Sock Innovation by Cookie A is a collection of knitted sock patterns and techniques. This is not meant for first-time sock knitters, as the techniques discussed are not so much “here’s how to do it” as “here is a new/cleaner/more advanced way to do it.” The techniques section is a great overview of reading and writing charts, how to follow complex cable patterns, and advice on how to create your own pattern. The patterns themselves –- all named after people in the artist’s life — were not as “innovative” as I had hoped. The cables and patterns are complex and obviously take a lot of work, but a lot didn’t really stick out. “Wanida” is knit to look like narrow strips are woven through a flat fabric. “Devon” is a diamond cable design that I rather like. “Bex” is an eccentric mix of a dozen different cable patterns that works beautifully together. “Cauchy” creates a subtle zig-zag pattern using knits and purls. “Rick” creates a spiral that travels all the way up the sock. “Kai-Mei” is a ribbed sock with an eyelet pattern swooping across it.
Knitting More Circles Around Socks is Antje Gillingham’s follow-up to Knitting Circles Around Socks. While not strictly a beginner’s guide to knitting socks, it has some really useful diagrams and tips. The book is divided into two sections: cuff down socks, and toe up socks. Each section starts with a pattern for a basic sock; knit two at a time on circular needles (to ensure evenness). The patterns are not particularly innovative: a slip-stitch pattern, simple cables, diagonal ribbing to name a few, but all are written specifically for knitting two at a time. There is also a handy guide to converting traditional double-pointed needle sock patterns to circular needles.