Saturday I finished the last pair of socks for my MIL, but I wanted to wash them in the washing machine and dry them just as the final test of quality. So, I took both pairs of socks, turned them inside out, shoved them in my falling apart lingerie bag and ran a load of wash. They weren't dry quickly enough to get them in the gift mailing on Saturday, but my hubby sent them out yesterday.
My MIL wanted two pairs of socks: one red and one black and dislikes wool, so I bought two skeins of Comfort Sox in the appropriate colors. Comfort Sox is a nicely soft yarn, but it is a bit splittier than any wool-based sock yarn I had worked with in the past. I wanted to make sure that the socks would wash well, because I dislike including special care instructions with items. Invariably at some point the instructions are missed or someone does the laundry who just doesn't know or understand that some things are delicate.
Happily, these came out of the wash and dry looking fine! I was nervous, because I hadn't planned ahead enough to knit and wash a swatch in the washing machine. I really need to plan ahead better in the future!
(See the pictures below the fold)
I didn't ask my MIL what patterns she wanted, because I believe in having some mystery in gift giving. I made her black socks in the Back to Basics pattern from Knitty. Photographing black socks is hard, and I have to give kudos to my hubby for giving it a good old try.
These socks are a little short in the cuff. I had intended to knit them a little longer, but something intervened. They are a bit loose on me, so hopefully they will be just right for my MIL who has a slightly wider foot and ankle.
I think these came out reasonably well, and were a good try at toe up socks. I'm not terribly comfortable with toe up construction, because I can never tell if it is time to start the heel. I'm trying to get over that, because I would like to knit some longer socks and I think it would be easier to customize them by going toe up.
I might have to make another pair of these for me in a less dark color. I love (and wear a ton of) black, but it is a very difficult color to photograph.
I chose this pattern for my MIL, because it has a fairly forgiving fit with the ribbing and yet was interesting enough to work on that I didn't feel like I was slogging through the second sock.
The other pair of socks were the red Hedera socks also from Knitty. These were much more fun to knit, and I think will be much more fun to wear! The cuffs are a little shorter than the pattern indicates as written, because I left out a repeat of the lace pattern on the leg. Despite that I think the length is pretty good, and the color is really nice.
These were the pair of socks that tried to drive me to despair over the weekend. Somehow I dropped a stitch as part of the k2tog, and I didn't notice for about 4 rows. I'm pathetically bad at ripping back and usually tink everything. Four rows of tinking were not my favorite thing to do, but thankfully the yarn was slippery enough and I didn't need to deal with the lace pattern as part of the tinking. I've tinked lace, but it is even less fun than normal tinking.
I would definitely make a pair of Hedera for myself, though I think I would start off with more stitches and pick a repeat or so in the back to decrease away. These would make amazingly stunning knee high socks.