Here are the Undulating Rib Socks that are for my mom for Christmas later this year. When she was here for Christmas last year, she "shopped" my sock yarn stash and browsed my sock pattern books. She picked a couple yarns she liked and about four patterns. So she doesn't know exactly which socks she's getting... but here they are!
I agonized about these a bit (sorry, devoted readers) but I'm happy with the way they came out. Anne asked if the two socks striped the same way, and the answer is "no" - you can probably see that in the photograph. But because the color changes are tonal, it doesn't bother me as much as it would if the yarn was multicolor. I knit these cuff-down on 60 stitches with 2.25 mm circular needles, and used my own standard slipped-stitch heel and a star toe. The yarn is Shibui Sock (100% merino with a tight twist). I adore this color and will be on the prowl for more yarn in this shade.
I used to not believe in blocking socks - why, if they're just going on a pair of feet (which serve a fine blockers)? But presentation is everything. I bought a set of blockers before submitting several pairs of socks to a knitting exhibit at my library a year or two ago, and now I really like them. If I'm gifting a pair of socks, I block them. They look so much prettier right out of the box. Here is a photo with one sock blocked (left) and one sock fresh off the needles (right). The unblocked sock looks kind of twisty and wrinkled. A knitter would know that a rib pattern will stretch out and become beautiful on a foot, but a nonknitting gift recipient might not. In that case, I would block!
[Side note: Knit Picks just started making sock blockers, too.]
I finished these up in a hotel room in Seattle and immediately cast on for another pair of undulating rib socks - for myself. Photos of those are forthcoming.
I'm happy with how these came out!