I’m taking part in a citizen science project trying to reconstruct a silk stocking from the 17th century. It’s part of a larger project called Refashioning the Renaissance, studying clothing of that period in Western and Northern Europe. Our knitting team started practicing and making swatches with wool and 0,7mm needles. This is what I came up with 😀
Olen lupautunut mukaan kansalaistiedeprojektiin jonka tarkoitus on rekonstruoida 1600-luvun silkkisukat. Sukkien tutkiminen ja kutominen vanhan mallin mukaan on osa Refashioning the Renaissance -tiedeprojektia, joka professori Paula Hohdin johdolla tutkii renesanssin ajan Länsi- ja Pohjois-Euroopan muotia. Ryhmämme aloitti harjoittelmalla kutomista todella ohuilla 0,7mm puikoilla ja villalangalla, niin ohuella etten ole sellaista ennen nähnyt! Sattumalta sukka on juuri sopiva poikien vanhalle Action Manille 😀 Vielä puuttuu toinen sukka ja loput vermeet!
My first swatch was a beautifully soft and fine piece of knitting with a gauge of over 10 stitches per cm. The purl side was quite a challenge, as the stitches were so tiny that opening the stitch was quite impossible. For the first time in my life I switched to the English style of knitting for the purl rows, which was easier to control. Next I tried knitting in the round. A few rows up I noticed that I could continue on with the Danish pattern we had been given. It had the same 60 stitches per row so after the garter I just knitted two purl stitches every other row for the back seam and continued on with the decreases as in the pattern.
The ankle got a decoration of purl stitches on both sides called a clock. For the heel I made a straight heel flap which was folded at the end and knitted together with a three needle bind off on the inside. A tiny crochet hook came in handy when picking up the stitches from the side of the heel flap for the gusset.
The wool was some left over two ply yarn from an Estonian shawl. It was incredibly strong for such a fine wool, but I managed to break it trying to keep the tension tight. Hence the knot.
My little sock ended up being just the right size for our boys’ old Action Man! So I had a perfect blocking dummy and model for my sock (except for the toe part which is slightly too long).
My tiny sock has all the characteristics of a 17th century stocking. It has the garter under which a ribbon was tied to keep the stocking up. The back seam is elaborated with purl stitches and along the sides of the seam run the decreases and increases to shape the sock. There is the “clock” at the ankle, a decoration of purl stitches. A straight heel flap and quite a high gusset were also usual.
A very good description and pattern for these kind of stockings can be found on Mara Riley’s net site.
Now all our hero needs is another sock and the rest of the gear!