Knitting gifts for men can be tricky, predominantly because it's hard to balance the extreme simplicity of the styles most guys appreciate with the knitter's desire not to be bored out of their freaking mind. Luckily, some of the men in my life will put up with a little bit of colour.

May I present the fifth annual pair of hand knit socks for my father-in-law. Socks were a huge hit the first year I made them, and have been requested yearly since. They get worn, they get loved, they get washed properly. That's knit-worthy, if anything is!

I used one of Regia's new Pair-fect colourways (07118 orient). Regia has simplified the task of knitting gorgeous socks beyond even self striping and faux fair-isle by marking these skeins with a bright yellow starting point. If you knit from the designated point, following the instructions on the ball band for when to turn your heel, you will have two perfectly matching socks. I knit these to fit a men's 10, and had enough yarn left that I could've made an 11, or even perhaps a snug 12. I knit 72 stitch rounds on 2mm (US 0) needles, with a standard top-down heel flap and gusset. I love european workhorse yarn, and the colourway was as pleasant to use as it was pretty (which is to say; very).

My other man-project is the hat I made for my husband to wear under his bike helmet. Jake's precious bald head is sensitive to even tiny woolly itches, so I chose a skein of Blue Sky Alpacas Melange, a super soft baby alpaca sport weight. I went for bright red, with pale grey stripes from my leftovers basket, to match his bike. The 50g skein would not have been enough for a men's large hat without the stripes to stretch it a few yards further. I used the crown decreases (and little else) from the Hipster Hat by Tin Can Knits, and a 3.75mm (US 5) needle. I love the results, and it seems he does too.

And, after all, a happy gift recipient is the just the best thing.

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