Friday, August 24, 2007

First Impressions of "New Pathways"

I hear that the first printing of Cat Bordhi's "New Pathways for Sock Knitters" is sold out. I got mine because KnittingBrow yanked a copy out of a customer's hand and put it on reserve for me.

My first impression was that this was the best sock book ever written. I thought that this book was going to replace Simple Socks, Plain and Fancy as the Sock Bible, or expand the scriptures (Simple Socks = Old Testament; New Pathways = New Testament).

"New Pathways" has great photographs and illustrations, an engaging style, clear instructions, and beautiful page layout. The eureka moment of the book is Bordhi's discovery that increases for a sock can go anywhere in the arch -- just distribute 2 increases every 3 rounds. Bordhi runs with this idea, finding an incredible variety of design inspirations. Names are important, and she has attached wonderful labels to her different styles of sock architecture: Ridgeline, Riverbed, Upstream, etc.

I was most impressed with her formula for figuring out the length of the toe section of a sock: stitch circumference ÷ rounds-per-inch, subtracted from the total length of the foot. Awesome, right? And it worked!

Sort of.

For this sock, I tried her"Riverbed" architecture, made in the "Rainbow Trout" colorway. (Get it? "Trout?" "Riverbed?" I slay me). Bordhi says, "Riverbed architecture seems to fit many people exceptionally well, perhaps because it hugs the contours of the foot so naturally...." I like the theory, but as you can see, when I tried the Riverbed Master Pattern, I ended up with a pretty fat sock. The length is perfect, exactly what I was shooting for, but the sock is easily an inch too big around across the instep.

I'm not giving up. It could be that I've loused it up with inconsistent gauge -- I noticed that my gauge did change once I began increasing, and I ripped back a dozen rows to correct that with smaller needles. Bordhi has a great track record for successful innovation in knitting techniques, and there's so much great stuff in here. I hope I'm able to resolve my issues and bring the innovations of this book into my sock knitting toolkit.


Mel said...

The owner of my LYS had just gotten her copy Tuesday night, so I had a quick look through it. Looks like some interesting stuff, indeed.

Matt....... said...

Man that is a neat looking footbed isn't it......

Cat Herself said...

Your humor slays me, too. Is that because you have a rapier wit?

Anonymous said...

i like the book a lot, too. but inspiration has not yet hit me to try out one of the patterns. i hope you figure it out soon!