Great new knitalong starts today over at Fringe Association. We are IN on this thing.

Socks (And Choos)

Dear Kay,
In honor of the sock madness that is Socktoberfest (go give Lolly a whack on the back for keeping this thing going for an entire month), looky at what I found at last week’s Tailgate Antiques Show.
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My finest hour as a Tailgate patron. A pair of handknit cotton stockings. $48. Which, I grant you, is a lot for a pair of socks, but good heavens, come take a look at these. I’m telling you the price because I look at these stockings and imagine who made them, when they were made, and how long it surely took that person. Chew on that for a minute.
These are worked at 13 stitches to the inch–that’s one inch with 13 stitches in it, y’all. I read about this sort of madness in Nancy Bush’s most excellent Knitting Vintage Socks, but I never thought I’d see it in person.
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This is the legendary Pointed Toe (p. 21 in Nancy’s book), which creates an insanely beautiful serpentine spiral around the toe.
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The “unusual” German heel (p. 17).
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The lace pattern reminds me of the Birch shawl.
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There are tiny, almost invisible mendings on the bottom. The lady who sold these to me said they were incredibly dirty when she bought them. Her washing made them completely fresh.
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I can’t believe they fit me. I won’t ever wear them, of course, but it is amazing that there was a woman, back when, with a size 10 foot who was willing to create a confection like this. What was the wedding like?
Midlife Crisis Expressed through Shoes
Speaking of size 10 feet . . . sorry for the dillydallying.
Here’s what I’m dealing with:
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Shoes of Laura, Junior Varsity Heels
And these:
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Shoes of Laura, All-Pro Heels
Laura actually gave me TWO pairs of girl shoes. (I can’t believe she would part with these, under any circumstance.)
I’ve been wearing the Shoes of Laura around the house, trying to figure out the best means of locomotion when wearing such footwear.
My training involved such tasks as a) walking to my closet; b) standing; and c) sitting. I sought advice from expert heel wearers and was advised that a person doesn’t “walk” in shoes like these, she “strolls.” She “works” “it.” She “takes her time.” This all sounded promising to me–I mean, maybe if I didn’t rush around so much, people would have more time to see me and my footwear, which in turn might make me spend more than three minutes a week on grooming, which in turn might be sort of fun to be someone who is groomed. Can ya imagine what THAT would be like?
Anyway, on Saturday Hubbo had put in yeoman’s duty in the fathering department, I was kind of trashed myself, and we realized (as usually happens when you don’t plan ahead), that there was no prospect of a Date. We haven’t had a Date in about six years. Chronic failure to plan ahead. In a weak, desperate moment, I called Daddyo and his bride Ann. Without a blink they took the fellas, who were ready for some grandfatherly poker action. Wow. Pushing our luck, I called the restaurant in town that has ridiculous food on the menu, and zipzap they had a table. It was at this point that I thought, I’m going to wear the Shoes of Laura.
I went with Junior Varsity Heels, because the All-Pro Heels are just flat scary. You don’t become a pro overnight, you know.
Off we went, improbably free as a pair of hooky-playing birds, me clutching Hubbo’s elbow as we made our way to the restaurant. Hey, I thought. This is the TICKET. I was almost as tall as Hubbo. Of course, I couldn’t CATCH Hubbo if he took off running, and the possibility of catching a heel on a crack added plenty of drama. All the way through dinner, I kept wiggling my toes. Even though nobody could see them, those shoes were down there transforming me from a Barely on a Date Mom to Date Woman.
We made it home without a single wipeout. Verdict on the Junior Varsity Heels: brilliant.
My conclusion: I’ve always had a semi-feminist dislike of high heels. Men don’t wear high heels, you know. Why should we? Shouldn’t a woman be able to run for her life if she needs to? What’s with all this cobbling of women? Whose idea was this, anyway?
Ah, lighten up. Shoes like these are a great little midlife crisis. You can have a fling, but you won’t hate yourself in the morning.
Love,
Ann

94 Comments

94 Comments

  1. there’s never enough of you two, I tell ya.

  2. Those socks! Wowee wow wow. $48… A steal. I hope you drape them over your couch or frame them or something!
    My semi-feminist dislike of heels is backed up by my wide feet and high arches and squashable toes, but I was thrilled by the idea of a date! Sounds like a blast.

  3. Oh Ann, I love the shoes! I myself prefer 3″ heels…will wear them whenever I can. However as I am getting older I find my knees and back DO NOT appreciate them very well. Enjoy them, and yes, they definately make your spirits soar and feel like a “starlet”. (Unless they are stuck in a grate or crack! HAHA…been there, done that…) Maybe I should wear mine to the library in November???? :)
    P.S. The socks are wonderful…could you bring them for “show and tell” at the library???

  4. The socks…worth every penny! They are fantastic. And I don’t know why you wouldn’t ever wear them.
    The shoes…my gawd they are brilliant! I love pointy-toed shoes with a white hot passion. And those are fab! Why is there such POWER in great pumps (and great boots)? Is it the height? I’m 6′ and even I still feel it.
    You can always kick them off to run for your life so don’t worry, you aren’t betraying any of your sisters. Wear those shoes and strut like a powerful woman! :-)

  5. What a hoot about the shoes – now that you have had a successful outing in the junior varsity shoes I think you might be ready to letter. ;-)
    Thanks to both of you for being an amazing knitting resource.

  6. Now, if you could wear the socks with the JV shoes I bet the kids would be goin’ over the Grand Dad’s a WHOLE lot more. Hubba Hubbu Hubba and a Wing Ding Ding.

  7. I’ve been following your blog for a while now and enjoy your blog entries imensely. Just now I could not refrain from posting a comment: The stockings – I flat out refuse to call those wonderful pieces of handwork ‘socks’ – are fabulous!!! Congrats to this exciting find. Regarding the shoe size I can absolutely relate, being graced with US 10 feet, too. Taking out your new shoes sure sounded like fun :-)
    Happy knitting
    Susan G.

  8. Oooo, nice toe cleavage on those heels. And if you want a tutorial on running in heels you need to watch Judy Holliday in Solid Gold Cadillac RUNNING across the street in NYC. Talent. Just sayin. Can’t tell you much about the movie but that scene taught me the how to in running and gracefully walking in heels. Knees together girls!

  9. Very, very nice shoes! Finally, a pic!

  10. When my sister got married I found some four inch high Chinese Laundry shoes that absolutely went with my dress, so I had to buy them, and then I had to learn to walk in them, which I accomplished by tottering around my apartment during Titans games. Literally walked the entire game. Because crazy shoes deserve that kind of crazy breaking-in. I did great at the wedding – the church was carpeted, just like my apartment.

  11. just so you know those stockings are fabulous and for $48? i think thats a steal.
    anyway men used to wear heels. and high heels too. go look it up i swear they did. i think in the renaissance
    anyway rememeber in heels its heel –>toe. but dont slam the toe down:) they do throw off your sense of balance though dont they?
    good luck and remember practice makes perfect:)

  12. Love the shoes, nothing looks better on date night than heels (and, feminism aside, our legs just look better in heels, sorry).

  13. Oh.
    My.
    Word.
    Those STOCKINGS!!! Those incredible, gauge-defying STOCKINGS!
    What a treasure!

  14. You know, I used to visit estate sales regularly, then our basement got too full of stuff… You’re making me wan tto start going again.

  15. Those socks are amazing! Gorgeous! What a find!

  16. WOW! You won the Socktoberfest lottery with those stockings.
    I”m a size 10 too, if (ha) you get tired of them, send them my way.

  17. I’m so glad you bought those beautiful stockings. I can’t imagine what on earth you’d wear them with, but I do think they deserve to be worn occasionally. Whoever knitted them must have intended them for actual use. I mean, would anybody actually knit lace knee socks at 13 stitches per inch just to pass the time?

  18. Those socks are a marvel. The shoes, now, not so much. The best means of locomotion in shoes like that is to kick them off and walk around barefoot.

  19. The socks are breathtaking! Only a true knitter and sock lover could appreciate them…so it is great that they found you.
    About the shoes…I am terrible about shoes. I am the perfect candidate for heals with a size 7 1/2 shoe and I’m only 5’3″ tall. BUT…they hurt. I like flat Clarks that I can just slip into with warm handknit socks and no trouble. But you may have convinced me to try again because those pointy toes really do scream “date night” and I need one! Look out Nordstrom…here I come!

  20. Gorgeous stockings. They deserve their own little velvet lined shadow-box frame so they can be hung on the wall and admired for the artwork they are (tho perhaps after the $48 pricetag they won’t mind if you use the Michael’s “50% off all custom framing” coupon). I admire anyone (including, to my chagrin, my 6yo who has been stealing her older sisters’ “Cinderella after the bibbidy-bobbedy-booing” shoes since she was barely 2) who can safely navigate in pointy toed, spiky heeled shoes. Me, I occasionally fall off my flip-flops. Maybe I’d better start my training program with a good pre-school heel and work my way up. Tho now that I think about it, my pointy-toed sh*t kickers in my HS cowgirl days had a pretty respectable heel. Hmm, now where did I put that Shepler’s catalog? :)

  21. Those stockings are incredible! Such a gauge and for so many, many inches! Wow!!! (think that was enough exclamation marks?)

  22. Dearest Ann,
    When one’s husband takes one out to dine in gorgeous, but inappropriate for anything but looking fabulous, footware. One’s husband drops one off at the door of the swanky bistro, or if the skirt accompaning the shoes makes getting out of the car impossible and it should, one’s husband helps one out of car. Then one is poised to stroll the few feet to the luxe eatery and (swill) sip a manhattan while one’s husband parks the car. Shoes like those were not meant for distance locomotion.
    Take it from one who knows the face plant in the skirt and heels combo is powerfully unsexy. ;)
    Gwyneth

  23. At 5’2″ I need all the help I can get! I live in my 4″ heels, even if I am toting around a 16 month old in one arm.

  24. They’re lovely shoes! My best tip for walking in heels is to take smaller steps. The occasional hip swing can help if you’re wobbly – and it looks fabulous too :-)

  25. How times change! From all the things we used to worry about on a date, to just worrying about making it home without a wipeout! Still, those are fun shoes.

  26. Hmm, I thought we larged-footed gals were a new fangled invention. Are you sure those gorgeous socks aren’t proof of gay marriage in the olden days?

  27. I have some big-a*s high heeled boots that I just love. In my mind, there is no reason why feminism and sexy shoes should be mutually exclusive :-)

  28. I just saw a tutorial — i kid you not — for walking in heels. for the life of me, i can’t recall if it was in a magazine or on a website.
    Those stockings are just magnificent. Truly a fantastic find!

  29. wow, those socks are gorgeous and worth every penny…. 13 stitches to the inch..it must had taken ages…¬

  30. Nope, Ann. Can’t go with you on the shoes. This type of shoe, like pantyhose, are the direct results of male oppression, not to mention frequent orthopedic and chiropractic visits. Nope, just can’t go there.

  31. The socks? Fabulous. Congrats.
    The shoes? Oucchhhhhhh!!! (What you are hearing are My Toes screaming in primal pain when I showed them your shoes.) Lovely, but My Toes and their Friendly Neighboring Bunions say those shoes are totally out of the question!

  32. Great stockings/socks! It is the Birch pattern yes. I’d love to have that pattern. I checked my history books. Some royal silk stockings of the Elizabethan period were knit to 60+ stitches per inch. They of course then cost about 48$ per inch too…

  33. Go visit our friend the Manolo; there is a frighteningly thorough post on wearing and caring for those lovely, victimizing shoes.
    I should be one for wearing the high heels, being more than a foot shorter than my husband (I have been known for using his navel as a nosewarmer). But having been raised a 2nd gen fem, I shied away from shoes that perked my butt, lengthened my calves and crushed my toes for the benefit of the casual observer. Hubby points out that heels reduce the difference in our height only by 20% and therefore aren’t worth the pain. Besides, my nose might get cold.

  34. *drooool* all over your socks and shoes. Love love love them!!
    Thanks for showing them, every woman needs a pair or two of sexy heels, it just does something to us. We hurt real bad, but man do we look hot!!

  35. Awesome footwear. I think you’re right, the socks must have been for a wedding. I can just imagine grandmother knitting them for a beloved granddaughter. Or perhaps the young lady knit them for herself and stashed them away in her hope chest.
    And the shoes! Definetly date shoes. I’m so glad you shared them with us.

  36. Great post! Great comments! yeah shoes!

  37. I wore a pair of borrowed heels very much like the j.v. pair to Atlanta a couple of months ago to see “Beauty and the Beast” in the Fox. We were going to get there late and we were afraid that they wouldn’t let us in after the show started, so we (me and about 7 other college freshmen girl) took off running down the street. Naturally, the heels weren’t having it, but taking them off and running barefooted is definitely a viable option when you really really need to get somewhere.
    You should really wear those socks! They are amazing!

  38. With my size 11 feet, I am feeling your pain, Ann! I cannot imagine knitting such socks for myself, ever – that woman must have been formidable!
    As to the wearing of heels – I don’t do it much, mostly because it’s hard to find them in an 11, and I’ve always thought they hurt – but I feel like a total wimp, because I work with a lady that’s 7 months pregnant and she wears a skirt and sexy heels EVERYDAY. Not pumps, even, but HEELS. Craziness!

  39. Oh yeah, forgot to mention that my feet were killing me the next day for the 8 hours I wore the shoes and the 2 blocks I ran without them..haha..good times..

  40. 3 cheers for the excellent footwear post! Quiet respect for the knitter of the socks and gape-mouthed awe at the shoe story.

  41. The junior varsity shoes are gorgeous. My size 7.5 feet covet them AND the hand knit stockings.

  42. Ahh…. the shoes. My heart rate went up a bit for a moment there. They are beautimous. I’m sure you looked fab in them. Go shoes! I dare them to defy our feminism. They are but gorgeous bits of leather, turned by man (or possibly woman) to our desires. So there. And congrats on the sock acquisition — they’re amazing.

  43. You wear heels because when you walk in them, it halves men’s IQs. Feminism at it’s finest; you are smart, you are who you want to be, and you are HOT.
    Work it, baby.

  44. DAMN! those shoes are HOT!!!
    work your way up slowly–don’t rush yourself in heels! :o)
    love them. they are great specimens! so are the legs! :o)
    and those socks?!!! unbelievable…

  45. LOVE the socks! They are so beautiful and LOVE the shoes! I just had bunions removed and the joint replaced in my big toe(!) and I’m hoping to be able to finally wear heels like those again because it’s been impossible for about 2 years!

  46. OH lordy shades of my past. You are just toooo young. I remember the glorious shoes like these but lets say the 50’s I loved them but with a size 4 yea a size 4 (which would no longer fit.) You really are on tip toe. Elegant they are wear them while you can. Then you save them for all the little girls in the neighborhood to play dress up. Makes for a popular NANA.

  47. Feeling sexy is a total feminist value, and if those pointy shoes (which are lovely but look scary to me) do it for you, then more power to you, mama!

  48. Well aren’t you just the hootchiest of the hootchy mamas! I had something completely different in mind, more Sex & the City. These are downright refined.
    I don’t even want to get into the feminist high heel debate but it seems to me we’d have to throw out all of Western Civilization to get back to some kind of imaginary ‘what would we wear if we had never been chattle’?
    I know a young woman who won’t wear dresses. Ever. Not even at her bat mitzvah. Because a dress, historically, has been an ornamentation of the female intended to attract the male, and therefore dresses are to be avoided as oppressive. I respect this point of view but I enjoy being ornamental at times (it’s getting harder and harder, I must say). We all draw the line in a different place I spose.
    And those socks look like they just came off the needles. I heart knitting. xoxo Kay

  49. Coming out of lurking to comment on this one!
    Love the shoes! As a 6’1″ tall with size 10s who learned to run in 3.5 ” heels a looong time ago: there’s ALWAYS a feeling of power and beauty in high heels! As for your safety, if you can’t run in them, take them off and whack your attacker with the heel! They’ve been known to go right through skulls (though anywhere soft might be easier!! And no, I haven’t tried it myself. Just something I learned in a self-defense class.)
    The stockings are an absolute TREASURE! And shouldn’t really be worn. If you wear them, and wear them out, then they’re lost forever. The Costumer’s Code of Conduct says that one should never wear actual items of period clothing for dressing purposes. They should be saved for study and for future generations. Just sayin’.

  50. Thank you thank you — for sharing the exquisite stockings and the very non-mommy shoes.
    My shoe loving heart was warmed, but my birkenstock wearing feet are probably staying right where they are.
    As for ladies with larger feet being a newish thing — my maternal grandma wore 10’s. She was also nearly 6 feet tall, until osteoporosis (which no one talked about then) set in.

  51. The stockings are astoundingly beautiful. I am in awe of the knitter who made them. If only we knew who that skilled craftsperson was.
    The shoes just look painful to me ! I’m all about foot comfort. Should have shares in Birkenstock !
    I’m sure you looked,and felt,fabulous.

  52. First of all, those socks. Wow! I can’t even imagine the time they took. Years?! They would take me years.
    Second, I am so impressed with your adventures in high heels. I can’t walk in heels at all–I’m terrified of the day that I have to be a professional lady in high heeled shoes. You’ve inspired me to work a little harder at it.

  53. The socks are great. But the shoes! Forget the heels, weren’t your toes pinched? Anything that reminds you you are more than a mom is worth it’s weight in platinum.
    Mid life crisis, is right. ANd why the heck not?
    Mine was getting my ears pierced at age 48… I think. WHo knows? I’m not 6 feet under yet!

  54. Those socks just take my breath away, you are lucky to have them!

  55. Not only are they shoes, they are FREE shoes!
    Think for a minute: would you have purchased these? nope. Would you have gone searching for these? nope. WOuld you have worn them often if a saleslady had pushed them on you? nope.
    BUT….having them gifted by a respected friend, having the buddy seal of approval on them, getting to test drive them for a few days before THE DATE made it all possible! Like borrowing someone’s haircut for a few days to see if suits.
    The new ann–The High Heel ANN!
    (oh, and those socks are unbelievably stunning. I love the lace–leaves are my fave pattern. Good buy!)

  56. Work it in those All-Pro Heels, they are totally fab!

  57. You got a bargain all around!

  58. The socks are fabulous! I can’t believe they were only $48!
    Love the shoes. Especially the All-pro ones. I have a love affair with shoes. I have no where to wear them and haven’t been on a date with the Mr. in nearly four years, but if ever it happens, I have the shoes.

  59. Okay, I’m more or less a feminist at heart, but nothing, no nothing, makes your legs look better, even at their tanned and aerobic’ed best, than a good lookin’ pair of heels.
    Rock on Ann (and I love the socks too!)

  60. I LOVE the shoes although I have to admit I’m more of a chunky heel girl myself. Kudos to you for hittin’ the town in some hot pointy-toed shoes.
    The socks are just incredible. Words fail me.

  61. The socks are glorious, and I’m very happy for the three of you (you and the two socks) that you have found each other. You are all very lucky.
    The shoes are hot beyond belief. I, also with the large feet which are not practiced in the wearing of such things, am jealous.

  62. I am now burning with desire for a pair of socks like these. Why can’t they just sell a pair like this at Target and spare me the bother of knitting myself a pair? :P

  63. oh my goodness….those stockings make me want to weep. we should all pray that something that is the play of our hands makes such a history for us. reminds me of a quasi-quote from Cyrano…”take my happiness tho you never know i gave it to you”

  64. The stockings are the most beautiful thing in the world. They are the Perfect Stockings(tm). Please say there will be a pattern made. Please please please.

  65. Those Junior Varsity Heels are pretty snappy! Oh, but the socks! What a perfect find.

  66. I think heels are how women prove they can do ANYTHING.

  67. I cannot believe how gorgeous those white socks are. What a find! And the price tag is totally worth it. Wow. (Nice shoes too! Heels definitely have their place.) =)

  68. Sweetie, feminists INVENTED high heel shoes. Can men kill people with their heels? I think not.
    And wolf whistle at you. Better watch your feet don’t show up on some foot f*tish p*rn site.

  69. In the words of that great hunk of man, Toby Keith…you’re one hot mama! I have complete shoe envy!

  70. True feminists are not afraid to (occasionally) embrace their femininity. Who wants to be a man anyway? About the pointy-toed high heels – where I growed up, we called them “cockroach-in-the-corner killers”. How I miss them good ol’ days. About the delicious socks, my god, girl, git you a mini skirt to wear ‘em with!

  71. You look great in those shoes. You may have size 10’s but they’re sooo elegant. Me, I have size 7’s but they are shaped just like a duck’s.
    What I thought of immediately when I saw the shoes was Laura of Project Runway fame – the fabulously elegant, fashion-designing, martini- drinking mom of 6, my new role model. Wear ‘em with pride, there’s plenty of time for sensible shoes later.

  72. As a size 11, I can tell you that my feet hate me every single step of the way when I shove them into babies like that and teeter-totter anywhere. But damn, if they don’t make me feel sexy!

  73. Congratulations on your find! I found a (mostly) working spinning wheel at a goodwill out here (AZ) and I named it Alexandretta as it is pretty much the holy grail of bargain hunting. I haven’t learned to spin yet, but I have restored/gotten to know her and she has a similar facinating past.

  74. Oh, I forgot to mention, the wheel cost $39.99.

  75. men invented and wore high heels first. they were especially popular in the 16th and 17th centuries because they made the calf (the sexiest thing a man had going) look buff and defined.
    When women started showing their legs, we jumped on.

  76. Very, very pretty shoes. I wear a 10.5 or 11, and shopping for shoes pretty much blows, so I just don’t do it.
    And, those antique socks were an exceptional SCORE. Let me know if your home just can’t hold them anymore someday. I’ll gladly take them off of your hands.
    Also, when is the next gathering at the library? I missed out last time…
    Smiles,
    Erin

  77. must wear lace socks with black heels…

  78. LOVE the shoes. Especially the jr. varsity ones, actually. It’s not the heel height (especially since you’re the one wearing them, and not me with my ridiculously short feet (I mean, it’s stupid, who would think that a 5’7″ tall woman would have to try to make it through life with size 6-1/2 feet?)), but the style, mon. Love those black ones. Love those long, graceful feet. Woohoo! You go, girl.

  79. You want to learn how to walk in heels? Ask a drag queen. I am serious! That is how I learned. She, uh, he, no, SHE showed me how to do the heel, toe thing, and move with a sort of sauntering sway.
    I did very well, until I drank too many shots and fell off the shoes. But I did retain the teaching to this day.

  80. 73 foot fetsihists who knit are now fans of your blog. Can you say bromodrosis?

  81. I can spell “fetishist”. I just didn’t choose to in my last post. hahahah

  82. Oh my god those knee highs made me gasp for air!!!

  83. Dear Ann:
    The stockings need to be shrined and worshiped regularly. My mouth was open in awe over each and every picture.
    The shoes… WOW! Made me feel like a real woman just looking at them. Very sexy. Reminds me of a pair of light dusty lavendar Nichols I owned in a size 6.5 even though I wear a 7.5 and my feet hurt after an evening in them… worth it though, they made me feel great.

  84. The heels look great! Here’s a little advice from this NYer — whne you’re in a hurry, walk in the street to avoid cracks in the sidewalk (you won’t have time to look down as you’re walking and will get stuck, which I have done many times much to the ruination of my heels!).
    ;-)

  85. I am still trying to absorb the concept of 13 stitches to the inch.

  86. Thanks for showing off the incredibly fine lady’s stockings! Can we see the center back view, please? Is there calf shaping??

  87. Oh, those socks are spectacular! I am floored by them. Please give them to me to stare at all day.

  88. I don’t wear ‘em, myself, but wife of the man who was a councelor at the ADL interfaith camp my DD went to taught the girls to walk in high heels at a banquet (where they showed off the kids as one of their projects)…you walk TOE heel, TOE heel…always put the TOE down first. No ugly clumping then. But I’ll stick to my Birks, Crocs, and Keens…with lands’ end skimmers for best ;-)

  89. Those socks are spectacular. I just keep staring at them. Please oh please give us as many details as you are willing to. Or, maybe map out the pattern for the next book. Anything. I’m trying to chart out the lace by staring at your photos. I must make socks like these.

  90. I’m knitting my Elfine’s Socks as I read this, and from what I can see, the leaves are identical!
    http://autoscopia.com/amelia/assets/elfinesocks.pdf

  91. I absolutely miss and love reading your blog girls!! the halloween costumes were a blast, the SOCKS are a dream.. wow i want to find the german heel instructions and try those the next time i make a pair of socks.. gosh it is so warm here i don’t think i’ll be wearing socks anymore but to make a pair like that it would be worth it! :-) lots of hugs and come visit my blog:-) karola

  92. I’m laughing so hard I’m going to get wrinkle lines.
    Most of my shoes barely make the third string team. I guess I own a pair of couple pairs of JVs and boy those are exciting enough. I have been known to get them stuck in the cracks between the slats of the front porch on my way out.

  93. You know, I understand the hesitation in wearing antique clothing, that it might be damaged irretrievably — but those stockings are so beautiful, so sturdy-looking despite their laciness, AND THEY FIT YOU! The convergence of these three things plus the fact that they belong to YOU makes not wearing them rather mind-boggling.

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