I designed this stocking for the 100th Issue of Simply Knitting. Included in this issue is a supplementary booklet of Christmas knits. Included among the various colourful novelties are two designs of mine, both Christmas Stockings, but each very different from the other.
This particular stocking is just all-out Christmassy. Knit in shades of red, white and green it epitomises the season with motifs of snowflakes, ivy and reindeer. The colours chosen reflect the richness of the season and the wish to bring the outside in, deck the house with boughs of evergreen to keep spirits buoyant through the coldest season. Some of the motifs take inspiration from traditional Scandinavian colourwork, so popular over recent years on wrapping paper and Christmas decorations, yet nothing beats the real thing in knitted form.
The shape of this stocking is wholly modern. A lot of the patterns for knitted stockings that I have previously seen are very narrow in dimension. What I want most from a stocking is for it to look good as a piece of decoration in the run up to Christmas morning, but also to be functional as a carrier of gifts and treats. So this stocking has a modern, wide shape, to hold all manner of small toys and teddy bears, boxes of sweets and other small gifts. The stocking also incorporates a hanging loop so that your handiwork can be enjoyed in the lead-up to Christmas day, because itâ€™s a shame to hide handcrafted items away when they should be displayed, especially at a time when many people like a feeling of homely warmth around the house.
The stocking is also knit from one of my favourite yarns â€“ Debbie Bliss Rialto DK. This gives a lovely, smooth finish to the knitted colourwork and the vibrant colours make the design pop. I had been a little nervous when it came to blocking the stocking as I know from experience (and reports from others) that some of the red shades of Rialto can bleed quite shockingly. I did my best to get around this by blocking the item in cold water to cause less loosening of any dye with a little Soak branded wool wash (which avoided the need to rinse the item and leave it in the water any longer that was necessary. I also stuck two colour-catcher sheets in the sink for good measure. I gave the stocking a quick swish around in the water and then took it out and placed it between towels, standing on them to remove as much water as I could, as quickly as possible. Luckily there was not any noticeable bleeding with the yarn, and the lightest areas remained a nice crisp white.
You can find the pattern in issue 100 of Simply Knitting, in the Christmas Knitting booklet, out now.
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Rialto DK in Scarlet, Forest, White, Emerald & Maroon (1 ball each)