Yesterday I worked on finishing the vintage 1954 Christmas stocking for my two year old granddaughter in Oklahoma. These stockings are a tradition since my husband's Aunt Ruth made one for him, his brother, and each of his cousins when they were little. When my husband and I married and had kids, this aunt made one for me and each of our three kids. When my daughter and son both married in May and September of 2011, the Year of the Weddings, I made one for each of their spouses. See post for December 31, 2011. Here are two photos side-by-side of the front and back of the complete stocking. Yes, I am a bit behind for this granddaughter who was born in 2012 and is two years old for this Christmas.
With an October birthday I maybe could be forgiven for not having the stocking completed for her first Christmas in 2012. However 2013 got away from me, too. I'd started Autumn's stocking but set it aside and just finished knitting it several weeks ago. I'd been procrastinating in the final stages because I could not seem to working up the enthusiasm to sew in all those yarn ends from the intarsia knitting. Here is the back with most of the yarn ends woven in. On the green stripe (the reverse side of a band of Santa Clauses) and on the red stripe to the left of it (the reverse side of a band of Christmas Trees) each motif had its own set of yarn. Whether or not to use separate strands for each motif or string them together is a trade off between having more ends to weave in at the finish and or having more twisted strands to manipulate and carry along while knitting. I elected fewer twisted strands and am paying the price now.
I think I stall at this yarn weaving point because there is no consistent path or method. But that means there is no wrong way. That should make it easier right? Not so for me. The camouflaging path to take for each yarn end is a decision. I analyze things too much so decisions slow me down. Besides, look at those ends of blue yarn. There is more to weave in than it took for the two dots of Santa's blue eyes. Next time I make one of these stockings I am going to weave in the ends as I finish each color band. It will break up the task into shorter, less overwhelming portions.
After I wove in all the yarn tails I pinned the stocking to a double thickness of towel and steamed it. Here it is blocked flat enough to sew up the rear seam.
Here is Autumn's stocking in with the rest of the family's. At the far left is my husband's' original boyhood stocking with a couple moth holes at the Christmas tree and Santa's feet. To the right of it the next five are our core family member stockings from the mid 70's to mid 80's, knit by Aunt Ruth. The three on the left I knit from 2010-2014 for our son-in-law, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter. The colors do change with the decades as does yarn and the gauge of the knitter. We have elected to keep the stockings together to represent the family being together in spirit, if not together geographically, at Christmas. The song Over the River and Through the Woods jovially sings that "to Grandmother's house we go." Alas, that song never addresses the issue that there is more than one grandma and that the grandpas and grandmas have to share!
My current work in progress is a stocking for our youngest granddaughter who will 8½ months at Christmas. She will be with her other grandma for Christmas this year - we had her with us for Thanksgiving - but I hope to have completed her stocking and have it with us. Last night I was working to have at least the name part of her stocking knitted for this post but, alas, I messed up on the "A" and have to tear out a couple rows. There is a green stitch at the crown of the "A" where a white one should be. Reading that chart upside down and backwards as I knit it is not as trivial as one might think.
Our families color placement deviates from the 1945 pattern. We have the toe and heel in matching white. The original pattern also call for the Christmas trees to be on a background of white rather than red. The 1945 pattern can be downloaded for free from
I am hooking up to today's Freshly Pieced post for WIP Wednesday. As the title of my blog suggests, I really do love quilting despite the fact that my last two posts have been about knitting. We quilters have many loves.