Friday, 15 November 2013

Spiral Socks

Last weekend, I went to London for the Knitting History Forum meeting at the London College of Fashion, on Saturday.  I was talking about Aran sweaters and how they became popular for hand-knitters in this country from the 1930s on (a re-run of my talk at the Knitting & Crochet Guild AGM in July, though without the suitcase full of Aran sweaters).  There were some fascinating talks in the programme, here.   There was plenty of time to knit on the train there and back, and in the meeting itself, and I finished the spiral heelless socks I have been knitting. Since then it has been a busy week, but I have just today found time to sew in the ends and get some photos of me wearing them. 

Trying to match the pattern illustration, but I got my feet the wrong way round.
(Apologies for my chubby knees - I don't usually flaunt them.) 

Knitting them was part of a sort of historical experiment, because the pattern  is from World War 2.   I used a Copley's pattern, but there were several others published around the same time.  (You can tell the wartime Copley's patterns, because the cartoon figure is wearing a tin helmet - before and after the war he is wearing a pill-box hat.  I think he is supposed to be a bell-boy.)

Copley's 1304

The claimed advantages are that they spread the wear on the heels so that they last longer before you have to darn them, and that they fit anyone, as well as being easy to knit.    So Angharad and I both decided to knit a pair - hers (in progress) were part of the WW2 display at Baa Ram Ewe in October

I chose grey for mine, partly with a feeling that that would be an authentic colour for WW2 (though the yarn is not authentic - it is Wendy Roam sock yarn, which has some nylon in it.)   But I usually wear black socks in the winter, so grey is already a bit exciting.  And I made them knee-length for warmth, though that made them boring to knit - until you get to the toe, you are just knitting a long tube that seems endless, with no heel to add a bit of variety.  They are very easy to knit, though.  

So now I am wearing them, and they are very warm.  But they aren't staying up very well, which is disappointing.   I may have to elasticate the tops.  Maybe Angharad's (which I think are planned to be ankle socks) will behave better.   I'll give an update later.


  1. Hi Barbara, would love to knit these for the folks in rest homes as charity, where can I find the pattern please?

    1. If you are on Ravelry, and search for spiral socks, you'll find lots of free patterns - they are very simple. (If you're not on Ravelry, it's free to join, at Good luck with your knitting.


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