Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tis the Season for Custom Stockings

Since 2006, I have knitted stockings every December.

Pictured left are the custom stocking produced in December 2006.
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Bulky
Favorite Features: top hem is lined with wide velvet ribbon(more pictures here); the stripes in the heel flap

This red stocking is represents the first of what was meant to be our family stocking set. This one is my oldest son's.
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Worsted
Favorite Features: big fat foot, striped heel flap

No picture of the 2008 commission. They were made from the Ann Norling series of stockings. Finishing them was so down to the last minute that I didn't have time to photograph them. They were cute, though! The order recipients were a new grand baby and a new daughter in law. They were worked in (shocking) Lamb's Pride Worsted. I did some strange hybrid of intarsia and stranding so that I could work them in the round (what won't I do to avoid a seam).

Here is last year's, December 2009. This stocking was a fun one: I was all over getting it done swiftly, I was able to do the whole pattern stranded (yay, no intarsia), and the lady who ordered was tickled pink at the results. A fairly new knitter, she had been gifted the pattern and yarn by a non knitter who thought it cute. "Abby" is her son's girlfriend, and, with prospects looking good, she wanted to make a spot on the family hearth for this sweet girl. The best part about making stockings is that I get to facilitate the formations of family traditions.
Yarn: (more) Lamb's Pride Worsted

I bring you this year's commission, December 2010.
Steve came in late last December wondering if we could recreate his mother's handy work, pictured on the far left. She had made it for him while delivering him in 1960. Steve had taken excellent care of his stocking and everything down to the angora beard was in great shape, especially considering that it had seen 5 decades of Christmas eves and mornings. I tend to believe that she really may have been working on this project while actually in labor, as the gauge tighten significantly as you move down from the top hem to the foot. Without a pattern, I reworked the chart and made three new Santa's popping from the chimney tops. The first one was slow going as I worked out the chart, but the following two went at top speed. Some day I will share the chart. The extra good news is that he wants to order another 3 for his son's family which means that my charting will keep paying off. This time, I followed the usual construction guidelines, working it flat with proper intarsia and the foot in the round; I remembered to slip the first st of each row so that I could easily do a crocheted slip st seam. Then, I slipped a lining in to top it all off. He wasn't upset that the size didn't match the original (I didn't think that he would mind a bigger stocking).
Yarn: (surprise) Cascade 220

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Deck the Tree

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

I have had this pattern in the works since August and I am very excited to share it with you this lovely December.

The ornaments are worked in the round from one pole to the next (south pole to the north pole. The cast on is something of a thrill, using Emily Ocker's circular beginning (originally found in Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitter's Almanac). There are four separate designs: stockinette, striped stockinette, simple lace, and a lacey leaf. The next fun part is that you inflate a balloon and apply a starching agent to harden your knitted fabric into an attractive Christmas globe.


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