Book Review: Learn to Crochet Socks for the Family

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Title: Learn to Crochet Socks for the Family
Author: Darla Sims

Book Review by Marie Segares (

Learn to Crochet Socks for the Family by Darla Sims is a pattern booklet that includes valuable information about sock design and construction. The book opens with a friendly introduction from Darla, who explains that the book gives “the crocheter… lots of choices.”  The first six pages of the book are a sock primer. Darla walks the reader through creating a gauge swatch for socks, yarn substitution, and the anatomy of a sock. She explains how to choose stitch patterns to design your own toe-up socks, and gives tips for customizing an existing sock pattern. She includes sizing charts for children’s, women’s, and men’s socks. Budding designers will appreciate the “recipes” she includes. She provides four pages that explain how to design top-down socks (in rounds or in rows; with a flap, add-on, or turned heel; and a tapered, rounded, or gathered toe) or toe-up socks (with an add-on or turned heel). 

After this introductory section, Darla dives into 15 intermediate level patterns. A full-page photograph of each sock, along with the first page of instructions, are included. (The rest of the patterns are continued towards the end of the booklet.) Patterns are written with U.S. abbreviations and terminology.
The booklet ends with a general instructions appendix which includes information on yarn weight, crochet hooks, and pattern abbreviations and pattern reading tips, along with written and illustrated instructions for special techniques and stitches used in the booklet. 

Overall, the patterns in this book are visually appealing and explore a range of construction techniques.  Most are shown clearly in primarily solid yarns, but two socks (including the one on the front cover) use variegated yarns that make construction and stitch patterns less obvious. The booklet doesn't include international stitch symbols and includes mostly women’s sock patterns.

I would recommend this book to crocheters interested in learning to crochet socks, or sock crocheters who want to branch out into designing or customizing existing sock patterns. The design primer and recipe patterns are very clear, and allow this booklet to stand out from the other sock pattern booklets on the market today.

Project types: 9 Toe Up/6 Top Down; 9 Turned/4 Add-On/2 Flap Heels; 3 Tapered/2 Rounded/1 Gathered Toe
Sizing: 1 Men’s, 3 Children’s, and 10 Women’s Sock patterns
Retail price: $14.95

Full disclosure: A free review copy of Learn to Crochet Socks for the Family was provided by Leisure Arts. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review.  My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions.

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