1865 Union Army Socks by Karin Timour
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1865 Union Army Socks

Sport (12 wpi) ?
9 stitches and 11 rows = 1 inch
in stockinette
US 1 - 2.25 mm
700 - 900 yards (640 - 823 m)

This pattern may be found in the book Knitting America by Susan M. Strawn, published by Voyager Press in 2007 on pages 42-43.

Pattern description from Knitting America: “This pattern comes from ‘Directions for Knitting Socks’ in the United States Sanitary Commission Bulletin, Volume I, Number 31 of February 1, 1865. This modern interpretation for experienced knitters is by Karin Timour, who has conducted extensive research on materials and methods for knitting Civil War socks. Copyright 2007 by Karin Timour.”


  • Small (10 inch foot, up to 13” leg circumference)
  • Medium (11” foot, up to 14” leg circumference)
  • Large (12” foot, up to 15” leg circumference)

Yarn: “5 ounces 3/8 Jagger Spun yarn (1490 yards per pound). Contrasting heels and toes: 3 ounces of contrast color.”

Needles: “Use a set of five American size 1 needles (2.25mm) or size to make gauge. if you prefer to knit with four double point needles, one circular or two circulars, adjust these instructions accordingly.”

Piecework Magazine has also published this pattern in its March/April 2009 issue, pages 27-29. The original text of the historical pattern is given, as well as the modern instructions.

This sock is based on the 1865 U.S. Sanitary Commission Sock pattern.