Thursday, 12 March 2015

Directions for Knitting Socks

From the Lichfield Mercury, 12th March 1915.


Six ounces of 4-ply fingering yarn, 14 size needles.  Knit on 80 stitches.  28 on two needles, 24 on one.  Knit three inches of 2 plain, 2 purl, for welt, then change stitches to 4 plain and 1 purl and knit another 9 inches, thus making the leg 12 inches long.

For the Sentry Box Heel.
Halve the stitches and knit 2½ inches plain to and fro on the hack half, and to make the heel double, which is necessary with four-ply yarn, slip every alternate stitch when knitting on the purl side only, taking care to slip the first stitch on the needle on the plain side as well as the purl.  When the 2½ inches are knitted, the roof of the sentry box must next be formed.  Start on the purl side and knit 25 stitches (still keeping up the doubling process), then knit two together; don't knit the remaining stitches, but turn the needles round and start knitting back again on the plain side; slip the first stitch, then knit ten stitches, then knit two together.  Turn the needles round again on the purl side, and you will find you have twelve stitches in the middle of the needle and thirteen stitches each side.  You will also notice you have a tiny hole each side of the twelve stitches where you have knitted two together.  Those twelve stitches are the roof of the sentry box, and you must knit to and fro again, knitting together one stitch each side of the hole till all the thirteen stitches on the sides of the needle are used up and the twelve only remain.  It is an old-fashioned heel, but hard to beat.  To set up the foot, pick up seventeen loops each side of the heel and knit plain, but still knit the front needle four plain and one purl.  You will now have 86 stitches on three needles.  Knit four rounds, then start decreasing at the ends of the two side needles nearest the front with three rounds between each, decreasing till 76 stitches are left for the foot.  Go on knitting till six inches are done, measuring from where you picked up the loops at the sides of the heel.

For the Toe.
Divide the stitches equally on the three needles, starting from the exact centre under the foot.  You will find you have an odd stitch.  Knit two together in the middle of that needle, and you will then have 25 stitches on each needle.  The decreasing must be done at the beginning and ends of the needles, this way: Knit one, knit two together, and at the end of a needle leave three stitches, then knit two together, knit one.  Do three decreasings with three rounds between.  Do three decreasings with two rounds between.  Do three decreasings with one round between.  Then every round till only one stitch is left, draw wool through and darn it through a few times with a darning needle.
For a large size, simply knit 6½ inches between heel and toe.  Make no difference otherwise and the socks when finished should be well pressed.

Socks made from these directions will gladly be shown to anyone by Mrs. Vicars, who has a large consignment now ready for despatch to the front, which have been made by “The Busy Bees”' of Trent Valley Road.  Call at The Bungalow to-day (Friday) between 11 and 1 in the morning or 2 and 5 in the afternoon.

[The 'sentry-box' heel seems a rather whimsical name.  According to Mrs. Vicars, it was an old-fashioned way of knitting a heel even in 1915, so perhaps experienced sock knitters will recognise it as a standard pattern.] 

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