Designs for Knitting Kilt Hose and Knickerbocker Stockings

Designs for Knitting Kilt Hose and Knickerbocker Stockings – collected by Veronica Gainford – expanded edition – Schoolhouse Press  – 1995

First published by Lady Gainford in 1978 and continuously republished until 1987 this wonderful little book is an early example of self publishing working to keep a fairly narrow area of interest alive and kicking!  Lady Gainford undertook the project because she was worried about the loss of these patterns through time and disinterest and started to collect patterns and stitches from friends and neighbours and even some advertisements in local papers!

The fold at the top can add real interest to a plain or fancy pair of socks and is a direct descendant of the Kilt Hose top.

Schoolhouse Press had been distributing the book in the U.S. A. and in 1994, spurred on by the renewed interest in sock knitting, and Lady Gainfords advanced age, Schoolhouse Press took over the publication of Designs for Kilt Hose and Knickerbocker Stockings.  Lady Gainford was 94 years old at this time and ready to relinquish the work of publishing the book herself.  Schoolhouse Press has kept the original text and has added only more pictures and charts.

You do not have to be a history buff or a kilt hose knitter to appreciate this book.  Designs for Knitting Kilt Hose and Knickerbocker Stocking is a great little pattern book.  The patterns are more in the format of a stitch library, with only 2 specific sock patterns, both for the highly complicated diced hose – the colour work socks intended for wearing with and matching the plaids of the various clans!  Now more commonly worn by pipers and highland dancers!

I love to knit socks with folded cuffs and I learned the technique from this book!

From Chapter 1 – General tips, to Chapter 5 – Diced Hose; This little book is filled with patterns and ideas that can be applied to any style of sock.  My favorites are the Hose tops themselves, small works of art to start your knitting off with a bang!  The tops include a two coloured Entrelac, to a sideways cable and several lace varieties.

The forward includes excerpts of letters exchanged and some charming stories from Lady Gainford herself.  This book is a wonderful little excursion to a small part of the sock knitting world, sit back and enjoy.

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