Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Knitting for the Troops

I've been reading on the social history of knitting of late. During war times--Civil War, WWI, WWII, and today--knitting has an upsurge. Today, we're told that going shopping is our patriotic duty, rather than gathering to knit for the troops, but helmet liners are being knitted nonetheless.

Here's an 1861 pattern from Peterson’s Magazine for socks:

Editor’s Table
How To Knit Stockings

A fair correspondent asks for directions how to knit woolen stockings. Take bluish gray yarn, No. 22, and needles, Nos. 14 and 15.

Set up twenty-seven stitches on each needle; knit two plain and two seam rows alternately, until the ribbing is three inches long; then knit plain seven inches for the leg, remembering to seam one stitch at the end of one needle.

To form the heel, put twenty stitches on two of the needles, and forty-one on the other-the seam stitch being in the middle. Knit the first row plain, the next row seam, and so alternately until the heel is three inches long; then narrow on the plain row each side of the seam stitch for five plain rows, which will leave thirty-one stitches.

To close the heel, knit the last seam row to the middle of the needle; knit the seam stitch plain; then fold the two needles together, and with another needle take off the seam stitch. Then knit a stitch from both needles at once, and bind the seam stitch over it. Continue knitting in this manner until but one is left and the heel closed.

Take up as many stitches as there are rows around the heel; knit one round plain; then widen every fifth stitch on the heel needles. Narrow once on every round at each side of the foot until there are twenty-seven stitches on each needle; knit plain six inches, narrow at the beginning and end of each needle on every third round, till you have seventeen stitches on each; then narrow every second round till you have seven – then every round until the foot is closed.

One pound of yarn, costing from seventy-five cents to one dollar, will furnish four pairs of socks.


Silvana said...

What are those socks, Deborah? Did you knit those, or are they period socks? Nice!

That's a 7-letter Deborah, never a Deb said...

You know, I haven't made these, although they look pretty straight forward. The heel technique is intriguing. The pattern is from Peterson's 1861.