Gusset formula? Grace Ennis


I am working on an old Christmas stocking pattern created in 1948 by Grace Ennis. It is not the easiest pattern to read for someone new to socks and intarsia and carrying floats. The pattern is knitted flat until it gets to the heel and then it goes to the round. I’ve never knitted a sock before so I’ve learned quite a few new things. Thank goodness for Youtube and KnittingHelp! But I’m not sure about the gusset.

According to the directions, "Now use a 4th working needle and knit the foot round and round as with a plain sock, and at the same time form the triangular gusset which widens the ankle, by decreasing 1 stitch at the forward point of each underfoot needle ON EVERY ROW, until only 18 stitches remain on each underfoot needle. You will probably decrease 20 or 22 times depending on whether 28 or 30 stitches were picked up along the heel edge.

The pattern did not call for a slip stitch on the heel so there are probably more decreases in the original pattern than in my version. (I slip stitched on the first stitch of the heel). I have decreased about 12 stitches and am back to the original number of stitches. My question - after a decrease row in the gusset, am I suppose to knit one row round and then alternate with a decrease row? If I am reading the directions correctly, there is a decrease on every row (K2 and a SSK).

Am I suppose to alternate a knit row with a decrease row? Does knitting a row every other round make a difference? I would appreciate help/advice.

Thank you!


Could you tell us the pattern number? There are lots of Grace Ennis projects on Ravelry with photos that may help to shed some light on this.

Probably this one or one very like it. The directions are the same.

Decrease on every row. Decreasing every other row would lengthen the gusset too much. I count about 12-14 decreases in the Ravelry projects which show sufficient detail.

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Did you find it odd that it says:

form the triangular gusset which widens the ankle by decreasing 1 stitch at the forward point of each underfoot needle

It’s almost English!


I can only think there must have been a lot of hand waving accompanying the translation!
Vintage patterns really are a whole other country.

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Haha! Yes. It is a an exercise for the mind! It is a challenge!

The pattern is Santa and Christmas tree stocking 9001C.

Thank you! Her directions state a 20 t0 22 stitch decrease, but she didn’t slip stitch the end of the heel. I have a 12 stitch decrease. I’ll continue on without the extra round. It is a huge stocking! I’m making it for a friend so I want it to look right. Thank you for your help and interpretation of this pattern.

Even nicer! You’re a good friend to finish this for a friend. I’m also seeing 12-14sts decreased on a side so counting both sides of the gusset that would be closer to the designer’s predicted number.

I feel so much better continuing now that I have your advice. Fingers crossed that the rest goes smoothly. Have a wonderful day!

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