there is usually a course of what appears to be open work stitches. These are called “picot” courses and are formed by lifting alternate stitches from the needles on which they are formed to those needles immediately adjoining them. Picot courses have the dual function of improving the appearance of the stocking and to some extent spreading the tension produced by suspendering.

Technically speaking the leg of a stocking is divided into the following sections; the welt, the under-welt, the thigh, which is the portion of the stocking between the underwelt and the last of the thigh narrowings, and the leg—that is the straight section of the stocking without decreasings between the bottom thigh narrowing and the first or top calf narrowing.

The calf is the section between the first and the last of the calf narrowings, of which there are usually about thirty. The gauge of the stocking and the size of the resultant stitches affect to a certain extent the number of narrowings needed to reduce the width of the fabric by a given amount.

The ankle of the stocking is the next section and this is knitted in a straight-forward manner without narrowings but it is at this point that new carriers are brought into operation on the machine which then commences to knit the splicing.

The splicing of the stocking is usually carried out in an additional yarn and in some cases with a yarn that has already been given a deep toned dye.

The various stages in the production of the finished Heel Splicing (1). In the first picture below, the main carrier of yarn can be seen on the extreme left hand side, and the extra carriers placing pre-dyed yarn for the dark splicing can be seen immediately behind the splicing bar. (P.T.O.)

Preparing to fashion the stocking