"Socks are a miracle of engineering. When you knit a sock, you're doing it the same way it has always been done. You're connected with knitters over the last 700 years, all making socks and watching them wear out."
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Knitting Rules.
There's been some cosy fireside sock knitting going on here lately. Rather infuriatingly I lost my basic sock recipe pattern from Stephanie Pearl McPhee (the Yarn Harlot) that I'd found on Ravelry and printed off for my first pair last year. Now it seems to have mysteriously disappeared from the web. So I tried another pattern but couldn't get on with it and decided instead to buy Stephanie's book, Knitting Rules.
Craft book purchases are a generally rare event for me. I'm the queen of frugal (if it hadn't escaped your notice) so I usually I use freebie patterns I find online or borrow books from the library. I'm so glad I actually bought this one. It makes so much sense to my mathematically challenged brain, it's like having a comforting friend holding your hand and encourging you to just go with the flow and not to be intimated.
Instead of knitting patterns, she provides basic "recipes" for socks, hats, scarves and sweaters which can be tweaked and modified to your preference. This kind of guidance makes me feel smart, like I'm totally getting it, rather than simply mindlessly following directions. And her words on sock knitting are brilliantly insightful with the added bonus of being hilariously funny.