Highland Hose

As a mother of two little Highland dancers (and a recreational Highland dancer, myself!), I recently started making argyle dance hose. These are a requirement for competitive dancers of a certain age/level, and they are steeped in tradition. They are made of pure wool, because that's the Scottish tradition. They are made with a fold-down cuff, to knee-height, with a pattern of argyle diamonds and thin cross-stitches, because that's the Highland tradition. They must match the colors and design of the dancer's kilt tartan (plaid) as exactly as possible, because that's the tradition. Since they must be fitted to the dancer's feet, ankles, and calves, they often must be custom made... by hand. As an old-fashioned crafty girl, creating these dancing hose is RIGHT up my alley!

I learned to knit in March 2019, but I have crocheted since I was 7 years old. I made a few "prayer shawls" under the guidance of the crafting circle ladies at my church, and then I started dreaming of maybe possibly one day considering trying to attempt making argyle hose. I knew it would be complex, but with the mentorship of a dear local hose maker and other friends with knitting knowledge (not to mention YouTube!), I jumped in. The first set I made were for my older daughter and were completed in July 2019. Since then, I have become a woman obsessed. I neglect dishes, cleaning, all sorts of things, just to get more knitting done!

After making both of my daughters their own hose, I started taking orders from other girls in our dance school and now offer my services to the wider world. Here are some good things to know...

Material: 100% wool from the USA

Wait Time: Depending on time of year, it can be around 8-10 weeks for your hose to be completed after deposit is paid. They are HAND-knit, which is time consuming. Also, I have only found one supplier for this very specific weight, fiber, and color-range of yarn, and they are in the USA (I'm in Canada). If I don't currently have the color of yarn you require, we will need to order it from the mill, which will add time to the process.

Measurements: Those local to southern Alberta are welcome to come to my house (west of High River) for measurements in person. Or we could meet at a competition, if our dancers are entered. If you are further away, you're welcome to measure your dancer yourself. Please use a soft measuring tape, like that of a seamstress. These can be easily and cheaply found at a craft store or in the craft section at a store like Walmart. Click here to download the ORDER FORM. You will be able to fill it out on your computer or mobile device. Then save it to your computer or screen shot it on your phone and send me the completed form. Also, FYI, if your dancer is young, I will inflate the measurements to allow for growth. Please send true and current measurements. Do not up-size.

Colors and Argyle Design: The best possible route for choosing colors is to bring me your kilt or mail me a swatch of fabric from your kilt (ask your kilt maker - they are usually happy to give you scraps), so that I can match the colors in person. Computer screens can often make the colors appear different than they are. But if bringing/mailing me your tartan isn't an option, you can choose colors from this color chart.
     You will also need to decide how you want the argyle design to look. Click here to download the Argyle Examples. Options include: cross colors, double marl, split diamonds. Download the Argyle Examples to see what I mean. If you tell me what you're thinking, I can generate a preview, using your chosen pattern and colors. This is especially nice if you're quibbling between a couple different options.

Pricing and Payment:
Depending on the size of your dancer and the complexity of your desired Argyle Design, my price range is $175-$225. If you send me your completed ORDER FORM, I can give you an exact price, before you agree to purchase.
     I require half of the payment up front, and the remainder upon completion. If you live far from me, shipping the hose to you will be additional. I can accept cash, cheque, or e-transfer to carrie@carriebehlke.com.
    I also sell elastic garters to place under the cuffs and keep the socks from slouching. These are adjustable in size and will serve your dancer their whole career. $7 per set.

Questions? Please don't hesitate to contact me! carrie@carriebehlke.com or 403-909-7173 (cell)


  1. Wow, my grandmother ( born in Scotland and came to New Zealand in 1909 ) knitted singlets for me, in the 1940's, knitted socks on 5 very fine needles, I still have those steel needles ( from 1935 or earlier ) but your socks, they take the purple rosette for sure, absolutely amazing.( A purple rosette is given to the Champion of Champions here at horse show events,).

  2. These socks are beautiful Carrie. Nice job!