Big Foot Knits by Andi Smith, photography by Kristen Caldwell Photography and Cooperative Press, pub. Cooperative Press, 2013.
I'm relieved to finally be able to review this book after a long spate of secret knitting and writing projects. In fact, I downloaded the book this morning and couldn't help but read it straight through. Which is partly due to a sudden flexibility in my schedule, but mostly a credit to the wonderful Andi Smith, who has written a real page-turner.
No, Big Foot Knits is not a whodunit novel, but it goes beyond the normal book of sock patterns in several ways:
In fact, the book has 56 pages of material about sock fitting (and not just big feet, either---these tips work for anything you might care to bestocking) before launching into the patterns.
In addition to providing space to analyze overall foot shape, toe shape, heel shape and leg shape (for each side, mind you---one side just won't do) Andi gives a worksheet with 31 measurements (plus two averages) to give a complete picture of your feet and legs.
Andi's preferred method of making hosiery leaves both heel and toe until the end---lucky for those of us with unusual shaped toes and heels! We can just plug in our preferred pattern for the respective foot ends, and we'll be able to knit socks with remarkably good fit. If our intended recipient has toes or heels with different shapes on each side, we can choose accordingly different patterns.
The sizing in this book is true to its name. Though each design is given in three sizes, none of the sizes is under a 9" circumference. That's okay. Sock patterns have been weighted toward smaller feet for so long, it's wonderful to see these designs (some of them dainty indeed!) in large sizes.
Now, normally I choose my four or five favorite patterns to highlight in the photos. But I had an unusual problem with this book---I was unable to choose.
All the designs were lovely and ingenious, with appropriate space for customization, and wonderful appellations evoking goddesses (and, in one case, a mortal turned into a bird by the gods).
In the end, I chose socks that I felt photographed well. Kristen Caldwell, whose work on Unique Feet was less than stunning, did a marvelous job on this very similar book. The lighting, the poses, and the colors all come together felicitously in each example.
Of course, the background papers by Terry Cutlip/Sassy Designs go a long way toward setting the mood of the book. And the unshoed photos (presumably by Cooperative Press) are very clear, with every stitch visible and the various toe and heel shapes in evidence.
This is a great book for designers and others interested in sock fit, as well as anyone who knits socks for people with feet that don't fit the norm. Worth the price even if you don't knit any of the patterns!
Disclosure: Cooperative Press sent Kangath this review copy of Big Foot Knits. Kangath was not compensated for the preceding review. All opinions expressed in the review are the blog author's and are not necessarily the opinions of Cooperative Press or Andi Smith.
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