[HNW] hand-knitting stockings

Deborah Pulliam pulliam at acadia.net
Tue Jan 1 06:26:14 PST 2002

<<Are you sure 12-20 st/inch is the right gauge for hand knit stockings?>>

In a word, yes.

The coarsest pair of 19c cotton stockings I've examined  were 10
stitches/inch, and they were quite coarse - and I've only seen one.
All others range from 14 - 20 stitches/inch (and up.)

<<an example is the Gunnister grave finds from Shetland, circa 1680,
the stockings are knit 7.5 stitches to the inch, with the foot long
gone, tattered and patched. >>

Very minor correction - I made measurements of the Gunnister stocking
in many places on both stockings, and always came up with eight
stitches/inch (despite heavy wear and mending, they were probably
professionally knit - they're beautifully designed and made.) Also,
the feet of both stockings are still there, but completely covered -
one with a piece of very coarse woven fabric, doubled over, and the
other with the leg of another stocking (a softer wool, worked at 10.5
stitches/inch.) The heels and toes are very worn, with enormous holes
under the patches, but they're there (very frustrating.)

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