Monthly Archives: September 2014

Stockings for my family

With all these stockings I’ve been making, I guess I should show you the ones that started all this.

My husband had a great aunt who was widowed early and never remarried. She was very crafty – sewed and knitted a bunch of things. She doted on all her nieces and nephews and made them all stuffed animals for Christmas every year. There’s a whole tote of things she made for my husband and they’re all pretty darn awesome. (My favorites are the 10-lb octopus who’s armspan is about 6 feet and the hot air balloon, complete with a basket.)

Is this thing not awesome?!

Is this thing not awesome?!

She also made everyone in her extended family a stocking. As the years went on, she either loosened up her grip or started using larger needles, or possibly both, but the stockings got progressively bigger with each new family member. The joke was that she liked the new ones better so they got bigger stockings. When she passed away two years ago, she had several stockings in progress. Those were given to the intended people to finish or have finished.

This is one lady I am sad to have never known.

When Jellybean came along, I knew he needed a stocking. I knitted lots of things for him before he was born. A hat, mitten and sock set (that he outgrew in the womb,) a pair of warm wool pants (that I never put on him, for some reason,) and a jacket (that he DID get to wear a lot!) I’ve knit him several hats and another wool coat, but I hadn’t yet made him a stocking. I was too scared of color work.

There are so many designs to choose from out there. I was stuck in analysis paralysis for several months, just trying to pick out a design. I finally settled on a snowman from Annie’s woolens.

James Stocking Blog

I made a few mistakes, but it was so much fun! I decided to make one each for my husband and myself. I really like the holly pattern Doug picked out for his stocking. It’s a classic.

Doug Stocking Blog

I picked out the moose for myself. That one was so off-the-wall, I figured it suits me just fine.

Abby Stocking Blog

I do have a confession, though. I am considering remaking the stocking for James. His was the first I made, it was quite the learning curve, there are mistakes that are very noticeable to me and I hadn’t yet designed the train stocking. I am thinking of doing another stocking in the train pattern for him. If not this year, then maybe next year.

Family Stockings

At any rate, we all have stockings and I will be so proud to hang these up at Christmas!

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Stocking for Jalynn

I gathered a lot of interest when I posted pictures of the stockings I made for my small family. One of those interested was a cousin of mine, Sandra. She wanted a stocking for her grandson, Jalynn. We talked about ideas, I showed her the patterns I already had, but made sure she knew I was flexible and willing to try others. She mentioned that he was very into trains and airplanes and the gears started turning in my brain.

The front of Jalynn's stocking.

I had the chance to work on an idea during a car ride to my in-laws one weekend. I spent the entire two-hour ride poking around in a spreadsheet on my tablet, changing the colors of cells. I am so pleased with how it turned out!

Jalynn stocking back

I’m pretty sure I’ll change the design a little more, and since I have another customer who wants a train stocking, I will have a chance to try a different idea.

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Sock Repair, part 2

Well, this went better than expected.

I decided to do the repair during naptime one afternoon. My toddler has been napping well recently, for the most part, so I thought I could at least get things ready to knit before he woke up.

First, I had to pick up stitches along a row of the cuff.

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Since this was a k2p2 rib, it was a tiny bit trickier than it would have been in plain stockinette. The knit stitches were easy, I just slipped my needle under the right leg of the stitch.

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The purl stitches were more difficult. This was the first time I have ever attempted a repair, so I really had to think about what I was doing. I kept trying to pick up the purl stitch below the row I was working on. I had to carefully follow the yarn from the stitch beside it to get the correct stitch. I picked up the top of the purl bump, inserting the needle from top to bottom. This gets the stitch on the needle the correct direction.

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I just picked up stitches all around the cuff, then counted to make sure I hadn’t missed one.

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The next step was to rip out the knitting down to my needles. While I was doing this, I found another hole, which made me glad I picked the stitches so low on the cuff.

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Then I had to find where I put the leftover yarn for these socks. I made a hat for my kiddo out of the yarn last year and the leftovers had moved several times. Honestly, this took the longest amount of time in the whole process. After that, I just needed to attach the new yarn, knit up the same number of rows, then bind off and weave in the ends.

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Now they’re as good as new! I’m so glad because it seems that fall weather is now upon us. I’ll give these a good workout this year.

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Stockings for Chelsea

A friend in my playdate group asked me if I would make stockings for her after seeing the stockings I made for my family. I hadn’t yet considered knitting for commission on a serious basis, so I was a little nervous about saying yes.

Chelsea Stocking

She wanted a really simple stripe design in traditional Christmas colors. I am terrible with sketching my ideas, so I just started knitting. I took her a partially knit stocking to show my idea and she loved it. That was all the confidence boost I needed to launch AbbyCrafty.

Brady Stocking

There’s a little hint of sparkle in the grey stripes in this one.

Edsel Stocking

I really hope these will be treasured for years. They were so much fun to do.

Chelsea Stockings - all three

She told me she’s hanging them up with her Halloween decorations! I think that’s awesome.

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