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I really wanted to make Kate a stocking for her first Christmas so that she’d hopefully have it for every Christmas of her life. Every year I consider getting a kit from Judy’s Colors but I just couldn’t settle on a design that I really liked for Kate so I decided to design one for her in that style. I didn’t consider all the math and technique involved in stranded colourwork over a heel or toe and it’s probably a good think I didn’t or I never would have started. Now I feel extra pleased knowing how much thought and effort went into it.
Lots o’ detail ahead:
I used Cascade 220 except for the off-white which is Ram Wools Selkirk. The central motif is from Elli Stubenrauch’s Snowbird mitts which I charted out with colouring pencils and graph paper even though all I changed was the text in the banner. I guess I like making work for myself. The snowflake motif above it is just the snowflake that appears between the two birds repeated all around. I carried the design around the back but left out the birds and banner.
The other elements are two-colour vikkel braids, instructions here, and I made up the other two patterns on the foot, although I doubt they’re original. The heel and toe design had to be easy for me to wrap my head around the back-and-forth work for short rows on the heel and decreases in the toe so I just alternated the colours and then offset them on the next row. For most of the figuring work I had to just try it out and rip back because I just couldn’t puzzle it out actually without doing it.
I also wanted to line it so that it wouldn’t get stretched out after years of shoving candy and deodorant in it so I picked out a pretty reindeer patterned quilting cotton and traced the stocking as a template. Then I hand embroidered a little label and unintentionally cut it into a wonky shape and appliqued it inside.
I think that may be my favourite part. I wracked my brain about what to write and ended up writing something out that wasn’t too long or cheesy but would have meaning if it gets passed down or ends up in a museum. Not exactly modest but after the work that went in it better be a frickin’ heirloom. I stitched over my handwritten note with two strands shiny silk floss. Here’s a better picture of the whole lining before I whipstitched it in.
Yesterday I made an i-cord loop for hanging and I was finally done after at least two months of planning and stitching. I’m really genuinely happy with it and I hope Kate appreciates it too some day.