Homemade Christmas Stocking
Last year I took up knitting and with the little one’s first Christmas approaching I decided I’d put it to use and make her a stocking. Unless you’re a speed knitter or have a crazy amount of time on your hands, this post is going to be more useful for next year.
Making a stocking may seem tricky but it’s actually quite easy, I managed quite well and am not much more than a beginner. I didn’t use a pattern as I don’t understand all of the shorthand terms used and only know the one, basic stitch. While I was knitting it, I judged how it was coming along based solely on how it looked and how large or small I felt I wanted the finished article to be. The main thing to remember is that when you cast off, the shape of the material differs from how it looked while it was on the needle, e.g. longer and slimmer.
To make the stocking I used two 100g balls of fleecy wool that I picked up from my local craft shop. I originally started using 3 and a quarter mm metal needles as I was going for a finer knit but soon found that I was left with very little room for manoeuvre with my stitches – quite possibly due to using thick fleecy wool – so switched to plastic 8mm needles which made the task far quicker and easier. I just used the basic knit stitch and kept going until I felt it looked like it would be the right size when folded over on itself (I believe I may have cast on 50 to 60 stitches and knitted around 20 to 25 rows). Once I had completed the main section of the stocking I began the toe separately – there may be a way of knitting it all in one but I couldn’t figure it out so unless you’re an accomplished knitter it is probably best to do it separately and then stitch it together.
Now, making the toe section and creating a curve may seem complicated but it’s actually pretty easy as you simply either cast on or cast off two stitches at a time – it can be a little fiddly but you soon get used to it. Again, I simply used my own judgment on the progress of this section to decide when to stop. Be sure to keep some wool spare and a sewing needle with a large eye nearby in order to stitch everything together as thread is likely not strong enough to hold. When it comes to stitching on your desired pattern, I would suggest you do it before you have finished sewing together the stocking edges as it’ll make the process far easier; I myself got carried away and stitched it all up leaving me with limited room to pass the needle back and forth without restriction. To create the tree pattern I first created the outline using individual strands of wool (knotted at the end to stay in place) then filled it in before using thread to create the trunk and star.
My stocking may not have turned out perfectly, I slightly misjudged the sizing of the toe leaving it a little crooked, but that’s the great thing about homemade things, they’re totally unique, flaws and all!