As a knitter, one of my favorite gifts to get is a skein of yarn. I love gift yarn for a number of reasons:
1. Colors, textures, and weights I would never consider end up in my yarn basket. This constantly challenges my creativity and gets me to try patterns and techniques I might otherwise ignore.
2. When I knit with gift yarn, I think of the person who gave it to me as I knit each stitch. Yarn is already warm and fuzzy, but it’s even warmer when infused with the love of friends and family.
3. I never run out of yarn. Ever.
Last Christmas my aunt gave me some beautiful sock yarn. It was fancier than anything I’d used to make socks up to that point. Usually, I buy the cheapest sock yarn I can find or whatever is on sale! So, it was really exciting to get Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet merino wool sock yarn.
The yarn was so special to me, it sat in my yarn basket for a year while I struggled to decide on a sock pattern. I love who gave it to me and I loved the color. The pattern had to be perfect!
I must have paged through dozens of magazines and books before I finally settled on Isela Phelps’ Seeded Rib Socks. Merino wool is very soft and wishy-washy, which meant I needed a pattern that would make this yarn a little more meaty and sturdy. The seeded rib is a nice, tight stitch that doesn’t let the merino “grow” too much during regular wear. Plus, it puts a little spark into the basic rib pattern.
I made these socks on my trusty KB Authentic Sock Loom, even though the pattern was created for a different loom. The pattern only needed a couple minor adjustments in order to work on the KB Sock Loom. First, knit the cuff with a 2×2 rib, instead of a 1×1. I’ve found the 2×2 offers better cuff elasticity. Second, adjust the number of pegs to match your foot size, while also ensuring the number breaks down evenly for a 4-stitch repeat.* For my socks, I used 52 pegs, which works well for a Women’s size 7½.
As I worked those knit and purl stitches, I thought of my aunt and hoped we’d be knitting together very soon. We live far apart, but gift yarn makes the gap feel a little bit smaller.
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*Special Note: There is a typo in the pattern printed in Phelps’ book Loom Knitting Socks. Be sure to check for errata.
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What’s your favorite thing this week?
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