Something to Talk About

November 6, 2007

If you went back, and read the posts from the begining–which wouldn’t take very long to do at this point–you would see that I started out with the intention of writing every day. Within a day or so, I realized this was an unrealistic goal. I don’t usually work on the computer on weekends (although lately I have!). So, I revamped my goal to posting five days a week. Then, when I got slammed with even more work, I backed off to a few times a week. Now that I am working very long days, the lyrics from that Bonnie Raitt song, “Let’s give them something to talk about . . .” run through my head. Why post unless I’ve got something really worth talking about!

Today I interviewed a gentleman who, among other things, runs an antique store. I met him at his store, the Golden Fleece in Del Norte, Colorado, for the interview. Of course I looked around. What I found: a pair of hand knitted socks, presumably dating from 1878 because of the knitted date near the top band.

What follows will be picture intensive. I am so amazed at the skill this knitter displayed!

cotton hand knitted socks

First a quick overview of the pair and basic details. The toe and heel:

Star toe

Heel

Lovely stitch pattern on the front and back of the leg leading up to the top band with the knitter’s initials. I think it’s “AML” although, this is hard for me to see.

front of leg

Presumably the knitter's initials

back of leg

back of foot and lower leg

The attention to detail is fantastic. I love the “mouse-teeth” picot finish and the stitch work is so fine inside.

Mouse-teeth edging

pattern detail, cables and lace!

Here’s the date: 1878.

date knitted at top

What do you think? Authentic or not? There are in such amazing condition. They look unworn.

I’m guessing this would be worked on a 00 or 000 needle; but, I’m not sure. They appear to be a nice soft cotton. The foot is rather small; perhaps, a women’s size 5 or 6 by today’s measurements. I would appreciate any thoughts from the experts out there! I have larger images. Let me know if I need to load them.

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6 Responses to “Something to Talk About”

  1. Phyllis in Minneapolis MN Says:

    Those are gorgeous stockings. I would say they are as old as they claim to be. Aren’t you lucky to have found them.
    Enjoy them because I certainly did in seeing them.

  2. Kristina Says:

    There’s little doubt in my mind these socks are authentic. I suspect the recipient of these socks felt they were too special to wear. I’ll bet Ann Budd (Interweave) would love to see your pictures of these socks! They certainly are an inspiration to me!

  3. knitwhimsies Says:

    Those are wonderful! The tiny stitches and consistency makes me wonder if they were knit on a sock knitting machine rather than hand knit. Circular sock machines were widely used around that time and helped generate extra income for a lot of households.

  4. Maddy in NC Says:

    Wow! What a great find. I’m no expert on antique textiles, but these sock bring to mind the stories I’ve heard of nuns knitting lace underthings for rich young brides. Perhaps they were a special gift to a young frontierswoman who thought them “too dear” to wear?

  5. elizaduckie Says:

    What size was that yarn anyway — wowie!

  6. georg Says:

    I’d guess that’s 000 needles, with 20/2 yarn, and probably authentic. I would go further and guess that she knit these for her wedding day, and then never got married. Why else put a date on them and then never wear them, or only wear them once. That explains why they are so elaborate at the ankle area, because that might be seen. Over the calf? Never!


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