A Pair of Party Socks Inspired by Victorian Sock Patterns

Casually page through a copy of Weldon’s Practical Needlework, and you’ll come across a wealth of Victorian sock patterns. PieceWork contributor Nancy Bush was so inspired by the many variations in nineteenth-century sock knitting patterns that she designed a pair of Party Socks, which appeared in Knitting Traditions 2010, a special issue from PieceWork. Here’s Nancy to tell us more:

These party socks were inspired by a number of historic socks I have been fortunate to see in various museums over the last ten years. Many European-style stockings for women knitted in the nineteenth century were decorated down the front of the leg only, where all the work would show to the best advantage beneath a long skirt. I chose mock cables and a Lace Diamond pattern adapted from Estonian knitted lace to decorate the front of these socks. I used a round or French heel and complemented it with the French toe.

Nineteenth-century women’s sock patterns inspired these luxurious socks with French heel and toe shaping. Photo by Joe Coca.

Knit One Crochet Too Ambrosia, 70% baby alpaca/20% silk/ 10% cashmere yarn, fingering weight, 137 yards (125.3 m)/50 g (1.8 oz) ball, 3 balls of #521 Moss
Needles, set of 5 double pointed, size 1 (2.5 mm) or size needed to obtain gauge

Finished size: Woman’s medium, about 7½ inches (19 cm) around foot and 9½ inches (24 cm) long from heel to toe
Gauge: 18 sts and 24 rnds = 2 inches (5.1 cm) in circular St st

—Nancy Bush

Nancy Bush, a member of PieceWork’s editorial advisory panel, teaches knitting workshops nationwide and owns the Wooly West, a mail-order source for knitters. She is the author of numerous books, including PieceWork’s Vintage Socks to Knit eBook.

Download a copy of Knitting Traditions 2010, a special issue from PieceWork, to knit Nancy’s Party Socks, which were inspired by Victorian sock patterns.

Find more vintage-inspired sock patterns from PieceWork!

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