Continuing with Christmas knitting ideas, one of the most obvious is to keep it simple. A classic, plain, knitted item is a fail-safe option and probably a lot quicker than anything with fancy cables, colourwork or a multitude of pom-poms.
It’s also a good way to deal with a potentially fussy gift recipient. If you don’t know them well or can’t find a pattern you’re confident they’ll love, then just do it plain. If you’re worried it will turn out too boring, then choose a bright colour or a luxury yarn to perk it up a little.
As you probably know by now, I am entirely ambivalent about knitted socks. I love to wear them, since I’m always cold in Winter, but I’m loathe to spend ages knitting something pretty and lacy when it’s going to end up on my feet, jammed inside a big pair of boots. So even though I don’t really do socks, I make plain, vanilla socks to keep me (and a few lucky others) cosy.
There are quite a few basic patterns around, but my go-to recipe is either from the Knitmore Girls, or the Yarn Harlot although it’s now evolved into my own improvised version that’s sort of a combination of the two.
The advantage of socks is that they’re pretty simple to knit, easy to carry around with you, and, in spite of tiny needles, don’t take as long as might think. It’s also fun to hunt down the right yarn, as there are so many to choose from, whether you opt for something affordable and sturdy, or something hand-dyed and unique. It’s also a handy unisex pattern if you feel you can’t possibly give you Uncle yet another hat, and a particularly big hit with elderly relatives. And when it comes to colour, people are willing to be far more adventurous on their feet than almost anywhere else.