Dive into your own fairy land with a pair of shepherdess socks.
Perhaps by now you know all about Moorit. If you don’t, Moorit is a beautifully crafted bookazine published in wonderfully green Scotland by my very talented friend Alyson Chu. Seriously, it’s scrumptious and published quarterly which gives you plenty of time to make projects from it.
When Moorit was just a concept, Alyson asked if I would design a pair of socks for the first Issue which debuted in Fall 2021, of course I said yes. At the time this was my first official magazine publication and I was pretty darn nervous about it.
However, so many of you lovely crafters gave life to the Sheperdess socks that I was seriously blown away.
Inspiration for the Shepherdess Socks
The inspiration for the socks came from the winding, twisty roads one can traverse in Scotland. In addition, to choosing a stitch that would represent roads, I wanted to choose something with a little bit of history. Wouldn’t you know that the slip stitch has such history? Slip Stitches, originally called Sheperd’s Knitting, were made with a flat metal hook.
Incidentally, slip stitch socks come with a rich history. In 2017 Interweave published an article titled “Slip-Stitch Crochet Jurab: The Sock Artisans of De Pamiri”, that goes into detail about color work slip stitch socks. How amazing are they?!
Even though designing a colorwork socks was tempting, I wanted to go for a simple sock that would be comfortable, and practical for a scottish hike.
For this sock I chose to work with a rustic sock wool. Don’t be intimidated by the “rustic” description, Tuku wool sock is a lovely yarn. True it’s not as soft as a Merino, but it holds it’s shape wonderfully and is perfect for creating loose slip stitches.
The yarn is also plumper than other fingering weights, which makes it ideal for a hiking boot, a normal boot or just to lounge around a campfire roasting some marshmallows and indulging in a warm drink.
Also, I think it’s lovely that you still find pieces of straw in this Finnish wool.
Understandably, if TukuWool Sock is not accessible to you, the Sheperdess socks also work well with Patons Kroy. Whichever yarn you choose make sure you achieve gauge. It’s of the upmost importance.
As with most of my socks, The Shepherdess sock is designed toe-up. The sock is crocheted using 2 stitches, sc for the toe, heel, and sl st for the rest of the sock. The Sheperdess socks feature a rounded toe and a short row heel. Unlike my other sock patterns, this one calls for a 3.25mm hook for the sc rounds and a 4.5mm hook for the slip stitches.
Yes, even with such a large hook you need to sl st loosely, like this.
I know, they may not look like much off the feet, but put them on and they transform.
To make the Shepherdess socks you will need
Tukuwool Sock 4-ply/fingering (80% Finnish wool / 20% nylon; 160m / 175 yds per 50g)
Sample made in colourway H35 Havu.
60 (75, 90, 100)g; 190 (240, 290, 320)m / 210 (265, 315, 350)yd
3.25mm (US D/3)
4.5mm (US 7)
4 stitch markers
scissors, yarn needle
Sample: made in size 4
1 (2, 3, 4)
Sock foot length: 7 (8.75, 9.75, 10.25)” / 18 (22, 25, 26)cm
To fit actual foot length: 8 (9.75, 10.75, 11.25)” / 20.5 (25, 27.5, 28.5)cm
Recommended sock foot length is 1” / 2.5cm / less than actual foot length.
Foot and leg circumference: 7 (8.75, 9.75, 10.5)”/18 (22, 25, 26.5)cm
Foot length: 7 (8.75, 9.75, 10.25)”/18 (22, 25, 26)cm /
Leg length: 6.25 (6.5, 6.5, 7)”
Don’t forget to visit the Ravelry page for the pattern or to check out the #sheperdesssocks for some crochet examples. There are so many beautiful. Unfortunately, you have to identify the crochet ones as there seems to be a knit one that’s infiltrated :D.