Gardiner Yarn Works, with an extensive collection of patterns sold on-line and in yarn shops -- has focused on 24 dyers, large and small, well-known and not as well-known, readily available and available less widely. She designed a sock pattern for each individual yarn, and presented it, along with a profile of the indie dyer. Fans of well-crafted sock patterns, in particular, those knit in handdyed and handpainted yarns, rejoice! It's a great collection of patterns and you may also find yourself intrigued by some new (or new-to-you) handdyers to augment your stash.
Gardiner begins with a brief section on selecting handdyed yarns, and a description of what she means by "indie dyer." She then divides the 24 patterns of the book into three sections based on the coloring of the yarn: Mild, Flavorful and Spicy.
The Mild section highlights semisolid and nearly solid yarns, and therefore uses more intricate patterning. Hard to pick favorites in this section of 14 good-looking patterns, but I was particularly taken with the following:
|Spyglass Socks (yarn by Alpha B Yarn)|
the Spyglass Socks, with a wool/silk yarn by Alpha B Yarn in a dreamy lilac;
the Calpurnias, with Schaefer Nichole yarn; and
the Natsa Sukka socks, which use 6 different shades of a more rustic shetland-type yarn (dyed by Elemental Affects).
The Flavorful section includes what I would term "muted multicolors," yarns with a bit more going on with them than a semi-solid, but not the really crazy color combinations of the most zany handdyes. Here's where you'll find Nami, the lovely pattern in a feather-and-fan pattern with simple wavy cuff:
These are knit in Black Bunny Fibers Superwash Merino Classic in Kathy's Cape
(the blue color reminded Chrissy of the ocean too; "Nami" is the Japanese word for "wave").
Other lovely patterns in this section include
Flamethrower (yarn by the Unique Sheep);
Owenburger (yarn by Lavender Sheep);
Deux Tourbillions (yarn by Mountain Colors; Crazyfoot base);
Rippleside (yarn is Pagewood Farms Alyeska); and
and Gelato, featuring Iris Schreier's Artyarns yummy Cashmere Sock yarn base.
Last up is the Spicy category, with 7 patterns designed for the wildest of your handpaints. Check out Archery, in Abstract Fiber's Supersock:
Seesaw (yarn by Cephalopod):
Muir Woods (yarn by Blue Ridge Yarns):
and Soda Fountain (Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock):
There are lots of photographs, including close-up shots of details; charts where necessary; detailed patterns; and a glossary of techniques (many with clear photographs walking the knitter through them). After the pattern section is a profile of each dyer (done by Donna Armey), with a closer look at their dyeing process, inspiration and so on.
I'm always happy to see patterns designed especially with handpaints in mind, and this is a well-presented, versatile collection of terrific sock patterns to help you use up those beauties in your stash. You can purchase the book at Amazon.com, download it via Ravelry or order a signed copy directly from Chrissy here.