Blue and white woolen sock, knitted by Lydia Hooper (then Lydia Leymann), circa 1910. It was made by Lydia in Switzerland before she migrated to Australia, aged 14 in 1911. Lydia migrated to live with her aunt and uncle, Dr and Mrs Dunbar Hooper, in Toorak.
In Melbourne Lydia attended private lessons with Janet Mitchell, the youngest daughter of Lady Mitchell. The girl's were taught by a governess at the Mitchell's home in Gipps Street, East Melbourne. They had normal school lessons in the morning, and then in the afternoon had lessons in sewing, piano, French and German. The sewing lessons were examined by an external examiner under the auspices of the Melbourne Institute for the Advancement of Plain Needlework. Lydia described the lessons that she had as 'an Australian Finishing School'.
Lydia was unable to return to Switzerland because of the outbreak of World War I, so remained in Australia and in 1920 changed her name by deed poll to become more closely identified with her uncle's family. The family were well off and reguarly appeared in the social pages of Melbourne papers. Lydia's uncle was a well-respected doctor and the son of Sir William Roe Hooper. Her aunt was Swiss and had come with Sir Henry and Lady Loch as governess to their daughters; she had met Hooper while he was medical adviser to the staff at Government House, Melbourne. The couple's wedding reception in 1888 was celebrated at Government House, with Sir Henry Lock giving the bride away at Christ Church, South Yarra. Amongst the distinguished guests was the Grand Duke Alexander of Russia.
Hand-knitted sock in blue and white wool, showing several different stitches. The sock background is white, with patterns in blue.
Donation from Miss Lydia Hooper, 28/11/1988
Type of item
25 cm (Length), 10 cm (Width)
Length measured from top to toe. Width measured from heel to instep.