These Were Really Hard to Give Away…

Do you find it hard to give away the things you made? Especially something that took a long time to finish?

I made this pair of socks out of the most heavenly yarn.. and then gave them away! From casting on to finishing, I debating keeping them every step of the way. (But I didn’t.)

The pattern is BFF Socks (third time’s the charm!) and the yarn is Indigo Moon Ultimate Merino Sock, in the colourway Wild Berries. I bought the yarn at Knit City for so many reasons: I love these purpley-red colours, I loved that I was buying from a local Canadian dyer, and I love making socks!

Variegated yarn is a bit of gamble (for me anyways, as I’m still figuring it all out) as you have no idea what it looks like knit up. This yarn did exactly what I was hoping it would do!

It didn’t turn stripey, it didn’t make patches of colours, instead it knit up into a beautiful multi-toned purple, speckled with shades of red and lilac. I love it so much! (You can see why it was so hard to not keep these.)

So who was the lucky recipient of these socks? My mom!

Her house is freezing, so these wool socks will keep her feet warm in the cold, cold house. (I’m being dramatic, but it’s always cold in the wintertime there. I purposefully bundle up in extra layers when I visit, and make friendly jokes about how freezing it is.) Not only are they warm but they’re so beautiful!

What do you think: good gift? Did you give any gifts this holiday season that were really hard to part with?

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44 Responses to These Were Really Hard to Give Away…

  1. Allynara January 9, 2013 at 6:38 am #

    Oooh! I can totally understand why you had a bit of a struggle giving these babies away. They are GORGEOUS! I think they are a perfect gift for your mom.
    I know I wear mostly socks instead of shoes around the house. I even tried knitting myself a pair, but it wasn’t meant to be. It’ll have to wait ’till another time, cause boy: socks really aren’t the easiest things to knit with 5 needles!

    • Tasia January 9, 2013 at 10:57 am #

      You could always try Magic Loop instead of knitting with five needles? I prefer magic loop myself because those five needles get tangled up and I have pulled the wrong needle out many times, yanking it out of a whole section of stitches! No good.

      Here’s a link to knitting magic loop socks – perhaps that might help! I mostly wear socks around the house too and love my handknit ones so much.. they’re slow to make, but (I hope) long lasting once they’re complete!

      • Redeyedtreefr0g January 9, 2013 at 11:55 am #

        Tasia, I’m so happy to hear that I’m not the only one with that problem of randomly pulling out the wrong needle!
        I was knitting one night (I’ve literally just learned how a few months ago from a 1 hour sit-down with a yarn store lady) and I must have been WAY more tired than I thought I was. I kept accidentally losing stitches off one needle or another, and then I’d get to the point where I needed to get that empty needle into my other hand- and for some insane reason I snatched the wrong one! Luckily I could get all the loops back on there, but after the third time I believe I yelled something angry and threw it into the bag in disgust and went to do something else. That’s when I realized how tired I was.
        I’m nearly done with my first-ever sock, I’m so excited. The last time I sat down to work on it my fingers went numb for two days- I’m paying it was a fluke and won’t happen again (after all, I knit lots more previously and that never happened?).

        Those socks look so cuddly and soft! I hope your mother loves them. I have trouble on ANY project that isn’t specifically for myself, I’ve found out. My husband’s pocket jacket took an entire year to sew, and now I’m supposed to copy his favorite pair of shorts…. those are two months old now.
        I’m awful.

        • Tasia January 9, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

          For me, there has to be a deadline on ‘other people projects’ or I’ll never get them done. I’m also very careful about what I take on, because I don’t want to let anyone down!

          Mr Sewaholic’s Christmas shirt (made in 2010.. or 2011? Nope, 2010) I had to finish by Christmas, and I started these socks in October to be sure I’d get them done.

          Copying your husband’s favourite shorts is a major project! I hope he understands how much work and love is going to go into the project :) You’re not awful, it’s easy to work on projects that you’re inspired by and much harder to work on the ones you *have* to do. This is why I don’t do alterations or take requests!

          And yup, I am also glad to know I’m not the only one that pulls out the wrong needle. Getting all the stitches back on is a pain! Congrats on nearly finishing your first-ever sock!

      • Allynara January 10, 2013 at 6:43 am #


        Thanks for the link! I think I’ll stop by the knitting shop this afternoon and get me some of those ‘loop-needles’ (or however you call them. If I translate litterally from dutch to english, it’s called something like round-knitting-needles’ but that just sounds wrong).

        I’ve just got one other question: how big is the loop you use? Because I think if you used a 40cm loop that you can’t really knit everything because the space between is too much.

        • Tasia January 11, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

          Circular needles is what we call them! One is 32″, the other is 40″ – I am fine with the 32″ but the 40″ gives more length to the needles as you work with them.

  2. Seraphinalina January 9, 2013 at 7:11 am #

    Fantastic gift. So thoughtful in so many ways, it really does seem like the perfect gift for a mom in a cold house.

    • Tasia January 9, 2013 at 10:54 am #

      Thank you! I know that she’s been wearing them so they haven’t been classified as ‘too nice to wear!’

  3. Michelle January 9, 2013 at 7:27 am #

    These are beautiful! I have a hard time trying to figure out when, or if a yarn will pool in a certain pattern. I’m sure there’s a science to it, but I haven’t gone searching for the answer yet. Anyway, you obviously didn’t have that issue with these. I hope the recipient adores them. Handknit socks are among life’s greatest luxuries!

    • Tasia January 9, 2013 at 10:53 am #

      If there is a science to it, please come back and let me know! I love how these didn’t pool but made wonderful tonal stripes. I made a pair of socks where one had fat wavy pools and one had thinner wavy pools! No science at all. There was a class at Knit City recently (local knitting weekend extravaganza) called ‘Plan to Pool’ about knitting with intentional pooling. Perhaps they had the answer to it all!

  4. Tasha January 9, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    Handknit socks are great gifts for people who appreciate them! And those are beautiful. Your mom is lucky. :)

    • Tasia January 9, 2013 at 10:52 am #

      Thank you! I agree, handknits are only for people who would appreciate them. (Not those people who think we’re crazy for knitting socks when they come in a 3-pack at the mall.)

  5. soisewedthis January 9, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    I’m sure your mom will love them! I also hesitated about giving away some gifts i made (sets of potholders) because i put so much effort into making them and i wasn’t 100% sure if the recipients would like them as much as i did. But I ended up giving them away. I decided that since i started making them as a gift, they needed to be given away as a gift in the end. The only time i decided not to give something i made as a gift is when i didn’t like how they turned out (sad looking baby shoe).

    • Tasia January 9, 2013 at 10:51 am #

      Exactly! If projects start as a gift they should be given, I would feel a bit selfish for planning to give them and then keeping them.. bad yarn karma or something. True, if they didn’t turn out that would be one thing. Potholders are such a useful gift!

  6. Jenny January 9, 2013 at 10:07 am #

    That is a GREAT gift! Beautiful socks!

  7. Maggie January 9, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    This year I didn’t, but the year before I knitted the Honey Cowl in Merino Tosh DK in Curiosity, a beautiful grey/blue/purple, for my older sister. It was so hard to let it go, and it looked so beautiful! I actually don’t know if she even wears it, but I like to think she does, even if it is not true ;) Socks are a great gift and I am sure your Mom will wear them with pride!

    • Tasia January 9, 2013 at 10:50 am #

      That sounds gorgeous! I love the Madelinetosh yarns and the Honey Cowl is perfect to show off multi-tonal colours. I bet she wears it, it’s such a wearable and warm piece. It is hard to let handmade items go, isn’t it? All that work and time and we wonder if someone will love it as much as we do.

  8. CosIadoru January 9, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    Handknit socks, nothing is better to warm the feet up :)Yours are beautiful !!!

    • Tasia January 9, 2013 at 10:48 am #

      I agree! Wool socks are so warm and comfortable.

  9. carolinascallin January 9, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    Those are beautiful socks! What a neat present – she’s going to really enjoy them. I’m always just floored by anyone who has mastered the art (and science) of knitting! It has forever eluded me!

    You’ll simply have to treat yourself to a pair, too :)

    • Tasia January 9, 2013 at 10:48 am #

      You know, I have only been knitting for two years, less than two years actually! It’s all a matter of starting small, and learning one or two new techniques with each project. My first project was a very simple cowl, and while making it I couldn’t remember which were knit stitches and which were purl stitches so I would write myself a note ‘next stitch is a purl’ whenever I put it down. If I can progress past that and all the way to sock knitting, anyone can!

  10. Truly Myrtle January 9, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    Beautiful! Your lucky mum :)
    I tend to make stuff for people, wish I was keeping them for myself, plan to make the same thing for myself, buy yarn to make it…and then struggle to actually cast it on and make it again!

    • Tasia January 9, 2013 at 10:46 am #

      That was my plan too! I said to myself, if you can give these away, you can make yourself a pair! But as usual, I have moved on to newer and more exciting projects. So many things to make, so little time!

  11. Corinne January 9, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    They are so beautiful, Your Mom is very lucky!

  12. K-Line January 9, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    Oh, I’m sure they were, honey! Do you find that stitch pattern to be very fussy to create? And, did you work them on magic loop or with DPNs?

    • Tasia January 9, 2013 at 10:59 am #

      I’ve knit this pattern 3 times, it’s super easy! Like ribbing basically, but every 6 rows there’s a cable twist. I like it because it’s easy to make both socks the exact same length, just count the twists!

      I worked them on magic loop. I gave up on DPNs for socks after two pairs. For me I find them fussy and tangly and I frequently pull the needles out of the stitches. (However my sister is learning to knit and started her first socks and she likes the DPNs, so to each their own!)

  13. Tasha @ Stale Bread into French Toast January 9, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    I hope your mom will enjoy her beautiful socks! A lovely and thoughtful gift and I totally see why you had a hard time parting with them.

    When I make a gift by hand I really want to know that it will be appreciated and used, so these days I do most handmade gifts by request. Although, with something as useful and awesome as hand knit socks, how could you go wrong? Ok I confess, I can only think of about two people I might knit a whole pair of socks for (and one is my mom).

    BTW the yarn color pooling thing – I know it depends on how much of each color there is before the colors change, and how big around the thing you are knitting is, but I’m not sure if there is a standard for how long the color sections should be, or if companies try and optimize it assuming you are knitting socks of a certain average size?

    • Tasia January 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

      Oh yeah, I would not knit socks for just anyone! So much work and there’s the fear they might not wear them, or care for them properly. It’s smart to check with gift recipients first. Sometimes I worry about being the crazy gift-giver – you know, the one that makes weird handmade things and gives them out and everyone is wishing they’d just got cash instead? Or hoping for not another knitted thing? Asking is a great way to make sure they like what you’re about to spend hours (days? weeks?) making.

  14. Alice January 9, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    Yes! I just wrote a post about the same thing!! (lovely socks!)

    • Tasia January 9, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

      Your quilt is beautiful! I love that it’s all solids. What a timeless and thoughtful gift!

  15. Chris January 9, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    Beautiful pattern! Beautiful yarn/color! Beautiful gift for a loved one!

  16. Latrice January 9, 2013 at 11:50 am #

    I made 2 (3) homemade holiday gifts this passed season. I knitted a cowl scarf, a Dallas cowboy lunch bag (and put together mason jar w/ Mexican hot coco, marshmallows and liqueur).
    I don’t find it hard at all to give away stuff, I actually really enjoy making things for others.

    Those socks look lovely and nice and toasty.

    • Tasia January 9, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

      That’s wonderful that you enjoy making stuff for gifts! The jar of hot cocoa supplies is a great idea.

  17. Meg the Grand January 9, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    What a marvelous gift, and the colors are so lovely!

  18. Amanda January 9, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    Wow- these are truly spectacular! The variegated wool is all kinds of sassy. I tend to be more food related (chutneys, biscuits etc) though last year I made my niece a little chef’s pack and sewed up a cute as a button apron and included in it some cookie mixes in a jar. She loved it :)

  19. Kathleen January 9, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    Beautiful socks! I’ve never learned how to knit and wonder if I could sit still long enough but I still think I would like to at least TRY it! Tough to give away gifts? I made for my husband a bathrobe in Pendleton wool that was so lovely to make as the wool was so wonderfully warm on my lap. Now I just have to convince him to let me wear it?

  20. alisha January 9, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    I tend to give everything I make away! I knit a lot and can’t keep it all, so I just give it away to my friends and family when I finish projects. The finished products only go to friends who appreciate it, though. I’ve got some friends who have lost cable scarves and complicated hats… they don’t get many knit presents any more! It’s fun to create something from a ball of wool and then see how happy it makes people.
    (for socks/mittens, I use small, 9 inch circular needles… they are awesome.)

  21. Sally January 9, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    Those socks look deliciously warm! I just finished making the CUTEST tote bag for my little sister, made of plaid (love!) and a recycled owl made of sequins from an old t-shirt (super love owls!). It turned out so cute that I really just wanted to keep it and make her a different one, but there was only one owl :( Hahaha… the things we do for our sisters!

  22. Annie January 9, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

    How pretty! Watch out- sock knitting is super addictive!

  23. Catherine January 9, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

    I have a tiny confession!! I made a scarf for my sister’s birthday last year and kept it. I have the guilts every time I wear that scarf. She doesn’t know that I knitted it for her. This year, I remedied the situation and made her a scarf and socks. This was actually the very first time I had ever given anything that I had made away. It felt great; so for Christmas presents this year, I knitted face washers, a scarf and socks for my sisters and my Mum….a good habit to get into.

  24. Belinda January 10, 2013 at 2:11 am #

    Gorgeous socks! It is always hard to part with something that you’ve so lovingly dedicated your time to, but it’s always nice to pass them onto someone who will enjoy and appreciate them. I’m sure you mum will love them and appreciate having warm and toasty toes!

  25. Leigh January 10, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    You might know this already, or have worked it out. I always pick patterns for variegated yarn after it’s wound into a ball. You get a much better idea how all the colours will knit up once they’re jumbled up in ball format.