A Pair of Men’s Merino Socks from Weldon’s

This pattern for spiral-ribbed socks, from Weldon’s Practical Needlework, Volume 30, dates from 1914. The socks were designed to fit the feet of an average-size man. The foot, however, could be lengthened for a larger size; in this case, you will need three skeins of yarn. To make women’s socks, reduce the needle size by one and shorten the leg a repeat or two.


The pattern for these Victorian-era socks has been translated into contemporary pattern style by Nancy Bush and make a perfect Valentine’s Day gift for the man in your life. Photo by Joe Coca.

Each volume of Weldon’s Practical Needlework, published in England during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, featured instructions and patterns for a multitude of techniques, including knitting, crochet, various forms of embroidery, and tatting. It was wildly popular with Victorian needleworkers.

Brown Sheep Nature Spun (affiliate link), 100% wool yarn, sportweight, 184 yards (168.2 m)/50 g (1.8 oz) skein, 3 skeins of #104 Grecian Olive
Needles, set of 4 double pointed, size 2 (2.75 mm) or size needed to obtain gauge
Tapestry needle

Finished size: Leg, 11 inches (27.9 cm) from the cast-on edge to the top of the heel flap; foot, 10 inches (25.4 cm) from the back of the heel to the tip of the toe

Gauge: 16 sts and 19 rnds = 2 inches (5.1 cm) over St st

Nancy Bush is a member of PieceWork magazine’s editorial advisory panel, teaches knitting workshops nationwide, and owns the Wooly West, an online resource for knitters.

Download a copy of Knitting Traditions 2010, a special issue from PieceWork, to knit Nancy’s Men’s Merino Socks, which are a modern interpretation of a Weldon’s Victorian-era sock pattern.

Find more vintage-inspired sock patterns from Weldon’s!

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