in that she lets you know if any sock one wants to knit is easy and more difficult and for a more experienced knitter. There is a nice grouping of socks for easy, intermediate and more difficult. No one is left out. The only thing that I found difficult, at least for me is that the charts are so small.My son took my book into a shop to have the chart blown up but they refused saying it was against the copyright laws and that they weren't allowed to do this. I did contact Wendy through Ravelry and she answered me right away. I told her of my predicaments and she assured me that it was ok to have the charts enlarged as long as it was for my use only but they still refused to do it. Maybe, in the future there could be somewhere in the book a release sayiing that one copy could be enlarged for the customer. I ended up getting some graph paper and doing it by hand. Other than that one problem I would reccomend the book hiighly. She is such a talented lady.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
One of the Best Sock Books Ever!March 23 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
This book just arrived and I was so inspired just by flipping through it that I'm already planning which pattern I want to knit first. The author did an amazing job of including so many attractive patterns. It also lives up to the "every body" part of it's title with a pattern for men and one for a young girl (see cover for these adorable socks). I will caution that this is probably for someone who has some knitting experience. The patterns are wonderfully elaborate, intricate, and absolutely gorgeous. Part I includes info about toe-up socks including fit and tools. It even includes 2 nicely organized pages on how to design your own - which I fully intend to use. Part II are the patterns in 3 sections - Lace, Cable, and Colorwork. This is followed by an appendix with techniques with ample illustrations. Finally, there is a single page "Index" that includes a thumbname picture and page reference of each pair of socks in the book - what a thoughtful and useful addition. I could go on and on about how great this book is but I need to stop writing so I can start knitting!! Thanks to Wendy for my new favorite sock book.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Wendy's Toe-Up Socks for EverybodyMay 15 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
After receiving "Socks from the Toe Up", I had to order her new book. I follow her blog for us and she often adds tips on sock and shawl knitting. It is great to have a book that dedicated to Toe-Up socks again. The one thing you can count on in Wendy's books is a range of socks for the new knitter to experienced knitters.
The author gives a short section on how to start the socks - at the toe! She offers four different cast-ons for the toes and explains the three different techniques: double pointed needles, two circular needles and one long circular needle. The gets you off to a good start.
Wendy provides some beautiful sock patterns, 21 in all. There are seven each in lace, cable, and colorwork. All of the colorwork are called Fair Isle by technique in that there are only two different colors worked in any one row. In each of the categories given there is one in the easy, some in intermediate and some in higher areas of knitting ability.
I have given a brief breakdown in what is in the book. The cable area covers mostly stitches that only reliant on two stitches to be worked. If you are competent in doing cables without the cable needle, this would be a good time to do it since most of the socks use 2 stitches in making the cable. If you are not familiar with cables or are able to handle cables well, both ways are easy to use in this section. I would suggest that you look up the no cable needle needed method because the cables used are simple.
I would like to see one of Wendy's socks incorporate using three colors in any single row. Most of the cable patterns also include lace in them. But she has given you great value in this book. The organization is excellent, the charts are included, and the pictures given tell you what to expect as an outcome. I think all skills in knitting will find this a fun book to have and use.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Wendy just gets Better and Better!!April 27 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
This book is fabulous! Okay, that might sound like a bit of hyperbole, but if you are a fan of toe-up socks, then you must have this book. Pure and simple. Socks for you, your husband, boyfriend, best friend, your child or someone else's...something for everyone. Anklets, regular socks, kneehighs...and if you fancy something really over the top, try the thigh-high stockings!
The subtitle on the cover says it all: "Adventurous Lace, Cables, and Colorwork" - yup, got that right! The lace patterns are lovely, there are Austrian twisted stitch patterns, and some really beautiful stranded knitting...including argyles, which I've always wanted! One of the things I particularly like is that the photography showcases the socks which are knit in solid or semi-solid colourways, so that the stitch detail is wonderfully visible, unlike some sock pattern books which feature socks in patterned yarns where the design pattern is lost completely.
Are you are a fan of short-row heels, or do you prefer the look and fit of the heel flap style? These heels are in here. There is also a short-row heel with a mini gusset...something I've been curious to try. And while there is a great deal of valuable information and lots of helpful advice, as with her other book, Socks from the Toe Up: Essential Techniques and Patterns from Wendy Knits, this book isn't a rehash of that book. Rather, this is the next step in your toe-up sock knitting process!
The layout of the book is very nice. In Part One, she provides basic information, including tips for designing your own socks. Part Two covers the patterns, which are nicely divided into types of patterns: Lace, Cable and Colorwork. The Appendix covers knitting and finishing Techniques. And finally, the Index includes small photos of each of the completed socks and the pages where they can be found...a very handy and thoughtful addition. Clearly, this woman has put herself in the position of the reader/knitter and knows what we would like in a book.
I've bought, and returned, toe-up books from other designers, but Wendy's are definitely keepers! And if you would like to know Wendy a bit better, then read Wendy Knits: My Never-Ending Adventures in Yarn. Not only is it a hoot, it's also got patterns for socks, sweaters and more!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Good followup to the first bookJune 4 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
I loved the first Toe Up Sock book by Wendy Johnson, and I like this too, but I haven't used it so much for two reasons. One is my own fault, that I'm not advanced enough to try some of the more complicated patterns, and the second is that she knits everything on smaller needles than I'd like. She uses size 0 for fingering weight, and size 2 for sport weight, and I'd really rather use size 2 for fingering and size 3-4 for sport. I can sometimes adjust the patterns, but sometimes not. One reason I bought it is that I read that she explained how to create your own sock patterns, and I had hoped for a tutorial on how to design a heel pattern for however many stitches you wanted across the bottom of your foot. That's not in there - she talks about adjusting patterns to suit you by making the top and bottom different numbers of stitches, and how to change some other things, which are all useful and good to know, but I had really hoped to get some instruction on how to design a heel pattern, so now I have to try to figure out how to do that on my own. But if you liked the first book and you want harder patterns, it's great, and the colorwork addition is really nice.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great patternsJune 19 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
Wendy's books just keep getting better. I've been a fan of Wendy's for years, ever since I discovered her blog around 2004. I bought both of her prior books right away and liked both of them, though I thought the second one somewhat stronger a book than her first one.
Well, this is her third book, and I think it's the best yet.
This is a book filled with toe-up sock patterns for men, women, and children, and they're just lovely. I usually knit just plain-jane stockinette socks (yes, I know, it's boring of me), but there are at least five designs in there that I'd like to make. That's a huge number of sock patterns for me to seriously desire.
The patterns are divided into three sections-lace, cables, and colorwork. Each section starts with a couple of pages of tips and guidelines for the relevant technique, as well as a list of the patterns by difficulty level.
Are you thinking, "Wendy just did a sock book. Isn't it just another book of sock patterns?"
Not exactly. To me, her other sock book (Socks from the Toe Up) was an in-depth exploration of everything you need to knit the socks. It explores the technique in great detail. This book, on the other hand, starts off assuming you know the basics already. There is, of course, a technique section which covers this. You certainly don't need to have read through the other book to understand what's going on. It's just that the techniques are in the back, in the appendix, rather than being the main part of the book.
This book, instead, jumps right into the patterns, and I love them. They're interesting. I like the sneaky argyle socks. I liked every single one of the colorwork socks. The cabled ones were beautiful. The lace was lovely. These are some seriously great socks.
They make me want to knit something other than plain-vanilla, stockinette socks for a change. I like them that much.