Over the last few years it has become a bit of a tradition that, for each birthday, I knit my mother a pair of socks. I've always tried to do the same for Christmas too, but I didn't quite manage it last year. I'd like to think that these compensate for that!
The mock cable pattern used here is called 'Baby Cable Rib'. It is one of my favourites because it looks intricate but is actually very simple.
(Apologies in advance for the picture quality - it is very hard to get enough natural light at this time of year!)
As for the yarn, it came from an indie dyer that I've not used before - Amy at Stranded Dye Works - and I really enjoyed working with it. The speckled shade I used is called 'Christmas Confetti', and I used some leftover Green Regia for the toe, heel and picot cuff.
As has been my wont lately, I've used the super easy Fish Lips Kiss heel. Oddly enough, whilst I was knitting them I felt a strong sense of longing for the more traditional heel flap technique and this wasn't something I was expecting. The Fish Lips Kiss heel gives a much better fit than a gusset and heel flap, but I guess it doesn't change the fact that when I started making socks for the first time I did so using the more traditional method. Regardless, Fish Lips was definitely the better choice for this project because of the neat effect it provides when using a contrast heel.
The picot cuff is not one that I use often, and this occasion was the first in which I used it on a pair of socks using the toe-up construction. In all honestly, I'm not completely satisfied with it. Usually, when you knit a picot cuff on top-down socks, the technique involves knitting the live picot stitches (stored on some scrap yarn) together with the live stitches that are kept on the needles. For toe-up, however, the picot stitches need to be stitched in and this gives a 'tightness' to the cuff that you do not get when working top-down. I think that I'll probably learn my lesson from that, and restrict picot to top-down socks from now on.
But at least it looks pretty, right?
As I sit writing this post, I'm pleased to say I've turned the heel on the second sock for my last Christmas gift pair which means the end is in sight. Once they are done, I am very much looking forward to working on my Opal Advent Calendar socks. I probably have 19 mini balls to use up because, as I predicted, I couldn't possibly keep up with knitting 15g of yarn each day. Appearances are quite deceptive because 15g of sock yarn is lot more than it looks when would into the little balls...
How are you spending your day? I am travelling up to see my parents for Christmas this evening, but until then I will be working on the socks. Thankfully, I packed last night so the rest of the day is at my disposal. It's such a shame that holidays pass so damn quickly - I will be back at work before I know it!