Every wonder why these made-to-measure, made-to-match, hose cost so much? Well, it is an honest question, that I myself asked. There are certain colors (mostly for darker traditional kilts) that are produced in more volume and are less expensive. Until Highland dancing becomes as popular as soccer, these socks won’t be made by the thousands in a factory with the subsequent drop in price. Like the kilt and many other traditional needle crafts, patience, time and skill are essential.

Here are the steps that go into making a pair of custom, matched hose.hoseframe

Color picking and pattern designing
Ordering or dying yarn.
Pre-washing yarn by hand to remove excess dye.
Winding the marl. Using a spinning wheel, I ply two strands of yarn together.
Forming yarn into center pull balls. My children used to enjoy doing this but they’ve grown and I’ve gotten an electric ball winder.
Adjusting pattern to fit individual. A little math insures the sock fits correctly!
Placing each yarn in the needles by hand, the machine knits all the stitches in the row at once. Each diamond has 33-39 rows and takes approx. 45 min to complete by machine. For a sock with 5 diamonds down the front that adds up to almost 4 hours just for the leg of one sock! By hand? Don’t even ask.

Once the sock is removed from the machine the seams must be sewn together and all the yarn ends must be woven in.

Blocking the sock with steam relaxes the fibers and sets them where I want them to be as I match the dimensions for which I measured.
Once dry, the hose are packed in a lined cotton drawstring bag with small hanks of extra yarn, care instructions and a lavender sachet.