Every year for Christmas I give my mom a knitted gift. For the first two years it was socks, and last year it was the Norwegian Sweater (it fit her perfectly, me… not so much). Mom lives Up North, and I know she gets a lot of use out of warm knitted items. So much so that my mom is the reason I know superwash wool will eventually felt, given enough time and pressure. Maybe this Christmas I’ll ask her for some “after” pictures to match “before” and do a post on superwash yarn wear.
I take the Christmas knitting as an opportunity to buy the really nice, expensive hand-dyed 100% superwash merino sock yarns, since hey, it’s my Christmas budget AND my yarn budget!
So far, I’ve knit her socks in:
Cherry Tree Hill Supersock (Christmas 2006), feather-and-fan pattern knit toe-up. I love toe-up socks and I adore this yarn; it’s squishy and vibrant.
And Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport (Christmas 2005) in Bittersweet. This was before I began taking photos of my knits, but I remember I knitted these socks top-down, cast on too tightly and had to pick out the entire cast-on edge of the first sock and re-do it with a sewn bindoff. I can’t remember the pattern I used, but it was definitely from Knitty. I like Lorna’s Laces and they have a great variety of beautiful colors, but the yarn was just a tish dry feeling, like some highly-processed merinos can be.
This colorway actually has an irritating streak of light orangy-peach, but is otherwise perfect– Mom loves bright pinks.
I’ve also tried Koigu KPPPM, but found it was too tightly spun to be enjoyable knitting. All the bounce was gone from the merino. Also the colors are far too subtle for mom’s tastes! I still have a sock’s worth of that yarn lying around somewhere.
Since it’s four months until Christmas, I think it’s about time to be choosing this year’s giftly sock yarn. I’m thinking I might branch out into silk/merino blends, as long as they’re hand-dyed and machine washable. And Mom frequently wears red clogs, so a colorway that looks good with a clear cherry red would be great.
Suggestions will be greatly appreciated! Photographic evidence and in-depth yarn reviews promised. :)