On the Bookshelf: Op-Art Socks, Creative Effects in Sock Knitting

I love socks and have many books containing beautiful and unique designs, but I do have to admit I was blown over by Stephanie Van Der Linden’s new book, Op-Art Socks: Creative Effects in Sock Knitting.

A collector of op-art ceramics herself, Stephanie was inspired to translate graphic optical illusions into knitted patterns for socks, replicating their eye-popping effects.

Retail: $24.95 softcover / $19.95 eBook – courtesy of F&W Media

First of all, this is not your typical book of sock patterns but a book filled with gorgeous designs that give a hint and a slight touch of graphic optical illusions by using color work, textured knitting, shadow knitting and a shifting of ribbing to create these fantastic designs!

Far Left: Herrmann
Far Right: Alhambra

Courtesy of Joe Hancock

Herrmann:  One of them, named the Helmholtz illusion, demonstrates that a square filled with horizontal lines will appear taller than a similar square filled with vertical lines (which is contrary to modern fashion advice). When squares contain both horizontal and vertical lines, the eye jumps from drawn line to imaginary line and the resulting figure seems to move. For maximum effect, there needs to be sharp contrast between the two colors, which is why op-art artists typically pair black and white. These socks, named for Herrmann von Helmholtz, take a tamer approach, but feel free to choose whatever color combination suits your wardrobe. The sense of movement will remain.

Courtesy of Joe Hancock

Alhambra:  The stranded pattern in these socks will appear more prominent if you choose two colors with sharp contrast.

For even more visual appeal, reverse the main and contrast colors for the second sock, as shown in the red-and-orange version shown above.

Sock knitters will love the nineteen patterns included inside this book, as well as the detailed notes, stitch guides, tips and  the fact that each pattern offers black and white swatches for the reader to visually see and perceive the illusions of the patterns.  Each chapter also contains a page on the inspiration behind the design, charts, very detailed diagrams, easy to follow step-by-step written instructions and a five page glossary of basic techniques, grafting, seaming and finishing.   These patterns also include multiple sizing, and are both for men and women, making this a very good book of designs to have for your knitting library.

So what’s to love and enjoy about this book?  I really don’t even know where to start but I have to say if you personally love color work, you will love these designs as they are different, unique and simply fabulous.  In other words, you would be wearing art and it doesn’t get any better than that!

About the Author: Stephanie van der Linden is a knitwear designer based in Friedberg, Germany. Her designs have appeared in Twist Collective and Anna Crafts. She is the author of Around the World in Knitted Socks as well as several knitting books in German.  You can find Stephanie online at Ravelry, Twitter and her website.

Disclaimer:  This copy was provided by Interweave Press/F&W Media for review  and the above opinions are my own.

4 thoughts on “On the Bookshelf: Op-Art Socks, Creative Effects in Sock Knitting

  1. Jodyjody

    these are awesome! you know i don’t do colorwork but love the other techniques. plus stephanie is the sock queen. thanks for sharing – this one didn’t come across my radar.


    1. Tina Post author

      They are awesome and I don’t do colorwork either but the designs are awesome! Yes, Stephanie is the sock queen … I have another one of her books. My pleasure and I hope you enjoyed my review :)


Comments are closed.