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FO Friday: A boatload of Christmas Stockings

7

Never let it be said that I don’t jump into things with both feet. For my first Finished Object Friday, I present not one, not two, but ten knitted stockings!

Stockings

Bottom half of cat included for scale

Now, before you get too impressed, I’ve been working on them since February. I promised my mother-in-law I’d knit everyone in the family a stocking with their name on it after seeing the pitiful state of their stocking collection over Christmas 2010. I don’t want to disparage another knitter… but let’s just say the lady who made several of them in the early ’80s (out of eye-searing green and red acrylic) should probably have kept her colorwork floats loose enough to actually be able to get things in and out of the stockings. I’m just saying.

So at the beginning of this year, I ordered a bunch of heavy-worsted weight yarn, settled on a pattern, sketched out the colors and design, and went to work.

Stocking yarn

Three of the many skeins I used

The first two went quickly. I actually thought they were pretty fun at that point. But as I kept going (interspersing them with other projects so I didn’t go insane), I started to get more and more sick of the pattern, the yarn, the need to pay attention to the colorwork, weaving in dozens of ends at the end of each one… I definitely had to grit my teeth and just power through the last few.

I am so beyond delighted to have these done.

After hearing me moan about having trouble blocking them all to the same size, my darling husband got some heavy wire from the hardware store and made me a blocking form!

Blocking form

Yes, he is a keeper.

The before and after pics show why this was desperately needed:

Unblocked stocking

Right off the needles

After blocking

After blocking on the awesomesauce form

Here are the specs:

Pattern: loosely based on Ysolda Teague’s Last Minute Stockings (Ravelry link), with lots and lots of mods

Yarn: Cascade Ecological Wool and Eco+ for the red, green, and white. The different contrasting color for each family varied. Full details available on my Rav project entry here.

Needles: Size 9 (these were even a little big for this yarn; it’s supposed to be chunky, but I don’t believe that for a minute).

Notes: I actually would much rather have followed the pattern to the letter (so cute and rustic!), but I was attempting to at least kinda-sorta approximate the wretched ’80s stockings, so I had to follow specific guidelines. I did the names stranded rather than duplicate stitch… the floats are slightly visible through the fabric at the back, but it isn’t bad.

I did learn a new technique, the figure 8 cast-on. Even after 10 times, I still think it’s awesome.

All the stockings

My mom saw a few of these last time she came out to visit and gave me the big puppy-dog eyes… but I told her she’ll have to wait a year. At least. And when I knit them for her family, I get to pick the patterns.

7 Comments

  1. isaida
    isaida12-09-2011

    The stockings are awesome – love them!

  2. Leah
    Leah12-10-2011

    Wow, well done. They look awesome! I’m sure they’ll be appreciated for years to come :)

  3. Holly (Lucky Me)
    Holly (Lucky Me)12-11-2011

    Congrats on quite a feat!! That is amazing, especially the before and after shots. You’re right, he really is a keeper! I didn’t even have time for 3 of them, the second year in a row!

  4. Genevieve Edwards
    Genevieve Edwards12-13-2011

    Good for you! Congratulations on getting them all done in time for Santa.

  5. Mic helle
    Mic helle12-13-2011

    OK. I”m still impressed! These are fantastic! And, your husbie RULES for having created a stocking blocker for you! The FOs look PERFECT!

  6. Erin
    Erin12-30-2011

    Wow! You dodged a nervous breakdown! They are beautiful and your dedication to completing them is worthy of adding to your resume. Any knitter who saw what you’ve accomplished would be awed.Happy New Year!

  7. FO Friday: Daisy Cloche and Mittens
    FO Friday: Daisy Cloche and Mittens01-20-2012

    […] Yarn: Cascade Ecological wool held double, left over from the Neverending Christmas Stockings of 2011 […]

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