Not only did I get a knit gift done in time, I got to see them in action. The recipient wore them for 3 days straight - I already knew she was knitworthy, but that sure clinched it. I'm knitting another pair for her now!
Pattern: Top-Down Socks, Fingering Version by Kate Atherly, in her book Knit Accessories: Essentials and Variations. I used the pattern as a jumping off point; worked at a different gauge, so the numbers aren't the same.
Yarn: Twisted Fiber Arts Playful in Self-Striping colorway Firefly. This had been sitting in my stash for a couple of years and hadn't worked out for another project, so I was especially happy to use it up.