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Escape from the Routine
My first stop was Getting Started Knitting Socks by Ann Budd. I highly recommend this book for the novice sock knitter, as the instructions and pictures are clear and easy to understand. Like any new skill, it takes practice to feel comfortable working with double-pointed needles, but your perseverance will be rewarded when you (hopefully) have that breakthrough "Eureka" moment.
My Preferred Technique
Another excellent choice, with enticing patterns, clearly written instructions, and beautiful photographs is Socks From the Toe Up: Essential Techniques and Patterns from Wendy Knits by Wendy D. Johnson. Starting from the toe and using two circular needles is now my favorite sock-knitting technique, and I learned how to do it from Johnson's book. It is also a good alternative if fiddling with a set of double-pointed needles is leading to frustration instead of warm feet. The author also blogs about her knitting life at Wendy Knits.
If you're ready for a return to hats, be sure to find inspiration by reading Nicole Pasini's Knitting and Patterns.
Photo credit: LollyKnit
When Erin M. is not at the library, she is either traveling (actual or armchair), playing with wool, or keeping an eye on pop culture. With the occasional bit of something completely different.