The Daily Skein

All the craft that’s fit to make.

Socks, circa 2008 October 3, 2008

 100_3854

I am fascinated by the history of knitting.  Did you know that knitting (as we know it) probably started in Egypt? Somewhere between 1200 and 1500.  Most of the early pieces that have been found there have been cotton, knitted with at least two colors.  And the gauge!  Most of the old knitting has a gauge of 20 or 30 stitches to the inch!  Insane, I say, insane!  No wonder it’s all so beautiful, though.  They could fit some really detailed designs on that many stitches.  As I said in my last post, the color work chart on these socks is taken from one of the earliest pieces of knitting found.  I added the extra colors, though.  Most of the ancient knitting I’ve read about used a single color for each motif but would have multiple motifs.  The "clocks" (a design that runs down the leg and splits at the heel) are also traditional but from later in the chronology.  If you look at Nancy Bush’s books Folk Socks and Folk Knitting in Estonia you’ll see socks much like these, with color work at the top and clocks down the sides.

 

I couldn’t think of a name for these socks that really fit, so I gave them a bit of that historical flair.  By that I mean I was looking through the History of Handknitting, hoping that the place the fragment was found or something else would be a good sock name.  When that failed, I just decided that naming them as if they were found in an archaeological dig somewhere was the easy way to go.  The color work chart only repeats twice and only has 3 colors, so it’s not too bad.  The clocks on these socks are a simple twisted stitch motif that doesn’t require a cable needle (check out the tutorial and more information here).  The colors of Louet Gems Fingering listed here are mostly the same as for the Arthurian Anklets.  (I’m doing some stash busting.)  Despite having published the pattern using Louet Gems, I would recommend using another yarn for these socks.  The Gems is good, but it’s too… the twist is too tight to really show the twisted stitches right.  Look for a yarn with some good loft to it.  Actually, Knit Picks Essential is probably a good pick…

 

The PDF version of the pattern has symbol-coded charts for the colorwork as well as color-coded charts.

Edited 4-9-09: Fixed various errors that a knitter was kind enough to keep track of.  The heel instructions now make mathematical sense and I hope I’ve clarified some of the other instructions.  Errata are in purple.

Edited 9-4-11:  Lots of small changes!  Renumbered the rows in Charts A and B and added stitch numbers to all the charts.  Changed the Egyptian Chart to a combined symbol and color chart which should work as a color chart or printed in gray scale.  Also added the original cables to the instructions- knitters now have a choice of the classic twisted stitch cable shown in the photos or the braided cable that was actually written in the instructions.  Be aware that there are two different sets of instructions for the different cables!

 

100_3831     100_3839

 

Socks, circa 2008

Download the PDF: Socks (circa 2008)

  • Finished Size: Women’s Size 8 1/2-9, foot length 9 1/2″
  • Needles: 2 size 0 (2mm) circulars (or DPNs), 2 size 2 (2.75mm) circulars (or DPNs)
  • Yarn: Louet Gems Fingering, MC: Caribou(2 skeins), CC1: Champagne (1 skein), CC2: Ginger (1 skein), CC3: Neptune (1 skein)
  • Extras: Tapestry needle, stitch holder or scrap yarn (optional), stitch marker (optional) 
  • Gauge: 9 sts x 12 rows = 1″ in stockinette, 9.5 sts x 11 rows = 1″ in Egyptian Chart

 

Special Stitches

Knit TBL:  Knit through the back loop. On WS rows, purl through the back loop.

Right Twist: Slip next two stitches purlwise. From the back, insert the left needle into the back of the first slipped stitch. Pull the right needle from both stitches and reinsert right needle into the loose stitch from the front. Slip this stitch back to the left needle, then k2 tbl.  On WS rows: Slip next two stitches purlwise. From the back, insert the left needle into the back of the first slipped stitch. Pull the right needle from both stitches and reinsert right needle into the loose stitch from the front. Slip this stitch back to the left needle, then p2 tbl.

Left Twist: Insert the right needle into the back of the second stitch on the left needle. Pull left needle out of the first two stitches and reinsert the left needle into the loose stitch from the front. Replace stitch on right needle to left needle, then k2tbl.  On WS rows: Insert the right needle into the back of the second stitch on the left needle. Pull left needle out of the first two stitches and reinsert the left needle into the loose stitch from the front. Replace stitch on right needle to left needle, then p2 tbl.

Right Purl Twist: Perform a Right Twist, but at the end, k1tbl, p1.  On WS rows: Perform a WS Right Twist, but at the end p1 tbl, k1.

Left Purl Twist: Perform a Left Twist, but at the end, p1, k1tbl.  On WS rows: Perform a WS Left Twist, but at the end k1, p1 tbl.

(See tutorial here for twisted stitches without a cable needle.)

 

Cuff

CO 68 sts with smaller needles.  Join in the round, being careful not to twist.

Work k1, p1 rib for 1".

Leg

Round 1: K8, *m1, k17* 3 times, m1, k9.  4 sts increased.  72 sts

Round 2 and 3: Knit

Switch to size 2 needles.

Round 4-18: Work Egyptian Chart (click chart to see full size).

Egyptian Chart Combined     Combined Key

Switch to size 0 needles.

Round 19 and 20: Knit.

Round 21: *K34, k2tog* twice. 2 sts decreased.  70 sts   

For Braid Cable Only Round 22: Work Chart A, p1, k23, p1, Chart A, p1, Chart B, p1, k21, p1, Chart B, p1.

Braid Chart A and B   Cable Key

 

For Classic Cable Only Round 22: Work Chart C, p1, k25, p1, Chart C, p1, Chart D, p1, k23, p1, Chart D, p1.

Cable Chart C and D   Cable Key

 

Repeat Round 22 until leg is desired length.

 

Heel

At the end of any round, turn.  Make a note of which cable row you stopped on for the instep.  The heel will be worked back and forth over the next 35 sts.  Put remaining the remaining 35 sts on a stitch holder or scrap yarn. 

Row 1 for Braid Cable Only (WS): Sl 1, work Chart B, k1, p21, k1, Chart B, k1, turn.  35 heel sts on heel flap.

Row 2 for Braid Cable Only (RS): Sl 1, work Chart B, p1, *k1, sl 1,* 10 times, k1, p1, Chart B, p1, turn.

Row 1 for Classic Cable Only (WS): Sl 1, work Chart D, k1, p23, k1, Chart D, k1, turn. 35 heel sts on heel flap.

Row 2 for Classic Cable Only (RS): Sl 1, work Chart D, p1, *k1, sl 1,* 11 times, k1, p1, Chart D, p1, turn.

Repeat Row 1 and 2 until heel measures 2" (approximately 30 rows) ending after a WS row.

Turning Row 1: Sl 1, k2tog, k17, ssk, k1, turn. 2 sts decreased.  33 sts on heel flap.

Turning Row 2: Sl 1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn. 1 st decreased.

Turning Row 3: Sl 1, k6, ssk, k1, turn. 1 st decreased.

Repeat Turning Rows 2 and 3, working 1 more st each row, until all sts have been worked, ending after a RS row.

Next Row: Sl 1, knit across.  20 sts remain.

Gusset

For Braid Cable Only: 

Pick up and knit 1 st in each slip stitch along the heel flap.  Pick up and purl 1 st in the gap between heel and instep.  Instep: work Chart A, p1, k23, p1, Chart A.  Pick up and purl 1 st in the gap between instep and heel.  Pick up and knit 1 st in each slip stitch along the heel flap.  Knit 10.  Mark this as the beginning of the round.

Round 1: Knit to 3 sts before the first purl st, k2tog, k1, p1, work Chart A, p1, k23, p1, Chart A, p1, k1, ssk, knit to the end of the round. 2 sts decreased.

Round 2: Knit to first purl st, p1, work Chart A, p1, k23, p1, Chart A, p1, knit to the end of the round.

For Classic Cable Only:

Pick up and knit 1 st in each slip stitch along the heel flap. Pick up and purl 1 st in the gap between heel and instep. Instep: work Chart C, p1, k25, p1, Chart C. Pick up and purl 1 st in the gap between instep and heel. Pick up and knit 1 st in each slip stitch along the heel flap. Knit 10. Mark this as the beginning of the round.

Round 1: Knit to 3 sts before the first purl st, k2tog, k1, p1, work Chart C, p1, k25, p1, Chart C, p1, k1, ssk, knit to the end of the round. 2 sts decreased.

Round 2: Knit to first purl st, p1, work Chart C, p1, k25, p1, Chart C, p1, knit to the end of the round.

Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until there are 71 sts remaining.

Next Round For Braid Cable Only: K2tog, knit to first purl st, p1, work Chart A, p1, k23, p1, Chart A, p1, knit to the end of the round. 1 st decreased.  70 sts

Next Round For Classic Cable Only: K2tog, knit to first purl st, p1, work Chart C, p1, k25, p1, Chart C, p1, knit to the end of the round. 1 st decreased. 70 sts

Arrange stitches so that there are 33 knit sts on the sole needle(s.)  The other 37 sts, including the purls and cables, should be on the instep needle(s.)

Foot

For Braid Cable Only: Knit to first purl st, p1, work Chart A, p1, k23, p1, Chart A, p1, knit to the end of the round.

For Classic Cable Only: Knit to first purl st, p1, work Chart C, p1, k25, p1, Chart C, p1, knit to the end of the round.

Repeat until foot reaches 2" shorter than desired length.

Toe

Move the first and last purl stitches from the instep needle to the adjacent sole needle(s.)  There should be 35 sts on the sole and 35 sts on the instep.

Round 1: Knit to 3 stitches before instep, k2tog, k2, ssk, knit to 3 sts before the end of the instep, k2tog, k2, ssk, knit to the end of the round. 4 sts decreased.

Round 2: Knit.

Repeat Round 1 and 2 until 18 sts remain (9 instep sts, 9 sole sts).

Knit to the end of the sole.  Move stitches so that all sole stitches are on one needle and all instep stitches are on a second needle.  Graft remaining sts together using Kitchener Stitch. Weave in ends and steam block lightly.

 

100_3834 

Please Note: I post my patterns as soon as I’ve completed them because I’m excited to share them with you. They have not been fully tested. But they are free. I’ve made every effort to make sure that the instructions are clear and error-free. There may be typos or pattern mistakes and if you find them or have any questions, please let me know by posting a comment or emailing me, dailyskein at gmail.com.

 

Creative Commons License
This work by Cailyn Meyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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14 Responses to “Socks, circa 2008”

  1. Dave Says:

    These are gorgeous — thanks so much for sharing the pattern!

  2. Fran Says:

    These are so lovely! Thank you for sharing :)

  3. Love these socks. I especially like the cuff treatment. Would you mind if I incorported something like it into some fair isle Christmas stockings I am creating?

    Totally love and enjoyed meeting you at the book signing.

    Dianna Stevens

  4. dailyskein Says:

    Please do! Like I said, the cuff is taken straight from a very early piece of knitting, so I don’t think I’ve got any claims on it. I love it, too. I’m especially attracted to the symmetry of it.

    The book signing was too much fun! It was great meeting you. I might have to take up tatting after looking at your website!

  5. dailyskein Says:

    Is that comment up there from John McCain? I really don’t think he’s a knitter, lol. I have a feeling that whoever that is posted a comment to get a link to his blog here… but I’m not sure and I don’t want to be the kind of admin that deletes willy-nilly. Hmm.

  6. [...] found, really, have been twisted stitch patterns that are worked flat, like the heel flap of my Socks (circa 2008,) where the twisted purl stitch on the wrong side shows as a twisted knit stitch on the right [...]

  7. [...] Socks, circa 2008 [...]

  8. Maggie Byers Says:

    Hey~
    I am knitting these for the April SKA (Sock knitters anonymous) group on Ravelry for under appreciated patterns. Not only is your pattern underappreciated..it is lovely!
    One quick question ‘tho, and I hate to trouble you but on chart “A” and “B” they is no key (stitch) for the gray square. I assume it is a K or P…but could you let me know.
    Thanks,
    Mags.

  9. dailyskein Says:

    Oops, I’m sorry about that! The gray square is a purl on the RS and knit on the WS. I’ve fixed the charts and the PDF now. I hope you enjoy knitting these socks! It’s nice to see them getting some attention. :)

  10. Maggie Byers Says:

    Hey~
    Thanks again…I hope I do your beautiful pattern justice.
    Mags.

  11. craftycarole Says:

    beautiful… love the decorative top and the cabling down the leg

  12. Zoe Tetley Says:

    I have downloaded this pattern and I intend to tackle it asap. Been knitting for 40 years and my first knitting project was socks. I love knitting socks. I love the ankle socks. I am planning on doing these in pastel yellow MC and mauve CC. I have such a stash! Thanks so much for an ancient pattern motiff!!

    Yellow and mauve sounds lovely! I bet you have some great yarn in your stash. I really want to do another sock pattern with some history behind it- or maybe some gloves!
    -Cailyn

  13. knitting Says:

    Hey there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay.
    I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.


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