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Power of Ten Socks

Inspired by German calf warmers she saw in photographs and paintings, Carol decided to design a pair of socks with traditional designs.

Carol Huebscher Rhoades Oct 27, 2023 - 4 min read

Power of Ten Socks Primary Image

In photos of contemporary Bavarian dancers and historic paintings, Carol Huebscher Rhoades spotted something interesting: knitted calf warmers. “I have a number of knitting books from Germany; most of them are pattern dictionaries with stitch motifs and garment instructions for traditional knitwear from Bavaria and Austria,” she wrote. “Stocking patterns with complex motifs of twisted traveling stitches abound, but no calf warmers.”

Intrigued, Carol researched further: ”Originally, calf coverings were considered poor man’s socks and were worn to protect the legs much as leggings do now. No socks were worn inside the shoes, and many people wore no shoes at all. Interestingly, few examples of calf warmers are knitted with what we consider typical Bavarian knitting—twisted traveling stitches.”

Carol was inspired to interpret what she saw in a new knitting design. “The various German calf warmers I saw in photographs and paintings inspired me with their lace and cable patterns as well as the occasional colorwork,” she wrote. “Since socks are more practical than calf warmers, I decided to design a pair with traditional designs.”


Yarn Kauni 8 /2(100% wool; 656 yd [599.8 m]/150 g [5.3 oz]): #HH3 Gray, 1 ball.
Needles Sizes 1 (2.25 mm) and 0 (2 mm) circulars, 40" (100 cm) or sizes needed to obtain gauge.
Notions Cable needle, stitch markers (m), stitch holder, tapestry needle.
Gauge 32 sts and 44 rnds = 4" (10 cm) in St st on smaller needles.
Finished Size About 9" (23 cm) foot circumference, 9¾" (25 cm) from back of heel to tip of toe, and 9" (23 cm) from top of leg to base of heel.

Photo by Joe Coca

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