Pattern: Wanderly Socks
Some people travel with a destination in mind, and others like to get outdoors and follow where the path leads. These sport-weight, unisex hiking socks are inspired by the wandering type of adventure – the kind that surprises and delights, even if you don’t always know what’s around the next bend.
We cast on at the toe, then take an unexpected turn by introducing a new color. We knit straightforwardly for a bit, then allow the stitches to begin to twist to form charming little offset cables that wander in opposite directions on each sock. We detour into color at the heel and then take a long run up the leg before diverting back into our contrast color at the top of the cuff. In the end, we wind up with socks that are tall enough to be worn under boots, extra-cushiony for long treks, and long-wearing, thanks to the high twist in Morehouse Farm’s Gator yarn and the firm gauge to which they are knit. Now that they’ve taken you on a little adventure, where will you take them?
Skills/Techniques: Judy’s magic cast-on, knitting in the round, increasing, decreasing, cabling, afterthought heel, sewn bind-off
I’ve provided plenty of trail maps for your sock adventure. If these are your first socks, or your first time working some of these techniques, you’ll appreciate the step-by-step instructions and photos, with links to video tutorials.
Construction: These socks are knit from the toe up with an afterthought heel. They are knit on two short circular needles but the pattern gives adaptations for using dpns or magic loop.
Yarn: Morehouse Farm Gator sport weight 100% merino yarn (220 yards per skein), or another tightly-spun sport weight yarn in 100% wool or a wool-nylon blend; 1 (2, 2, 2) skeins MC, 1 skein CC, or approximately 220 (250, 330, 410) yards MC and 30 (40, 50, 60) yards CC. The sample was knit in Pebble and Mineral Red.
Needles: Two US #3 US (3.25 mm) circular needles 16” to 24” in length, or size to obtain gauge. Can also be knit on double pointed needles or one long circular needle using magic loop method.
Notions: Stitch marker, cable needle, scissors, tapestry needle, 18” of smooth scrap yarn that does not contrast strongly with your MC. Suggested: spare needles several sizes smaller for picking up stitches.
Gauge: 22 stitches and 32 rows to 4”/10 cm in stockinette stitch. 24 stitches and 32 rows to 4”/10 cm in cable stitch.
Sizes/Finished Measurements: Adult S, M, L, XL
Because the cable pattern on these socks pulls in when relaxed and stretches when worn, choose your size based on the suggested footcircumference rather than the sock circumference.
S: 6” finished sock circumference to fit 7-7 ¾” foot circumference; 9” length; 9” height
M: 7” finished sock circumference to fit 8-8¾” foot circumference; 9 ¾” length; 9 ¾” height
L: 8” finished sock circumference to fit 9-9 ¾” foot circumference; 10 ¼“ length; 10 ¼” height
XL: 9” finished sock circumference to fit 10-11” foot circumference; 10 ½” length; 10 ½” height