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knit-stockngs-msg - 1/8/17


Period knit stockings.


NOTE: See also the files: Knit-Stockngs-art, hose-msg, hose-manu-MA-art, knitting-msg, p-knitting-bib, silk-msg, textiles-msg, spinning-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given  by the individual authors.


Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is unclear  at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Sat, 18 Dec 1999 19:41:17 -0800

From: Lilinah biti-Anat <lilinah at grin.net>

To: lilinah at grin.net

Subject: 12th Century Muslim Egyptian stockings


Wednesday i sent a message about my first pair of socks, based on a

pair found in Egypt made sometime between the 11th and 14th centuries.


For folks who didn't get the first message, these can be seen at


[link updated - 12/5/05 - Stefan]


They are blue and white, have diamond-star toes, and patterns of

diamonds, zigzags, and bands of Kufic script saying "Allah."


They are my third knitting project ever. I didn't make them in a

completely authentic manner, partly because i didn't know how.

However, all the patterns and the method of making the heel are



I have now gotten my attempt at instructions for making them in a

historically accurate manner on line at


[link updated - 12/5/05 - Stefan]


Since some folks noticed this page, i want to let them know that i

have completed the directions for the short-row heel.


I thank those who have sent encouraging messages. They have been very



Additionally, i have since gotten more information and have been

experimenting with actually knitting from the toe up and with making

a second kind of historic heel. I have finished one sock, scanned it,

and again supplied directions. This sock is an anklet, unlike the

first pair, which are knee socks. Ankle high socks have been found in

Egypt. This sock is entirely an invention of mine, unlike the first

pair, which are my take on an actual sock. It has two bands of Kufic

script that say "baraka," that is, "blessings." This pattern is

derived from a piece of 13th century Andalusian knitting. All details

are on the page.


The pictures and directions for the "blessed" anklet are at:


[link updated - 12/5/05 - Stefan]


As i'm a novice knitter, i welcome any feedback about my

instructions, and i'll answer any questions anyone may have about my

process... Also, if there are any problems with the pages, display,

etc., please let me know, as i'm trying to make this information

accessible and i will gladly attempt to correct any glitches.


Anahita Gauri al-shazhiya bint-Karim al-hakim al-Fassi



From: noramunro at aol.comclutter (Alianora Munro)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Date: 23 Sep 2000 14:47:06 GMT


ghelena661 at aol.com(Ghelena661) writes:

>     I am wondering how many knitters we have wandering about the Knowne



Lots.  There is even a mailing list for us, on eGroups, called Historic Knit.


>     I want to attempt to document what kind of heel was used.  Eleanora of

>Toledo's stockings have deteriorated at the very bottoms.  With a magnifying

>lens, it looks like there is a gusset in on the side, below the ankle.  This

>gusset shaped bit is indicative to me of a turned heel.  I put in a nice dutch

>heel on my stockings, but have already been queried as to "is that how they

>did it".


If you can lay hands on a copy of Rutt's _History of Handknitting_, take a look

at the photo of the silk stockings of Barnim XII of Pomerania (1549-1603) on

page 73.  The heels on those are well-preserved, and show a heel which is not

turned in the modern way, but has a heel flap which is decreased, with the last

stitches under the heel cast off together, forming a welt.  There is a gusset

shaping on those as well, and the stockings were probably knit in a way similar

to that described in the first known English knitting pattern, from 1655.  This

pattern, which Rutt includes in an appendix, gives directions for the heel

which produce the same shaping. According to that pattern, once the heel flap

is worked and cast off, the knitter picks up stitches along the edges and

across the instep to work the foot, as with a modern heel turning.

Unfortunately, pattern is incomplete, so we don't have the description of how

to shape the toe.


I've knit a sample foot from the 1655 pattern to show people what the period

turning was like, but for stockings I intend to wear I use a modern turning,

since having that welt under your heel can be uncomfortable


Alianora Munro, Bright Hills, Atlantia



Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2001 17:10:26 -0500

From: "Daniel Phelps" <phelpsd at gate.net>

Subject: Re: SC - OT-Stockings


Was asked by Eleanor d'Aubrecicourt:

>Stockings!  Do you have a good resource for information on making



My lady you might check the back issues of TI there was an article on the

making of a knitted pair in period fashion within the last 5 years. I

believe that a version of the article also appeared in a commercial magazine

which caters to those of that craft as well.  I suggest finding the TI

article and contacting its author.


Daniel Raoul



From: "Patricia Collum" <pjc2 at cox.net>

To: <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>

Subject: Fw: [HistoricKnit] Knitting before 1601,

Date: Sun, 8 Dec 2002 19:42:23 -0700


I printed this out to include with my info on egyptian period socks, and then realized you might be interested, too.




----- Original Message -----

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

To: HistoricKnit at yahoogroups.com

Sent: Sunday, December 08, 2002 11:33 AM

Subject: Re: [HistoricKnit] Knitting before 1601,


Ghaythah wrote:

>soon I will be the Egyptian socks




>While I'm thinking of it, Anahita, where did you find

>the pattern for turning the heels of the socks on your



Uh, errr, i don't quite remember...


I think the best source for this kind of information is:


Ethnic Socks & Stockings: A compendium of Eastern design & technique

Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts

XRX, Inc., Sioux Falls SD: 1995

ISBN 0-9646391-0-6


Chances are good i got much of my information from this book.


I don't think any of Gibson-Roberts' toes is like either of the two

kinds of Mamluk Egyptian toes, but she has both of the Mamluk heel



She discusses two Mamluk socks - in fact, they're the first ones in

her book. They both have the same kind of heel and the same kind of

toe. I'm not convinced that the toe type she ascribes to them is what

they really have and i did something different from what she says.

Also, Gibson-Roberts does say that the Mamluks are descendents of the

Mongols, which is incorrect. But that doesn't decrease in the

slightest the amazing value of this book.


There is another toe (what i call the diamond toe) which

Gibson-Roberts doesn't describe. What she calls a diamond toe is a

very different technique from the Mamluk one.


And there's another heel - the short row heel - in many Mamluk socks,

which she does describe elsewhere in her book, but without reference

to Mamluk stockings.




Nancy Bush's book, Folk Socks, has little photographs of several

Mamluk stockings, socks i haven't seen in any other source. I

originally bought her book in hopes of learning how to make the socks

from it, but found it was nearly useless for my purposes. None of her

socks is a re-creation of the originals - which would actually have

been useful - to learn "traditional" techniques.


Her ankle socks based on a Mamluk knee-high stocking are very little

like any Mamluk stockings. She has graphs of a few Mamluk patterns -

which is useful, but Rutt has them too - as well as graphs that

purport to be from them but are nothing like any of them. I graphed

many patterns from photos in Rutt, since while he has graphs of many,

he doesn't have graphs from all the Mamluk examples in his book.


Bush's sock heel is also different from any Mamluk heel i've seen.

Her "diamond" toe, however, has some things in common with the Mamluk

kind, and can be adapted to be more Mamluk.


While most of Bush's versions of "ethnic" socks are lovely, few

reproduce the actual techniques used in the originals. Many that are

knit from the toe up in the originals, not just the Mamluk one, she

knits from the top down. All in all, i found her book disappointing.


I am heartened to hear that in the most recent edition she has

corrected some of the historical inaccuracies in the edition i have.




So, I unequivocally recommend Gibson-Roberts' book and think it is an

essential book for any knitter's library. Really. Get this book!


But I have many reservations about Bush's book. It's good for modern

knitters and modern sock fanatics, has nice but small photos of

"ethnic" socks, but is disappointing as far as techniques go. So i

cannot really recommend it for re-creators or knitters interested in

learing about "traditional" techniques.





From: Jenn at JennGallery.co

Subject: {TheTriskeleTavern} Coptic Socks

Date: February 4, 2012 7:11:56 AM CST

To: the-triskele-tavern at googlegroups.com


Hi everyone – before I put this edition of Piecework Magazine back onto my library shelves to completely forget about, I thought I ought to make sure everyone is aware of it.

Piecework, November/December 2011

Pages 18-21

Has an article for Re-Creating Ancient Egyptian Socks and then gives a pattern to make your own.

For those in the group that use an Egyptian persona, or whom may have traveled there and purchased a pair for a friend, this article is very informative.  Please contact me off-list if you’d like. Jenn at JennGallery.com

Gwenhwyvar Thredegold



<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org