Thursday, December 12, 2013

Off the Needles: Simple Knitted Christmas Stocking

Christmas is less than two weeks away and there's still so much I want to do. Make a gingerbread house, cut elaborate paper snowflakes, see a live Nativity, take my boys to visit Santa, decorate my home with various homemade garlands and wreaths, create amazing homemade gifts, make salt dough and cinnamon ornaments with my boys, and do some service projects as a family. Basically, I want to actually do some of the things I've been pinning on my Christmas board on Pinterest.

So far this month, we've squeezed in a few Christmas movies (my oldest is a little obsessed with Home Alone), drank through a couple cartons of egg nog, read some Christmas books (The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is just as funny when you read it as an adult, just sayin') and I've baked dozens of gingerbread and sugar cookies.

There's still a lot I haven't done. And that's okay. You have to find a careful balance in December, I think. Try to take on too much and the month starts feeling more frantic than festive. Someday I may be able to juggle all those other projects and pins I want to do; for now, I'm just glad if I remember to move the Elf on the Shelf every night.

There is one project I am working on this month: a Christmas stocking for my younger son. Last year, I knitted one for Max, my older son, and it turned out pretty well. Not perfect, of course, but that's what's great about handmade stuff. My boys will know that it was knitted by hand by their mom. There's love knitted into every stitch, baby. Last year, I waited too long to start and was only able to finish Max's stocking; tonight, I'll be casting on and starting Jonah's red and cream stocking.

The photo doesn't quite do it justice. Stockings don't look nearly as good laying flat as they do hanging on the mantel. Since I don't have a fireplace or mantel (we leave a key for Santa under the doormat), I can't do the classic Christmas stocking display. That said, it really did turn out nicely, with that classic stocking shape to it. Most importantly, the stocking worked perfectly last year. It stretched really well and held a lot of treats and toys.

Last year when I decided I was going to knit stockings for my boys, I searched all over Ravelry for a good pattern. As you can imagine, there were lots and lots of them. Problem was that a majority of the patterns had all sort of complicated, albeit lovely, designs. All I wanted a nice, simple stocking pattern.  After some more searching, I finally found a pattern from Very Pink. It is the perfect simple stocking pattern and great for beginners because there is a video for each step of the knitting process (Very Pink's knitting videos are the best ones I've come across, hands down. I'd watched some of her other ones before I worked on this project.).

The pattern costs $8 to download. To make each stocking, I used two skeins (one cream, one green or red) of worsted weight yarn. You can find my Ravelry notes for the project here. I highly recommend this pattern, especially if you're a beginning-intermediate knitter like myself.

After the husband and I get the kids to bed and I remember to move that Elf to another part of the house, I'll pour myself a cup of egg nog or grab a sugar cookie, see if there are any good Christmas shows on Netflix, and cast on a stocking for my two-year-old. A pretty cozy way to spend a December evening, if I do say so. Makes all those other stressful aspects of the season seem a lot less important.

Note: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have disclosed.

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