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Archive entry for September 2008

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September 2008

Trekking Socks


My sister was going on a summer trekking holiday and wanted some suitable socks to wear in her riding boots. I have created these simple socks in soft wool/cotton double knitting to meet the needs for a thick summer sock. I can't say how well the wool/cotton will wear as a sock wool, but the double knitting weight means they take about 5 minutes to knit (OK maybe a bit longer...).
I made the largest size for my sister (UK shoe size 5 or 6) - the smaller sizes are intended for children. You can wear the tops extended if used under riding boots, or rolled down if, perhaps, wearing shorts with heavy hiking boots.

Instructions (work 2 alike).

Cast on 36 (40;44;48) stitches loosely; divide over 3 needles and join in a round.

Work 35 rounds in k2, p2 rib (or required length).

Next Round: K1, make 1 by picking up bar between sts and knitting into the back of it; knit to last st; make 1, k1. [38 (42;46;50) sts]

Knit 5 rounds straight.

Divide for heel

Next Round: K9 (10;11;12), and then slip the last 10 sts of the round onto the other end of the same needle - these 19 (21;23;25) sts are for the heel. Divide the remaining sts between two needles, and leave for the instep.

Commence Heel

1st Row: Slip 1 purlwise, purl to end.

2nd Row: Slip 1 knitwise. * K1, keeping yarn at back of work, slip 1 purlwise; repeat from * to last 2 sts; k2.

Repeat these 2 rows 8 (9;10;11) times more, then the first row again.

Turn Heel

1st Row: K13 (14;15;16) sts, slip 1, k1, psso (pass the slipped stitch over), turn.

2nd Row: Slip 1, p7, p2tog, turn.

3rd Row: Slip 1, k7, slip 1, k1, psso, turn.

Repeat the 2nd and 3rd rows 3 (4;5;6) times more, then the 2nd row once.

K5, thus completing the heel. 4 sts remain unworked on the left-hand needle.

Using spare needle, knit 4 heel sts, pick up and knit 10 (12;14;16) sts along side of heel. Slip all instep sts on to one needle, and using 2nd needle knit across instep sts. Using 3rd needle, pick up and knit 10 (12;14;16) sts along side of heel, then knit 5 heel sts. [48 (54;60;66) sts].

Shape instep:

1st round: Knit.

2nd round: 1st needle: knit to the last 3sts, k2tog, k1.
2nd needle: Knit. 3rd needle: K1, slip1, k1, psso knit to end.

Repeat these two rounds until 38 (42;46;50) sts remain.

Continue on these sts until work measures 4¼(5;5¾;6½) inches, or desired length, from where sts were knitted up at the heel.

Shape Toe:

1st round: 1st needle: knit to the last 3sts, k2tog, k1.
2nd needle: K1, slip1, k1, psso knit to the last 3sts, k2tog, k1.
3rd needle: K1, slip1, k1, psso knit to end.

2nd round: Knit.

Repeat these 2 rounds until 18 sts remain.

Making Up

Knit sts from 1st needle on to end of 3rd needle.
Graft sts together. Sew in ends. Press.


2 x 50g balls Rowan Wool Cotton , shade 930, "Riviera".

One set of 4 number 9 (3¾mm) needles.


24st and 32 rows to four inches on No 9 needles.

Size matters

Length of foot approximately 7½(8½;9½;10½) inches (adjustable).

A word on the wool.

Wool Cotton is possibly my favourite Rowan yarn; a 50/50 blend of soft Merino wool and cotton. I am not sure how well it will stand up to wear and tear in a sock, but the cotton should improve durability.
However, my sister reports that although they were fine (soft and lovely) while riding, they "felt like walking on a string bag" - which I have noticed myself with other handknit cotton socks and probably these are worse being larger gauge. So - either wear a thin cotton inner sock, or stick with conventional DK sock wool.


In transposing any pattern it is always a risk that errors will be introduced, in spite of dedicated proof reading.
If you have any problems with this pattern, please and I will try and assist.



Here's a picture of the socks "in use". Left to right - my sister at the rear on the grey, Susanna, Liz, and leading on the palamino, Tom, the guide.


Llanthony Riding and Trekking is based at Court Farm, next to Llanthony Priory; here's the full picture (from which the detail above is taken) showing the fabulous scenery and environment in Wales. Lyn strongly recommends the bed and breakfast accommodation that she enjoyed at Pen-y-dre Farm


© Christina Coutts 2007

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