1847 Stockings (Child's) by Susan Strawn
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1847 Stockings (Child's)

Knitting
April 2015
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
36 stitches and 50 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette stitch worked in the round on larger needles
US 2 - 2.75 mm
US 1 - 2.25 mm
620 yards (567 m)
Child 5" foot circumference
This pattern is available from interweave.com for $5.50.

Interweave SKU: EP12532

Child size version of the stockings adapted from an 1847 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book.

Finished Size: 5 inches (12.7 cm) foot circumference and 4¼ inches (10.8 cm) long from back of heel to tip of toe

Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun, 100% wool yarn, fingering weight, 310 yards (283.5m)/50 gram (1.8 oz) skein, 2 skeins of #200 Bordeaux; www.brownsheep.com

Needles: Needles, set of double pointed, sizes 1 (2.25 mm) and 2 (2.75 mm) or size needed to obtain gauge

Notions: Marker; Tapestry needle

Gauge: 36 sts and 50 rnds = 4 inches (10.2 cm) in St st on larger needles

Originally Published: Knitting Traditions, Spring 2015.

These two stocking patterns are adapted from one of the first knitting patterns published in Godey’s Lady’s Book; earlier issues of Godey’s included no needlework patterns or fashion plates. In 1847, the editor, noting interest in fashion and in particular the popularity of handknitting among readers young and old, added a feature titled “Ladies’ Work Department—Knitting.” Traveler and knitter Susan Shelby Magoffin enjoyed knitting as one pastime during her journey along the Santa Fe Trail. What did she knit? Her diary never reveals. Godey’s, however, indicates that patterns of interest to knitters included cozy booties for babies and stockings for small children. I chose “A Child’s Stocking to be Worn With Shoes.”

Published knitting patterns from the mid-nineteenth century show little concern with gauge, finished size, balanced increases and decreases, or the accuracy of math. Perhaps publishers believed knitters without the wit and experience to understand their patterns were not to be trusted with sharp pointy sticks.