Another Wool Stash Surprise!

I blogged a while ago about buying a vintage wool stash at auction. Given that there was so much it filled the back of a Mini, it has taken some time to work through the boxes to find out what I had actually got.

I’ve already been surprised by an unworn mink and velvet hat tucked into the wool, this week it was the turn of a grubby little bag to yield a surprise:

A Strange Little Bag

A Strange Little Bag

Inside were two pairs of stockings, beautifully knitted in complex patterns and very fine wool:

Two Pairs of Knitted Stockings

Two Pairs of Knitted Stockings

They have been very well worn, darned and then worn through to holes in places, so there’s no monetary value to them, just their significance as part of domestic/fashion history.

The brown stockings have a leaf like pattern

The Top of the Brown Stockings

The Top of the Brown Stockings

The (much darned) foot of the stocking

The (much darned) foot of the stocking

The grey stockings have a more geometric pattern

The Top of the Grey Stockings

The Top of the Grey Stockings

I think that they date from the forties, when nylons were in short supply, silk stockings would have been the norm for ‘smart’ wear, and ladies would have knitted their own stockings to keep their legs warm, tights not being part of the regular wardrobe at that time:

I can only imagine how much time it would have taken to knit a pair of this complexity, the patterns I have been able to find certainly look time consuming, which may explain why darning rather than replacement was so important.

Lace Stocking Pattern

Lace Stocking Pattern

If you’re interested in trying, you can find knitting patterns at: http://www.vintagepurls.co.nz/womenspatterns.html and http://knitting.craftgossip.com/free-pattern-vintage-hand-knitted-stockings/2010/11/12/

You can imagine how they would have looked with a smart forties suit like this one, modelled on the Mariposa Chronicles:

Lovely Vintage Forties Suit

Lovely Vintage Forties Suit

The back of the suit

The back of the suit

This suit is currently for sale on etsy, but I couldn’t find any stockings to go with it – you will have to knit your own!

As for my stockings, I’m not sure what to do with them. I feel that they should be preserved as a part of fashion history but have no idea where they would be appreciated. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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