5 Sock Patterns for Lazy Women

In the past month, we’ve been looking at sock-knitting tips and techniques from vintage publications and world traditions; see last week’s column on Albanian socks. Maybe your appetite for sock secrets and Victorian design has been whet? And you want to knit some old English socks of your very own?

Well, Piecework magazine is a great resource for reproduction knitting patterns. The magazine regularly features articles on needlework history and traditional techniques, complemented by updated patterns that modern crafters can follow. More than 50% of Piecework’s content focuses on knitting specifically, so if you’re a knitter who geeks out over history, this is the magazine for you!

This week, I’ve rounded up some vintage-inspired patterns from Piecework. These patterns will not require you to puzzle over tiny Victorian type and muddle through 160-year-old instructions with their whacky comments about gentlemen and industrious women and references to yarn brands that none of us know anymore. Download a digital issue of Piecework and cast on your own bit of history with one of these sock patterns, and learn about the rich history of needlework, as well.

—Lisa

P.S. Please excuse the tongue-in-cheek title to this blog post—as I pore through the pages of Weldon’s Practical Knitter, the little asides about Victorian gender roles and busy women and their domestic duties crack me up, while also giving me much to reflect upon as a modern Western woman. The sock patterns I’ve listed here are not for lazy women by any means, but they will probably require less figuring out for you than following the original Weldon’s instructions. I.e., we did the hard part for you, you hardworking ladies of the modern era.


Evening Stockings for a Young Lady to Knit by Nancy Bush, featured in Piecework November/December 2009

Evening Stockings for a Young Lady to Knit by Nancy Bush, featured in Piecework November/December 2009

Queen Victoria’s Stockings to Knit by Debbie O’Neill, featured in Piecework May/June 2014

Queen Victoria’s Stockings to Knit by Debbie O’Neill, featured in Piecework May/June 2014

Ladies Useful Stockings to Knit by Nancy Bush, featured in Piecework March/April 2010

Ladies Useful Stockings to Knit by Nancy Bush, featured in Piecework March/April 2010

Civil War Socks to Knit by Karin Timour, featured in March/April 2009

Civil War Socks to Knit by Karin Timour, featured in March/April 2009

Manx Loaghtan Boot Socks by Ann Budd, featured in Piecework November/December 2011

Manx Loaghtan Boot Socks by Ann Budd, featured in Piecework November/December 2011


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