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Sonny & Shear

In my family, we're all of Irish heritage, and we're VERY proud. In fact, my Dad is so proud he has two kilts that he wears on a regular basis. To dinner, to the store (Imagine a man in a kilt in a Wal-Mart in the Midwest), changing the brakes on my pickup, casual Friday at the office, just about anywhere.

For so long I wanted to make my Dad a pair of kilt hose, GOOD kilt hose for dress occasions, but the only pattern I could find was so abysmally complicated it struck terror into my heart. I almost gave up hope, but the fierce Irish warrior/knitter in me refused to.
Then Ric and Wayne, the awesome owners of my LYS Fiberworks, loaned me their copy of "Designs for Knitting Kilt Hose and Knickerbocker Stockings" by Veronica Gainford. While this is an excellent book, it doesn't really have any patterns; instead it provides a guideline on how to make kilt hose. It sat on my bookshelf for over a year, until I finally got up the courage to figure out how to put it all together and make a pair of evening wear kilt hose. The Amphora Lace Pattern comes from "The Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns" by Sterling Publishing Company. The title of the pattern comes from the Gaelic word for Thunder, which is my Dad's nickname. It's pronounced "teer-nahcht".

The garter, made up of K1, P1 ribbing, and cleverly hidden by the decorative cuff, should be comfortably snug. This is what keeps the socks from falling down. You may also want to try the kilt hose on when you make this part and adjust the gauge or number of sts as needed. Nothing is worse than socks that constantly fall down!

The decreases that work down the calf, slimming the sock to the ankle, are decorative and look like the point of a dagger, which is a required accessory in one's kilt hose for dress occasions.

So for everyone out there who's been looking for a pair of kilt hose to look sharp in, or just to keep their legs warm enough to wear their kilt just a little bit longer, here it is! Everyone should wear their kilts loud and proud.

What you wear under your kilt, however, is still up to you!

model: Patrick photos: Aislinn L. Charlton-Dennis

One (custom fit instructions below in Pattern Notes)

Upper Calf Circumference: 14 inches
Ankle and Foot Circumference: 8 inches
Leg Length: 13.5 inches
Please see Pattern Notes for instructions on customizing size.


Louet Yarns Gems Worsted Weight [100% Merino Wool; 175yd/160m per 100g skein]; color: #49 Charcoal; 4 skeins
Note: Depending on your size, you may only need 3 skeins of yarn. I just barely needed 4.

Recommended needle size:
1 set of 5 US #2/2.75mm double-point needles
1 set of 5 US #4/3.5mm double-point needles
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]

Tapestry needle
Stitch holder



24 sts/28 Rows = 4 inches in stockinette st using larger needles


[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here]

Notes on  adjusting the pattern for a custom fit:

  1. Measure the calf at its narrowest point, just below the knee, for the upper circumference: this measurement tells you how big to make the calf cuff. Multiply the number of inches by 6 sts/inch. Round the resulting number to the nearest multiple of 12 to determine the number of stitches to cast on for the patterned cuff; round the same number down oto the nearest multiple of 6 to determine the number of stitches to increase to after working the ribbed garter.
  2. Measure the circumference of the ankle. Multiply the number of inches by 6 sts/inch, then round the resulting number down to the nearest multiple of 6 to determine the number of stitches to decrease to for the ankle.
  3. Measure the length of the calf, from the point just below the knee to the top of the ankle. This will determine the length of the sock leg. I had my dad try these socks on occasionally to make sure the length was just right. This can be a little precarious, but I found that adding several extra needles allowed the sock to stretch safely without losing any sts.
  4. Measure the length of the foot, from the back of the heel to the tip of the toe.

SKP: Sl 1, k1, pass slipped st over.

1x1 Rib (Worked in the round over an even number of sts):
Round 1: [K1, p1] to end.
Repeat this round for 1x1 Rib.

5x1 Rib (Worked in the round over a multiple of 6 sts):
Round 1: [K5, p1] to end.
Repeat this round for 5x1 Rib.

Instructions for grafting can be found here.


Using US #4/3.5mm double-point needles, CO 84 sts. Divide sts between needles and join to begin working in the round, being careful not to twist.

P 4 rounds.
Work 24 rounds in Amphora Pattern.
P 3 rounds.

Next Round: [P5, p2tog] 12 times. 72 sts.

Using US #2/2.75mm double-point needles, work 2 inches in 1x1 Rib.

Next Round:
Using US #4/3.5mm double-point needles, [p6, m1] 12 times. 84 sts.

Before continuing, turn the work inside out, so that the WS of the cuff is facing you as you work the RS of the leg. This is very important! If you do not do this, the cuff will be inside out when the sock is worn.

Work 2.5 inches in 5x1 Rib.

Shape Calves:
Next Round: K2tog, work in pattern to last 3 sts, ssk, p1.

Work 2 rounds in pattern as set.

Repeat these 3 rounds 17 times more. 48 sts.

Continue in 5x1 Rib as set until work measures 13.5 inches from top of garter, or desired length to top of heel flap.

Work first 36 sts of round in pattern; slip last 12 sts of round to same needle as first 12 sts. Heel flap will be worked back and forth over these 24 sts; calf decreases are centered directly above heel flap. Divide remaining 24 sts between 2 needles and leave them on hold for instep.

Row 1 [RS]: [Sl 1, k1] 12 times.
Row 2 [WS]: Sl 1, p to end.
Repeat these 2 rows 12 times more.

Row 1 [RS]: Sl 1, k13, ssk, k1. Turn work.
Row 2 [WS]: Sl 1, p5, p2tog, p1. Turn work.
Row 3 [RS]: Sl 1, k6, ssk, k1. Turn work.
Row 4 [WS]: Sl 1, p7, p2tog, p1. Turn work.
Row 5 [RS]: Sl 1, k8, ssk, k1. Turn work.
Row 6 [WS]: Sl 1, p9, p2tog, p1. Turn work.
Row 7 [RS]: Sl 1, k10, ssk, k1. Turn work.
Row 8 [WS]: Sl 1, p11, p2tog, p1. Turn work.
Row 9 [RS]: Sl 1, k12, ssk. Turn work.
Row 10 [WS]: Sl 1, p12, p2tog. Turn work. 14 heel sts remain.

K the 14 sts of the heel, then using same needle, pick up and k 13 sts (1 st in each slipped st) along edge of heel flap. This needle will be designated Needle 1.

Work the held instep sts on the next 2 needles in 5x1 Rib as set. These needles will be Needles 2 and 3.

Using the remaining needle, pick up and k 13 sts along remaining edge of heel flap, then k first 7 sts of heel from Needle 1. This needle is Needle 4; this point (center of heel) will be beginning of round.

There are 64 sts: 20 sts each on Needles 1 and 4, 12 sts each on Needles 2 and 3.

Gusset Round 1: K to last 3 sts on Needle 1, k2tog, p1; work sts on Needles 2 and 3 in pattern; k1, ssk, k to end of Needle 4.

Gusset Round 2: K to last st of Needle 1, p1; work sts on Needles 2 and 3 in pattern; k to end of Needle 4.
Repeat these 2 rounds 7 times more. 48 sts: 12 sts on each needle.

Work all sts in pattern as set (as per Gusset Round 2) until foot measures 2 inches less than desired length to end of toe.

Toe Round 1: K to last 3 sts on Needle 1, k2tog, k1; k 1, ssk, k to end of Needle 2; k to last 3 sts on Needle 3, k2tog, k1; k 1, ssk, k to end of Needle 4.
Toe Round 2: K all sts.
Repeat these 2 rounds 5 times more. 24 sts.

Work Toe Round 1 twice. 16 sts.
K sts of Needle 1 onto Needle 4, and slip sts from Needle 3 to Needle 2. Remaining 2 needles each hold 8 sts.
Graft sts from one needle to sts of other needle.


Weave in all ends. Wash and block lightly.


This is Aislinn's first published pattern. She is a firefighter and a Paramedic living in Ohio. She is proud of her Irish heritage (and name) and loves her amazing Dad, especially when he wears his kilt in Wal-Mart.

Sometimes she can knit at work.
Saving lives + Knitting = Best Job EVER.