‘Tis the season to start holiday knitting, so one of the several pairs of socks on my needles right now is for my nonagenarian grandfather. For the last few years, his Christmas presents have been very simple – a donation in his name to World Vision, some dishcloths (which get very well used) and a pair of socks. This year will be no different.
For his pattern, I thought I’d try something from the Red Cross World War II Knitting pamphlets, the ones my Museum received as a donation earlier this year and that I wrote about a few months ago.
I settled on the ‘Lady’s Ankle Socks’ from The Canadian Red Cross Society Knitting Instructions for the Armed Forces (Compliments of The Yellow Pages of your Telephone Directory).
Lady’s socks, you say? Aren’t they for your grandfather?
Look. Socks shouldn’t be gendered. A sock is a sock is a sock. This pattern is over 64 stitches, which is what I wanted, so Grandad’s socks are using this pattern. And, really, there was nothing too revolutionary, unexpected, or difficult to understand about this pattern. It read like most top-down vanilla sock patterns.
So, the pattern for Ankle Socks, with Double Heel and Flat Toe. It calls for size 13 needles (or 2.25mm for those who prefer a metric needle size). I used 2.5mm along with some self patterning sock yarn.
The pattern calls for 64 stitches cast on, work 4 inches of 1×1 ribbing then 1 inch of stockinette (or ‘plain knitting’). I didn’t do that. I cast on 64 stitches, sure, but then I worked 2×2 ribbing for 20 rounds, and the leg stockinette for 64.
As I continued with the sock, and once I got to the toe, I realized that, really, the only part of the pattern that I followed were the instructions for the heel.
The heel instructions were a standard slip-stitch heel directions (k1, sl1 on RS, p all sts on WS), worked for 29 rows. Turning the heel also followed what is typically seen in a heel turn. When working the gusset, it called for K2tog through the back loop in place of a SSK, which essentially is achieving the exact same thing. I worked the foot over 72 stitches, as that’s my usual length when making socks for Grandad.
For the toe, I decreased every other row, and now that sock #1 is done, I’m quite pleased with the sock.
The pamphlet, The Canadian Red Cross Society Knitting Instructions for the Armed Forces (Compliments of The Yellow Pages of your Telephone Directory), is undated and unauthored, so I’m erring on the side of caution and not republishing the sock instructions as written in case I’m accidentally violating copyright.
Inside the front cover, although undated and unauthored, it notes, “Instructions and Revisions – Courtesy Patons & Baldwins, Limited.”