Holiday cheer

A few years back, I bought a sweater at the Bins. It was very large, and very thick, and I bought it with the expressed purpose of frogging it and using the yarn. Technically, this was no issue at all- it wasn’t steeked/serged, it’s wool, and the colors are nice. The thing about this sweater is its bulk. This yarn is HEFTY. It’s thick, but it’s single-ply, and after the previous owner’s washings and wearings it had begun to felt together. So I unraveled it very slowly- in a couple years of having it tucked away, and over many many moves, I’ve only gotten through the sleeves.

This holiday season, for some reason, I feel the need to decorate for the holidays. Wes is getting a few smaller gifts this year, so I thought stockings would be appropriate. I have my own stocking from childhood, which I love, but that leaves him without one! So, I turned to the stash to make him one, but between time and other holiday knitting pressures, it just wasn’t going to happen by Christmas. Yet again, I am thankful that I hoard craft supplies, as the bulky sweater body ended up being just the thing.

Here are the extra balls of yarn from the sleeves and the front and back pieces from the body.

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I separated the front and back, and removed the collar panel. More on that down the page!

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Once the panels were separated, I had to figure out how wide I wanted my stockings to be. Use one side to make both stockings? Too skinny. Or use each side for a single stocking? Way too wide. I ended up making the “tubes” that would become the “legs” and “feet” out of about 2/3 of each panel. I figured there’s no way to get away with saving a whole side, so there was no harm in cutting off the section I didn’t use- even though it’s not usable at that width for anything other than stuffing, it certainly wasn’t useful taking up space in a bin.

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So I sewed up each tube, trying to match the pattern’s lines as well as possible.

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Kumquat tested things out, and approved.

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I sewed the bottom of each tube into a toe shape, careful to center the bottom seam with the side seam.

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I went back and forth about whether to join the collar to the top of the second stocking, but I ended up deciding to pick up the live stitches and just go ahead and knit up the rolled “cuff” at the top of the tube. Above, matching the collar up with the top of the cuff. Below, just before I bound off.

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Once I had two matching tubes with finished ends on both sides, it was time to get the heels taken care of.

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I decided to use an afterthought heel, rather than trying to incorporate a heelflap and gusset into an already-knit tube. Above, I’m picking out the middle row between a white stripe and a blue stripe. I ended up using the extra yarn from that row as my first row on the white stripe side, so that the whole heel has a blue stripe around it.

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Above, working up the heel on double points. Since the yarn was so thick, the proportions were a little challenging, but I think it came out very well.

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And here’s our makeshift alternative to a tree- a place to display my ornaments, our holiday cards, and our stockings, but without chopping a tree or cleaning up needles. Wes’ stocking is stuffed and hung in the dining room with care!

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2 thoughts on “Holiday cheer

    1. I’m pretty happy with them! The sweater design was very… “Northwest rustic chic.” It’s nice to have matching stockings, even though Wes doesn’t care about holiday décor so much. 😉

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