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I’m not going to pretend to impartiality here: Fatimah Hinds’s Toe-Up Knee Socks are my favorite socks. Ever. The moment I saw them, I was hopelessly besotted.

I was predisposed: I’ve always loved knee socks. As one of the last people who can remember when girls were required to wear dresses to school—it seems unimaginable now, but we lived it—I had an emotional attachment to my knee socks. Store-bought though they were, those knee socks made me feel like someone cared that my legs were often cold on the walk to school.

They were also sassy and sporty, as a look—empowering, in fact. The combo of knee socks + saddle shoes will always be sacred to me, with knee socks + penny loafers coming in a close second. And knee socks + clogs:  that is a trail I am excited to blaze. I don’t rule out even the alpine duo of knee socks + hiking boots. All knee sock ensembles are good.

They can no longer tell little girls they must wear dresses, and I’m hereby declaring that they are also not going to tell adults of any age that they cannot wear knee socks and skirts, or knee socks and trousers, or knee socks and shorts—we are wearing the knee socks, people. And now, we are knitting them, in DK weight yarns that knit up quickly into calf-cozying warmth.

Fatimah Hinds’s Toe-Up Knee Socks are the platonic ideal of knee socks. They are cushy and cable-y, with customizable calf shaping to ensure a good fit for all. To see them is to be filled with the desire to knit them, and wear them, and love your life, warm legs and all.

Jump Into Socks

We’re offering a special three-hour virtual class with Fatimah on Friday, June 21. Sock Tips and Tricks is ideal for both new and experienced sock knitters. Fatimah has a wealth of knowledge and inspiration to share, so don’t miss this Zoom event.

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16 Comments

  • I am completely obsessed with knee socks and credit them with getting me through many bitter winters in Boston Mass when I was in elementary school. I loved dresses and wore them to school (enduring the perpetual side-eye of my contemporaries) and my knee socks were sacred and essential! I was SO excited to see this pattern in the new field guide. Huzzah!

    • You got it! Knees socks are essential in Boston winters, especially when you are a parochial school girl in a uniform and it so so not cool to wear pants under your jumper but you have to walk to school.

  • I agree, those knee socks are enchanting. And I love the Agni Y yarn, so luscious!

  • My mother, who grew up in rural Maine in the 1930’s, called them Tall Socks (and, not surprisingly, their ankle counterparts, Short Socks.) Call them what you will, in high school our knee socks kept our calves warm while our thighs froze in our mini-skirts.

  • You are definitely not the last person to remember wearing dresses to school. I wore skirts and dresses through freshman year of college. Knee socks, plaid skirts, white blouses, vests and loafers. Ah, I remember it well. Wasn’t that a song title?

    • “Oh yes, I remember it well…” Maurice Chevallier and Hermione Gingold sing it in “Gigi”. A favorite movie in our household.

      And I, too, love these knee socks. I never wore pants to school until I took a stagecraft class in High School… Now I wear leg warmers in ballet class and I’m thinking this pattern without the foot could be just right.

    • “Ah yes, I remember it well…” Maurice Chevallier and Hermione Gingold sing it in “Gigi”. A favorite movie in our household.

      And I, too, love these knee socks. I never wore pants to school until I took a stagecraft class in High School… Now I wear leg warmers in ballet class and I’m thinking this pattern without the foot could be just right.

  • I remember the 1950’s when Bermuda shorts came on the scene and knee socks were part of the look. Anyone else remember that?

    • Was there, did that. Gray flannel Bermudas. Oh, my.

    • Sure do! I think very early sixties. My older brother had a party at our house and the coolest of the cool girls wore plaid wool Bermudas, cabled knee socks and Weejuns. Peter Pan collared shirt, gold circle pin. Villager sweaters. Mohair!

      • Started in the fifties when I was in high school!

      • Be still my heart! Absolutely – all of it (with the exception of wool Bermudas – I only ever saw summer versions the coolest of which were Madras). Villager sweaters which the slim girls could wear across their shoulders and flip the cuffs to keep it in place. Sigh. Weejuns! Mine were pebble textured and I literally wore them to bits and pieces.

  • Oh I love the knee high socks, as my legs feel a draughty and the cold making them ache. I will have try making them.

  • Hmmm…I’m not a fan of sock knitting, but knee-length handknit socks might be a different story. I love knee socks. I will have to peruse my copy of Sock Odyssey a little more closely!

  • I had to wear dresses until 8th grade and I lived in New England on really cold days snow pants were worn under dresses. And on gym days? Those despicable blue gym suit/janitor jumpsuits. Ha. I cannot imagine
    trying to get my daughters into that get up.
    Knee socks, even tho they always fell down my skinny calves, and pleated skirts, and of course turtlenecks. Sigh.

  • I still wear knee socks almost every day (I don’t wear skirts or shorts). I don’t like the feel of crew or ankle socks on my legs, or of knee socks that slide down when I walk, so I am very selective of the kinds of knee socks I buy. Anyone know how to knit a pair of knee socks that will stay up? Will these?

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