Hi, it's Anne. As a knitter, I always wonder if people actually use and like the things I knit for them as gifts. Of course, this is the kind of thing you could wonder about any gift you give, but because I put so much more time and love into the gifts I make, I wonder a little more. And it's not the kind of thing you can ask about and expect to get an honest answer. Anyone with manners will say "Oh, I love it, I use it every day!" even if your craft has been stuffed in the back of their closet.
For example, I have made a cute and easy bib from Vogue Knitting on the Go: Baby Gifts for several people. Here's somebody else's raveled version; I didn't take pictures of mine. In retrospect, I don't know what I was thinking making these things. I doubt they were ever used - the recipients probably thought something handmade was too "special" to be used to soak up baby drool, and recent experience has told me that handwashing baby puke out of handknit items is a total pain. (Of course I used machine washable yarn for the bibs, but I'm not sure I mentioned that to my giftees.)
But socks are, in my opinion, a fabulous gift. Everybody needs them and can use them. After I dropped several very broad hints, my mother kindly made me the Red Devil socks mentioned last month. They are great, I've worn them several times and they seem to stand up well to machine washing. My husband has huge, crazy Sideshow Bob feet and the gigantic socks blogged about here fit him perfectly. He's a man and therefore doesn't really care about socks, but I think they're terrific.
So far we're two for two on socks as gifts. This brings us to the socks my mother made for Rosie. Sooo cute. However, I put them on the baby's feet at 10:00 am on Tuesday. The first sock was off by 10:06, and we had two naked feet by 10:09. Oh well, you can't win them all. And honestly, the wool is not machine washable, and I doubt I would have had the patience to handwash them very many times. I have put the socks on Raggedy Ann; she seems to like them and they stay on perfectly.