Traditional Socks

Traditional socks with history sheet—£4.99

Traditional Socks are based on the pattern I learned in primary school in the 1950’s, now known as mid-century! This pattern also tells the story of how they were updated in the 1980’s and knitted to order for one of the New Yorker magazine’s sports journalists who I met by chance on a transatlantic flight.

The heel and toe are reinforced with single ply linen which gradually works together with the wool, rather than wearing it down. We’ve knitted our socks in 2-ply Jumper Weight wool from The Shetland Wool Board. For a rib measuring 12 inches (30 cm) we used 4 ounces (100g) of yarn.

You can adapt this basic pattern by making the rib shorter or longer as desired and experiment with stripes, etc. on the foot.

Linen for the heel and toe is available from

You will need 50 grammes Katio Lino linen per pair of socks.