Country Socks

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Here we have the “Country Socks” variation of my Wild Wool Trail Socks , and  in the favorite color for whom they were made.

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After working the heel & heel turn in the heel stitch pattern option for the Country Socks, I felt good and creative, and decided to experiment by continuing  down bottom of foot, noticing what a sturdy hugging ribbing affect it has…

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However this proved problematic, as the heel stitch pulls in the width, it also does the length, (duh!) so I had to do some ” stealth short rows” for the bottom to catch up to the top section.  I only recommend heel stitch over the whole circumference of foot section, not just the bottom.

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Very pleased with this construction feature, and I am going to try my next Trail Sock with the whole foot section in heel stitch.

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These by the way, were knit in Malabrigo Sock yarn (African Violet) with contrast of some left over dark grey Huntington Sock yarn I had handy. Details for this project can be found on Ravelry HERE

Anniversary Socks

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March of this year Jeff and I have been married one year, and 21 years together, and I thought as an anniversary gift to Jeff, with whom I have backpacked the John Muir Trail many many miles, that I would design him trail socks !!  He seemed to be okay with the idea, however, he is very picky about scratchy woolly things and socks, and anything ‘gear’ related.  Made of super fine quality Merino-superwash & nylon sock yarn, in granite tones, the socks ended up very soft & completely not scratchy, and the nice cushioned heel, instep & toe are ultra comfortable in and outside of a boot.  Now  two & 1/2 months after our anniversary,  here is the final result ~~~ and he approves!

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Shown are Wild Wool Trail Socks, designed for and dedicated to Jeff.

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This is actually the first real pair for Jeff that I’ve made since releasing the pattern,  delivered a little belatedly.

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Incidentally, the last time we were in the Sierras in July 2014, it was for our 20th anniversary of being a couple, and we backpacked to Granite Lake in John Muir country, where the inspiration came to me…

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Well, it may have taken me a year and a half to ruminate this design from inspiration to finished pattern, but perhaps for good reason, for the timing of events involve a spooky coincidence of anniversaries! To start, our 20th anniversary in 2014 was 100 years after Muir’s death in 1914, this year is the centennial anniversary of America’s National Parks established August 1916, and lastly, I just happened to have submitted (unknowingly) the pattern on  John Muir’s birthday April 21st.

In forthcoming posts, I may go on with presenting you finished projects, both of my own and of other knitters,  so that we can have a bit of an extended tribute to John Muir.

Sock details on Ravelry HERE.

Many Socks

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Continuing in the same vein as my previous posts Part One &  Part Two , about my love of John Muir’s High Country, wild woolly beasts that live on the granite, my new design inspired by High Sierras, in tribute to John Muir, and dedicated to my husband Jeff…

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I now settle into navigating my energy level out of the manic invention, and into the staid level of production the task of making many socks.  From large brush strokes, to small precise ones. Already have 3 pairs of the trail socks on the needles for Jeff (one trail, one country, one plain), and now I’m also queuing up for a pair of socks each for Miss Sixteen & Miss Thirteen !

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These will be the Ankle Sock variation in the pattern, with just the cuff going into the corrugated ribbing;  one pair cream with grey contrast, the other pair grey with cream contrast ~~ fun!  Trying out a lovely blend of 60%  Fine Merino Superwash – 20% Mulberry Silk, and 20% nylon (not getting brand specific here), 440 yards to 100grams = fine fingering weight.

As both of my nieces are runners now, I believe the ankle sock may just be a stellar running sock, and am happy for them to test these. Two more pairs of socks for Springtime, coming up!

“Wild Wool” Trail Socks (Part Two)

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Continuing from Part One~ John Muir High Country & Wild Wool, all about  the  “Father of Modern Environmentalism”, my mountaineering past, and hinting about the noble, the agile, yay, and the soft downy woolly wild creature worthy of Muir’s musings in “Wild Wool” .

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Wild Wool indeed. These sheep range the Sierra Nevada from the desert to the high mountains, and after reading Muir’s Wild Wool, I thought it a perfect name for my new design!

Wild Wool Trail Socks

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Those my friends, are the very same boots and walking stick you see in this photo, the stick & boots which have accompanied me many miles to many lakes where I’ve sat with much knitting in-the-wild,  and the stick which is a prop for many knitwear photos on Yarnings as well.

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After all, knitting in the wild is my favorite thing to do and John Muir’s High Sierra is my favorite place to be!

Trail socks designed with sturdy structure and ease of knitting. Wide ribbing, corrugated ribbed ankle, “mock heel flap” (featuring the Stong Heel~ no stitches to pick up for gusset), cushioning stranded heel turn, gusset, upper instep & toe. Knit in-the-round seamlessly. Five sizes, x-small thru x-large. Options for short & ankle versions of trail sock.   These trail socks are designed with function in mind, and for comfort in rugged use, where custom fit is best, and structural design elements are what they’re all about.  Oh, and there are variations on the theme, a Classic Country Sock  and “Wee Wild Wool” for kid hikers . . .

I honestly think John Muir would approve and would have wished he had a new knitted pair of these while he walked the wilderness in his leather-soled boots of a bygone era.

Edit In April 23:   Folks, sometimes we do things unaware of the obvious workings beneath our conscience. Well, those of you who realize what an important man John Muir was influencing the government to create the National Parks, and (as my husband Jeff just showed me an article in May Outside Magazine which just arrived...) that this year is the Centennial Year the National Parks were established (posthumously, after Muir died in December of 2014) in the year of 1916 !

Now, as coincidence happens, I have submitted the pattern Wild Wool Trail Socks  on this date, as a tribute to John Muir,  on his actual birthday ~~ April 21st.

Those of you who are joining in on the John Muir Tribute on Ravelry, there are major things to celebrate! Knit on my friends, enjoy yourself… knit for the beauty of nature and perhaps just a little bit for Muir’s birthday. (I’m sure he’d have enjoyed a pair of Wild Wool Trail Socks for his birthday).

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We camped at Granite Lake in Muir Country for our anniversary, July 2014