Design: Hélène Magnússon
The Guðbjörg socks are inspired by a pair of high socks in the Textile Museum in Blönduós, Iceland. There were knitted by Guðbjörg Baldvinsdóttir and although there is no indication of dates in the archives, I managed to trace them back to the late 19th century, beginning of 20th century and believe they were knitted, sometime between 1875 and 1909.
Those men socks were Sunday best, knitted from very fine handspun þel (thel), the soft undercoat of the Icelandic sheep, on very fine needles. They were very simple, plain with just a couple of blue stripes under the cuff and lines of purled stitches on the sides of the leg. More than a simple decoration, those clever lines gave the socks a great elasticity and no need to add shaping to the calf. They were knitted from the cuff down with an afterthought heel and a round toe.
The Guðbjörg socks that I designed are knitted at a looser gauge and with a more modern mid-calf length. Following the lead of Halldóra Bjarnadóttir, I also replaced the heel by a German square one. She had learned the method from a pair of Scottish socks and taught the method throughout Iceland where it has since been known as the Halldóra heel.
Sizes: 1(2,3,4)5,6 to fit foot 20(21.5,23.5,24.5)27,28.5 cm / 7¾(8½,9¼,9¾)10½,11¼”. in circumference.
You can achieve more sizes by changing needle size and adjust the length by adding or withdrawing plain rounds.
Sample shown is a size 2.
Foot circumference:17.5(19,21,22.5)24.5,26 cm / 6¾(7½,8¼,8¾)9½,10¼”. Recommended fit: negative ease of 2.5 cm / 1” in circumference.
Foot length, adaptable: 19.5(22,23.5,26.5)27.5,30.5 cm / 7¾(8¾,9¼,10½)10¾,12”
Gauge: 10 cm / 4” = 26 sts and 32 rnds in Stocking st on 2.5 mm / US 1½ needle
Yarn: Katla sokkaband by Hélène Magnússon: pure new Icelandic lambswool with a dash of silk (1%), DK/sport weight sock yarn, 4 ply, non superwash, 100g skein = 220 m / 240 yds: MC 1(1,1,2)2,2 skeins, CC 1 skein
MC: Palagonite ochre, 165(194,220,253)278,310 m / 182(222,241,277)304,340 yds
CC: Askja blue, a few meters/yds
Needle: 2.5 mm / US 1½ circular needle suitable for magic loop. You can also use double-pointed needles or any method to knit small diameters in the rnd. Adjust needle size as necessary to obtain correct gauge.
Notions: stitch marker, darning needle, sock blocker
Techniques: The socks are knitted from the cuff down with a round toe and a German sqauere heel.n afterthought heel. Both the heel and the toe are shaped with centred double decreases.
Pattern: Once you’ve made your paiement, you will receive an email with a link to download the pattern PDF. Your PDF will also always be accessible on your Icelandic Knitter account: simply log in and go under Downloads. We don’t send printed patterns by snailmail.
Errata: no mistake was found in this pattern.