When my friend Erika asked if I could design a Christmas stocking, I thought, “Why not?”
Why let something small—like never having knit one before—stop a knitting project?
Deciding to start at the beginning with some basic research, I plowed into the project. After studying Christmas stockings’ construction, I decided it wouldn’t be any harder than knitting socks. And was pleasantly surprised to find they were easier to knit than I thought.
So just how do you make Christmas stockings?
- Knitting Christmas stockings is very similar to knitting socks. Yes, the original Christmas stockings were actually stockings children wore the rest of the year. So, the overall pattern is roughly the same as a sock pattern.
- Modern Christmas stockings tend to be larger than socks. Larger in diameter and leg length, although the foot is often knit shorter.
- To hide the stocking stuffers from little eyes, their stockings are often knit in stockinette stitch rather than a lace pattern. Stockinette stitch is also a traditional pattern for stockings. Stockinette stitch even gets its name from knitting stockings.
- Because most Christmas stockings are knit in the round, stockinette stitch is all knit stitches. Many knitters prefer the knit stitch to the purl stitch.
- If this is one of your first projects knit in the round, the yarn and needles are usually heavier than those used to knit socks to be worn. This makes knitting Christmas stockings easier, especially if you’re not used to knitting with either a set of double-pointed needles or two circular needles.
- Christmas stockings usually are knit from the top down, although there’s no reason they couldn’t be knit from the bottom up. You might have to adjust a motif or graph if you’re knitting your sock in more than one color.
- Because the stocking is for decoration, the heel usually looks squared and is often different than the main stocking color.
- The toe is often the same contrasting color as the heel.
- And left-handed knitters will be happy to note that Christmas stockings can be knit left-handed, too. If the pattern has an asymmetrical motif, you may end up with a mirror image unless you reverse the graph. The good news is most Christmas motifs are either symmetric or can be just as lovely as a mirror image.
So you can see that knitting Christmas stockings isn’t so complicated after all! And they’re fun to knit, then display or give away.
Keep knitting to your heart’s delight — or someone else’s,
The Knitting Yarn
Update 12/11/2011: Get my Christmas stocking patterns to knit by clicking here right now.