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.
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, 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
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.