Pale legs, Shooting Stockings

At first I tried to model my dad’s knee high socks with a skirt, but I came out looking like some kind of German frau.

So, I got a little more comfortable in my surrounds, channeled Knitting Lingerie Style, and the result was much better.

Pattern: Gentleman’s Shooting Stockings with Fluted Pattern from Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks.

Yarn: Louet sportweight Gems merino in charcoal (#49), a generous gift from Shaina. Two skeins of this 100% merino (225 yards/skein) were just enough for a pair of knee high socks: 2.8 grams left over from the first skein, and 3.7 from the second.

Needles: Susan Bates Silvalume dpns, US 2 (2.75 mm). I have two sets of these (8 needles total), so I’m able to knit in the round using 5 needles. Perfect in length and size for this project.

Size and gauge: Unworn (so, unstretched) the socks measure 18″ from the top of cuff to the sole and 12.75″ around the widest part. The fabric stretches to cover my 16″ calves without any strain. My gauge in circularly-knit stockinette was approximately 6.5 stitches and 9 rows per inch.

Different gauge, different needles, different desired size, but I’m so glad I didn’t (and didn’t have to!) modify the leg portion of the pattern that much: it’s totally gorgeous! Unworn, the calf decreases looked weird and asymmetrical, but once the stockings are on (as I now see), the movement of the stitches seems natural. The stitch pattern down the heel flap is a nice touch, and I’m glad I was able to keep it.

Remember how I had to break up a pattern repeat when I got down to the heel flap? I hope you can see that working purl stitches on the edges of the heel flap and knit stitches on the edges of the instep was probably the most unobtrusive solution.

The stitch pattern, with its triangular areas of knits and purls, is easy to memorize… and mess up! It adds dimensionality and a ribbing quality to the fabric, which I think my dad will enjoy very much. I think these knee high socks will keep his legs nice and toasty.


48 thoughts on “Pale legs, Shooting Stockings

  1. Kim

    Beautiful patterning on the calves. Good to read that I’m not the only one who’ll mix it up with aluminum needles!

  2. April

    You give me hope! I just finished the decreasing section on these same socks and they look pretty funny unstretched. I was beginning to worry. Now I will press on!

  3. Cathy-Cate

    Oh, Wow!

    I was going to say, that that was all I could say, but I (evidently) can say more, thus:

    The shaping is absolutely amazing, and I’m glad it worked out despite all the mods! I have this book but didn’t feel particularly drawn to the pattern with the book photos. Now I feel differently. It’s going on my list of someday socks!

    Lucky Dad!

  4. Mari

    Beautiful! I love how the decreases work. I still haven’t knitted this pattern from KVS – I really should give it a try!

  5. Sibylle

    They look really great, love the shaping. Btw. we german women don’t look like wearing woolen socks with skirts 😉 (Although in Bavaria some might look like that)


  6. terhi

    Oh, very pretty! Your dad will love them!

    Isn’t it funny that we both post about gentleman socks for our dads, at the same day? 😀

  7. rachel

    Nice socks… but just as importantly, will you be at the Yarn Harlot’s reading at St James Church, 1991 Mass Ave, this Wednesday at 7? Just asking… 🙂

  8. Sarah

    I definitely agree that these would be hard to give away. They are really beautiful. Great pairing of the pattern and the yarn color.

  9. Artsygal

    Beautiful! I’m a convert to calf shaping these days and love to see the different ways people work it into their socks. I love how these turned out!

  10. WiscJennyAnn

    Holay molay, those are gorgeous! I’m knitting my first pattern out of KVS right now, and wow(!) is Nancy Bush brilliant! Next stop, Gentleman’s Shooting Stockings! Lovely work, your dad is a lucky man.

  11. Ulrike

    Hallo Kathy,

    I like the socks and your knittings in general very much – but: as a “German Frau” it struck me that you use such a description. In Germany, no woman walks around wearing woollen, knitted socks with a skirt!! Please come over to get a new picture of German fashion and German women, ok? You´re always welcome here! Greetings from Berlin, Ulrike

  12. Seanna Lea

    I don’t think I’ve ever made sport weight socks, and these ones are stunning.

    I can’t imagine knitting them in anything other than a solid or semisolid, so it is a good thing that those aren’t that hard to find!

  13. jen

    Well done, as always! I really appreciate that you take the time to walk us through what works and doesn’t and, more importantly, *why*. Thanks, Kathy!

  14. Charity

    I can’t even begin to tell you just how lovely those are! The calf area is just wow, oh my god, I gotta make a pair for me me me me me, lovely!


  15. Trish

    The German frau photo is hysterical! All that picture is missing is a stein of beer. I have really enjoyed being along with you on the journey to make these socks.

  16. Trish

    The German frau photo is hysterical! All that picture is missing is a stein of beer. I have really enjoyed being along with you on the journey to make these socks.

  17. StellaMM

    Wow, those socks look terrific. You must be very proud of them. I am sure your Dad will love them too, albeit for different reasons.

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