This weekend I went to an antique show (as I already mentioned) and I was inspired by something I saw there. A pair of civil war era stockings, lovingly but painstakingly knitted in a cotton yarn, with a fan shaped eyelet lace pattern.
I didn't bring the stockings home, but did look at how they were made noting the way the heel was done and the pattern.
Later on at home, I just itched to begin knitting something of the sort, so I dug out some cotton from my stash, browsed through my knitting books for the pattern (which I did not find so I made one up) and started on my very own civil war era style stocking!
I started with a basic K2P2 rib... figuring my VERY small size 2 American needles (I think that is about a size 12 English and 2.75mm metric) and the small weight of the yarn, I cast on 120 stitches and started to work.
The original pair had a ribbed 'cuff' too... I couldn't remember what rib, but I do know that ribbing was popular during the 19th century :) My favourite rib is the K2 P2, which seems VERY elastic to me, and just right for stocking cuffs. Of course, garters kept the stockings up way back when...
After I got tired of the ribbing, and desperately wanted to try my newly made "unvented" lace pattern, I started a stocking stitch, before launching into the 'fan' pattern.
I haven't gotten very far as yet... I am still working on a new cardigan for myself, which I hope to finish soon... AND I am figuring out just how I will start the knee decreases for my stocking.
I found a website online to help with stocking basics and went from there...
Isn't it amazing what a little inspiration can do?