Have you started your gift knitting yet? I have not. And I haven't yet decided if I will be doing any gift knitting. I do have several people in my life that not only would care for and enjoy a hand knit gift, but one in particular that has been asking for something for months now. And I still don't know if I will have the time, or will make the time, to knit for anyone other than myself.
I don't know if this is because I just am being more selfish than usual with my knitting, or if I have so little knitting time lately that I want what I want from it. I want a no-stress project like socks or one of the popular linear two-color shawl projects, and I want to knit whatever colors I want and I don't want a deadline. Right now, I need my knitting time to have no stress or restrictions. And I love that knitting can be whatever we want whenever we want. Need a challenge? Knitting can provide that. Want meditation? Just start some socks.
If you are just now starting to think about gift knits for the season, or just need a few more finished socks to keep on hand for a last-minute gift, I have some great new suggestions for you. I have two new Regia collections in stock now. And as you may know, Regia is wonderful for gift socks. Not only does the addictive self-pattern make you want to keep on a knittin', but the finished socks are easy care.
Take a look at the Polar Nights collection (shown above) and the We Love Denim collection (shown below)
Now, no hand knit project is "no care." "No care" means wash and dry it with any other item, at any temperature, and dry it as long as you like. "Easy care" usually means the item is machine washable (on cold, please), washable with like items (no zippers or Velcro) or put in a mesh lingerie bag to avoid snags, and dried most of the way, but preferably not 100% each time.
When I gift a project, even something knit with Opal Yarn or Regia or Cascade 220, I gift it in a mesh lingerie bag (just a few bucks at Target) and I put a little note in there saying that each stitch was knit with love. Please machine wash cool and lay out to dry. I've learned over the years who can be gifted a pair of socks from a hand dyer (MY MOM) and who needs socks that can be treated as "easy care" every time (EVERYONE ELSE).
There are SO many beautiful yarns out there that are easy care. Here is the short list (though there are more) that I am quite comfortable gifting to someone who isn't going to hand wash/air dry hand knit socks. Opal Yarn, Regia, Trekking XXL, Berroco Sox, Lang Jawoll Aktion, Cascade Heritage Solids and Prints. Are there more? Sure. But these I am darned confident in.
Now, if you have someone in your life that you know will provide a tad more care than NONE, then that opens up your options quite a lot to nearly everything we sell, with the exception of yarn with silk and cashmere in it. Those I'd recommend hand washing for longevity... though I do regularly machine wash my Fleece Artist Casbah socks, even though they contain cashmere.
So if you have someone in your life that will use the lingerie bag, wash in cold and just lay out to dry, well, you can knit them almost anything in our shop. Want to knit stripes? Knitterly Things (shown above in I Heart Green) and Poste Yarn will hold up VERY well to repetitive machine washing. Want gorgeous hand dyed hues that hold up to lots of wear? Try and superwash merino/nylon blend like Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, Hedgehog Fibres Sock, Fleece Artist's Cottage Sock (shown below in Nightshade), Primrose Zig Zag, and Madelinetosh Twist Light to name just a few.
For someone who will care of their hand knits, the sky is the limit! But when they won't.... there are still a lot of gorgeous options.