Old German Sock Knitting Rules:
I do not remember when I knit my first pair of socks, but when one of my daughters came to visit wearing a pair of socks that her sister-in-law had knit for her, I automatically blurted out “I know how to knit those” and promptly found my double point needles, some yarn, and started knitting a pair.
Later on, I found an old German booklet. Printed by the Kingdom of Sachsen, Germany entitled “Strumpfgesetze” (Sock Laws). The Kingdom of Sachsen was in existence from 1806 to 1918, the end of WWI. No publication date is noted, but I would estimate it was written in the early 1900s.
I realized that I used the same rules: Stitches divided onto 4 DPNs and knit with the fifth one. Cuff as many rows as stitches on one needle. Rows for the leg are equal to total stitches cast on. Heel over needles 4 and 1 knit for 2 rows less than the total stitches on needles 4 and 1. The instructions use the heart-shaped heel cap. (And here I thought this particular cap was a newer invention.) The little pamphlet has several other variations for turning the heel. For the foot, after finishing the decreases of the instep, the instructions state to add as many rows as total stitches on 2 needles. For the toe,
again, several versions are offered.
One of these days I will have to try the other versions for turning the heel and knitting the toe, just for the fun of it.
I promise to have another installment of what I think I have learned since that first pair of socks, I knit so many years ago.
Keep on knitting!