I recently read The Knitter’s Book of Socks by Clara Parkes; I’m lucky that my public library has a good selection. This one is worth getting your hands on if possible. Aside from the patterns, it’s chock full of good information about what kinds of yarn make well-wearing socks, what gauge works well for which weights of yarn, and how to pick a sock pattern to suit your sock yarn.
There are also lovely sock patterns by well-known sock designers, from simple for beginners, to fancy for the adventurous.
I haven’t yet bought a book that’s only about socks, but I’m seriously considering this one.
Another new sock book I got from the library is Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting Master Class.
Where The Knitter’s Book of Socks is in large part about yarn choices and how to knit socks, Sock Knitting Master Class is about considerations of sock design. It provides different cast ons and bind offs, and has a whole section about different heels and toes for top down socks. Oddly, while it describes several different cast ons for toe up socks, it doesn’t have a section on some of the heel shapes I’ve seen used particularly for toe up socks.
The sock patterns here are lovely, too, by an overlapping but not identical set of designers.
Two of the designs (by Meg Swansen and Anna Zilboorg) provided me with some insights about possible ways of solving some issues for a sock I started twice a few years back. (attempt 1 and attempt 2.) We’ll see!
The book comes with a DVD, but I haven’t looked at it, so can’t remark upon it one way or the other; I imagine it’s helpful!
Ann Budd wrote a sock pattern for Clara Parkes’ book; Clara Parkes wrote little descriptions of what about the various yarns used for the different socks helps suit them to the designs and how to choose yarns as substitutes. I thought that was friendly of them!
This is a book I very much enjoyed and would highly recommend.