Friday, 29 February 2008

18th and 19th Century Stockings

The 18th century child's gray/burgundy marled stockings (upper left), on 3.25mm bronze needles, are made of unlabeled wool of uncertain date from my thirty year old stash at a gauge/tension of 6 1/2 stitches/inch. The undyed ones below, on 3.25mm birch needles, are made of hand spun from the wool of a local flock of a Dorset-Wiltshire historic breed with a gauge/tension of 7 stitches/inch. The patterns for both are loosely based on stockings I have seen in photographs from books and various museum's and other institutions' collections. Both stockings have the traditional garter stitch rows at the tops, and the undyed pair has a series of openings worked with a Yarn Over/Knit 2 Together combination, so as to create an area where a garter or ribbon can be threaded through the top of the stocking.

The 19th century adult dark brown stockings are on 2.00mm metal needles knit in old, thin Dritz *sports yarn* (wool) that I would love to be able to precisely date. The ribbing (more commonly found in the 19th century) at the top is a *K3, P1* combination with 15 stitches/inch. Still in the design process, they will probably be partially based on a pair in the collection of Old Sturbridge Village (


Hugh Yeman said...

I started catching up on your blog this evening, and it quickly proved a source of interesting etymological connections! I saw the word "marl", and immediately Cheri Lunghi's wonderfully spirited turn as Beatrice in the BBC "Much Ado About Nothing" came to mind:


Well, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband.


Not till God make men of some other metal than
earth. Would it not grieve a woman to be
overmastered with a pierce of valiant dust? to make
an account of her life to a clod of wayward marl?
No, uncle, I'll none: Adam's sons are my brethren;
and, truly, I hold it a sin to match in my kindred.

Naturally I then had to go and find out what marled stockings were. Just now I looked up "marl" and found out that the reality of it does not conform to the vague image in my head.

What a lovely, textured new word I have!

One More Stitch said...

And I a lovely Shakespearian connection let alone a reminder of the delightful Cheri Lunghi whose performances I greatly admire.

Thank you!