Book review: Coop Knits Socks Yeah! Volume One

There is no way that I can claim to write an unbiased review of this book! I edited the patterns, am very good friends with Rachel, and the book is stocked in our online shop. Unbiased just isn't possible. That said, I still think I would be jumping around shouting about this book, even if I hadn't worked on it, and didn't know Rachel. You'll just have to trust me on that...

This lovely book was released back in October 2016 when we were deep in editing work and kids adjusting to being back at school. Much to my regret I didn't get around to shouting about it at the time, so I'm making up for it now. Clicking on any of the photos in this post will open larger versions in a lightbox so that you can see all the details of these pretty designs.

CoopKnits Socks Yeah! Volume One contains twelve sock patterns designed using Rachel's very own sock yarn (Socks Yeah!) as well as three photo tutorials. All of the socks are mid-calf length and worked from the top down. Two of the designs feature an afterthought heel (one of the tutorials explains how these work), and the others use a standard heel flap and turn construction.

Dave is a plain sock with two possible constructions - heel flap and turn, or afterthought heel.

You will see at a glance if you click on the "Dave socks" tag at the bottom of this post, that I am a great fan of the simple sock. Dave is a basic sock recipe that you can use as a springboard for your own sock experiments, or just to churn out another pair of lovely socks to restock your sock drawer. I never tire of having a pair on my needles, and it's fantastic to have the option of both heel constructions at my fingertips.

Which brings me on to the other designs in this inspiring book! Coraline (left) and Twylla (right) are the two colourwork patterns. I've had my eye on Coraline for some time, and it keeps popping up in my Instagram feed as I seem to have a few friends who have made pairs recently. I absolutely love the colourway that Rachel has put together in Coraline - showcasing some of the new shades in her yarn range so beautifully. These are definitely on my "to knit" list!

Next up are four fabulous textured designs. I fell so deeply in love with Alonzo (left) while I was editing the patterns that I couldn't help but cast them on before the book even left the presses. My project has stalled somewhat - through no fault of its own - it's simply been the case that some Christmas gift knitting, followed by secret knitting for The Book has been more pressing, and Alonzo has had to wait. He's getting impatient though, so I don't suppose it will be long before I feel the strong call to get working on them again. I'm using the Sphene colourway of Rachel's Socks Yeah! - a pretty slightly murkyish yellow shade, with subtle flecks of other colours from the range. This yarn is so clever in the way that the different coloured fibres have been blended, allowing them to sit beautifully next to each other in so many different combinations. Chapeau m'dear! It's a really marvellous yarn range.

Amandine (centre left), Harriet (centre right) and Linnea (right) all showcase textured stitch patterns in interesting combinations. Amandine and Harriet are mirrored, so the second sock is worked slightly differently from the first, while Alonzo and Linnea are identical, with both socks worked in the same way.

It wouldn't be a collection of socks by Rachel if there weren't some brilliant contrast yarn combinations! One of the many great things about her yarn range is the fact that it comes in 50g skeins, allowing you greater choice of colour combinations without having to buy vast quantities of yarn, as is often the case with 100g balls of sock yarn. I love the four patterns shown above (from left to right): Hilda, Maud, Shirley and Willa. The way that the different textures work together from the cuff of Shirley down through the leg and foot. Rachel's designs always show a clear consideration of how the parts will flow from one to the next, and her use of textured stitch patterns is always inspiring.

I have saved one of the best to last! Hortensia (above) combines many of my favourite features of Rachel's designs... The two socks are fraternal rather than identical or mirrored. It's clear that they are a pair, but the stitch patterns on the two socks are totally different. This is the PERFECT way to avoid second sock syndrome. I would fly through a pair of these with no chance to get bored at all! The two shades used (Ammolite and Chryso) complement each other wonderfully, and the stripes before the toe just seem to be meant to be. The two socks feature different cuff patterns - each one working perfectly with the lace patterning on the rest of the sock. I really love these socks! I just need to find some time to cast on (or perhaps more accurately to knit them - casting on wouldn't be a problem!)...

The whole of the sock pattern collection speaks of humour and fun. It's infused with a joy of sock making that I totally associate with Rachel. Each pattern is introduced with a sock-amended film quote, guaranteed to make you giggle, and the clean and simple layout makes the patterns a breeze to follow. All of the lace, texture and cable designs come in both written and charted formats, only the colourwork patterns are charted only, so whatever your preference, your preferred pattern style is catered for.

How do you like your socks? Are you a Dave kind of knitter, or do you prefer some patterning to keep your interest going? Or are you yet to try knitting socks?

If you're inspired to give these designs a go, then why not pick up a copy of the book from our online shop, where it costs £18 plus shipping. Simply click the button below to add it to your cart.

All images in this post are © Rachel Coopey and used with permission.