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August 06, 2010



Dear New Knitter,

I wear a size 10 and am always eager to receive a pair from a pile.

Seriously, though, I have found it depends on the friend or family member. Some are terribly excited to receive your knitting. They are often the people who are excited by your knitting in general and who offer lots of feedback on your project du jour. Others are always going to be unenthusiastic. It's best to listen to what they say about your knitting. Something like, "They sell socks at WalMart for 99 cents," suggests they are less likely to appreciate the love and time you've spent thinking about them and their feet.

There are lots of charts online about how long to make the foot of the sock in order to fit a particular shoe size. I find it's also helpful to have seen the person's foot -- some people have wide feet and I know I ought to add an extra pattern repeat, while others have stubby toes and I know I ought not to leave the two inches I need to fit my own feet. When in doubt, remember that ribbing -- either on its own or in combination with other design motifs -- offers both cling and stretch.

Personally, I like superwash yarn for gift socks. Actually, don't tell, but I like superwash yarn for all socks. I mean, I *can* handwash socks but really would just prefer to throw them in the laundry. And I always assume my gift recipients are going to feel similarly. Any care other than "wash in hot and dry on normal" demands a "how to care for this garment" note with the gift.

Good luck! There's nothing like the feeling of having a loved one put on something you've made for them and wear them regularly.


I have two daughters and two granddaughters plus two great grandsons, twins, aged 2. The adults wear the same size which is handy. Two of the adults wear them all the time (in the winter!) I really think they appreciate the two or three pairs of socks they receive at Christmas.


The only gift socks I have given so far were for babies. A really good book for sizing is Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. It has a chart in the front with shoe sizes, etc. The charts are broken down by yarn, needle size and gauge.
If you're giving socks for gifts - I would use machine washable yarn and when I have given the baby socks, etc. I always include a lingere bag to wash them in (is always appreciated)


I have given away socks to my two daughters, my mother, my daughter's best friend, and two of my friends. They all love them! I usually make the socks to fit me which also fit my daughters and my mother. When the socks turn out a bit big for me, I gift them to my daughter's best friend or my other two friends who keep asking when am I going to make a mistake and knit big socks again. haha
Superwash wool is always good for gift socks or a wool(merino)/nylon blend.


I made a dear friend of mine a pair of socks last Christmas. She loved them and her daughter wished I was her friend. I wear size 9 shoe and my Mom suggested I make the socks to fit me and as it turned out they fit her great. Now this Christmas I am planning to make a pair for my Cousin and likely do it the same way. Someone who appreciates handmade items will love socks.

Barb R

Do you know what their favorite colors are? That always goes over well when gifting socks.

For men, use their favorite color in stocking stitch with lots of ribbing at the top and over the top of the foot for proper fit For us girls, lace is a favorite and will be talked about forever. Got for it my dear and HAVE FUN!

Sandra D

I'll ditto the "it all depends" message above. You can usually tell if they're going to appreciate hand knit socks based on what they think of your knitting in general. My personal rule is that I don't knit socks for anyone who hasn't actually asked for or admired hand knit socks. I also don't try to surprise anyone - I request a tracing of their feet, or a set of measurements (a la Cat Bordhi's New Pathways book). And I ask for color guidance (not color requests). But if I had a pile to give away, I'd use my criteria to find appreciative recipients.


The only ones who get hand knitted socks from me are my grands. They love them to pieces (quite literally). I've made socks for my daughters & my partner but they never got much wear. The grands love hand knit socks - so much so that a couple of weeks ago, when we were visiting them in the Bay area, the oldest pulled up his pants leg to show me the sock he was wearing. I am not sure how he fit his foot into it because I'm pretty sure I knit that pair about 3 years ago & I know his feet have grown a lot. And they are made from Regia 6 which is a sport/DK weigh, not something I would ever consider wearing in July! So I am making socks for each in their favorite colors for their birthdays (on in early Sept & the other 2 in Nov). Unfortunately he has decided that black is his favorite color - Yuck! I asked my daughter what size shoes they are wearing & she told me but also measured the length of their feet. I am using the sock club yarn - the Alchemy Summertime Blues for the green lover. And the youngest, fell in love with a pair of socks of mine that are knit in Opal Petticoat Cottom 1336. I thought I'd have to try to find a similar colorway since they were discontinued before she was born but I found an online shop on Vancouver Island that had a few balls. So I got 2 (they also had a pattern for a cute hat on their site: - the Cotton Sun Hat - shown in the yarn my granddaughter loves so much).


I knit socks for family and friends all the time. Most of them take the time to care for 'regular' wool socks so I'm not too particular about washability except for the younger ones. Right now I have 4 requests for pairs that I want to have done by the end of the month.

I think my sis-in-law's comment after her first pair holds true for all my relatives: "I didn't know what I was missing until I wore them. Now I can't believe how lucky I am to have hand knit socks in my sock drawer!" They know what goes into each and every pair I make.


I think knitters, family and close friends appreciate the time involved. My granddaughter loves her hand knit socks. I have given them with hats as baby gifts and I really don't think they realize how much goes in to each pair. If they ever learn to knit they will appreciate them more.
As far as sizing...I have my family trace their feet and then I keep it in a binder with their name on it. Great as a pattern! Watch it with grandkids tho' - their feet can grow 1/2 inch in a few months!!!

Cathy Goldman

OMG! everyone loves the socks that I knit for them As yet no complaints. I just ask the shoe size of the person and take the length from a chart. They always seem to fit.Socks are flexable. I prefer wool80%nylon 20%. Throw them in the washer and dryer-no problem. I have been known to take off a pair and gift them away. no one refuses. It amazes me no end...and that's why I keep on knitting socks and giving them away!Best part of knitting!

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