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Socks Made of Sports Wool from "Guide to Knitting for Active Service"
by the Australian Comforts Fund, 1940

Cover of a world war two military booklet

Socks - General Directions

To ensure good results, choose your wool and needles carefully, according to whether you wish to turn out a heavy or a medium weight sock.

Wind the wool very loosely, turning it over three fingers to begin with, and avoid pulling it at all tight.

Cast on very loosely, using a larger size needle.

Join the wool always with a "splice," never with a knot. To splice the wool, separate the strands and remove some from each of the ends, laying the two together, pointing in opposite directions, damp them slightly, and rub between the palms of the hands, or else use a wool needle and run the ends into each other for two or three inches.

Hints for Making Socks

Socks must be cast on loosely, as the tight row round the top will not go over a man's heel or will not go far enough up the leg.

There must be no knots anywhere in socks.

The toes must be grafted off neatly as in pattern, and must not be grafted tightly.

Finishing thread must be run down side of the toe, and not across or under the grafting.

There must be no tightness anywhere in socks.

Pattern for Socks Made of Sports Wool

Any colour for the Army; navy blue or black only for the Navy and Air Force.

Cast on 52 stitches and use UK No. 10/3.25mm/US 3 needles. 26 stitches on 1 needle, 13sts on each of the other 2 needles.

Cast on loosely so that it will stretch to 14½ or 15 inches.

Knit 4½ inches of K1, P1 rib.

Knit plain till leg measures 12 inches.

Now knit heel flap on needle with 26 stitches

1 knit row, 1 purl row, till the flap measures 2½ inches. Now turn heel, starting on knit row. Always slip the first stitch of every row, both purl and knit.

Knit 16, K2tog, K1. Turn.

Purl 8, P2tog, P1. Turn.

Knit 9, K2tog, K1. Turn.

Purl 10, P2tog, P1. Turn.

Knit 11, K2tog, K1. Turn.

Purl 12, P2tog, P1. Turn.

Knit 13, K2tog, K1. Turn.

Purl 14, P2tog, P1. Turn.

Knit 15, K2tog

Purl 15, P2tog

This leaves 16 stitches on the needle.

Knit 8 stitches, use another needle, knit 8 stitches, then pick up 12 along the side of the heel flap.

Knit all 26 stitches of instep needles on to one needle.

Pick up 12 stitches along the other side of the heel flap and the 8 left on the heel needle.

Stitches are now: 26 on one needle and 20 on two needles.

Decrease for foot

Knit the next and instep needles plain. 1st side needle, knit 1, knit 2 together, knit to the end of the row. 2nd side needle, knit to the last 3 stitches, knit 2 together, knit 1.

Next round knit plain.

Repeat these two rounds till the side needles are reduced to 13 on each needle.

Continue plain knitting till the foot measures 9 inches from the back of heel.

Decrease for toe as follows

Start with the instep needle. Knit 1, knit 2 together, knit to the last 3 stitches, knit 2 together and knit 1. 1st side needle knit 1, knit 2 together, knit to the end of the needle. 2nd side needle knit to the last 3 stitches, knit 2 together and knit 1

Next round knit without decreasing.

Continue these two rounds till there are 10 stitches on the instep needle and 5 on each of the side needles.

Slip stitches on side needles on to one needle, making 10 stitches on 2 needles.

Graft the toe as follows

Break the wool from the ball leaving about 18 inches.

Thread into a wool needle. Bring wool from the back. Put needle through 1st front stitch as if to knit and take it off.

Put needle through 2nd front stitch as if to purl and leave it on.

Put needle through 1st back stitch as if to purl and take it off.

Put needle through 2nd back stitch as if to knit and leave it on.

Put needle through 2nd front stitch as if to knit and take it off.

Put needle through 3rd front stitch as if to purl and leave it on.

Put needle through 2nd back stitch a s if to purl and tab it off.

Put needle through 3rd back stitch as if to knit and leave it on.

Continue till all the stitches are woven off. Run wool neatly down the side of the toe. Be very careful not to graft off too tightly.


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