Mary Lou’s Holiday Stocking

This charming Holiday Stocking pattern was created for The Purl Bee by Mary Lou Risely, a longtime teacher at, and dear friend of, Purl. If all of these techniques are new to you, we're offering a class to make this stocking at Purl, you can read all about it at this link. --Thank you Mary Lou!

The Materials

Main color

11 yards of any dk weight yarn to make two stripes per stocking. Mary Lou used:

  • B – lime green (Kersti K920)
  • C – lighter lime green (Kersti K1521)
  • D – Copper (Temple by Alchemy)
  • E – Joshua Tree (Temple by Alchemy)
  • F – burnt orange (Kersti K110)
  • G – orange (Kersti I133)
  • H – Rich Berry (Temple by Alchemy)




20 stitches and 28 rows = 4-inches in stockinette stitch


Finished Size

Approximately 5.5-inches wide (around "leg) by 19-inches long


Pattern Notes

Ssk: slip two stitches to right-hand needle one at a time as if to knit; return them back to left-hand needle one at a time in their new orientation; knit them together through the back loops.  You can find our ssk tutorial at this link.

Although this pattern uses circular needles, it is not knit in the round.  This means it'll be easier to make the color changes on the intstep. For a simple tutorial on switching colors in the middle of a row, please check out our intarsia tutorial here.


The Pattern 


Beginning with color A and 20-inch circular needle, cast on 60 sts (do not join into a round).

Work K2, P2 ribbing for 8 rows.

Continue with color A,

*Row 1 (Right side): Knit

Row 2: Purl

Repeat these two rows one more time. (Note, do not cut yarn for color A).

Switch to color B, repeat from *, cut yarn leaving a 6 inch tail.

Switch to color A, repeat from *, do not cut yarn.

Switch to color C, repeat from *, cut yarn leaving a 6 inch tail.

Continue in alphabetical order repeating color A between each of the other colors.

Once you've worked this whole section, switch one more time to color B, repeat from *, cut yarn leaving a 6 inch tail.


Set up for heel flap

Reposition stitches as follows, place first 15 sts on a dpn; place next 30 sts on large stitch holder; place last 15 sts on a dpn. Reposition the 15 sts from the dpns onto your circular needle so that they meet one another in the middle and work the 30 sts for heel flap.


Heel flap

Row 1 (Right side): *Sl 1 purlwise (pwise) with yarn in back (wyb), K1; rep from *.
Row 2: SL 1 pwise with yarn in front (wyf), purl to end.
Rep these two rows until 30 rows have been worked. There will be 15 chain selvage sts on each side.


Turn heel

Row 1: Knit across 17 sts, ssk, k1, turn work.
Row 2: Sl 1 pwise, p5, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 3: Sl 1 pwise, knit to 1 st before gap, ssk (1 st from each side of gap) k1, turn.
Row 4: Sl 1 pwise, purl to 1 st before gap, p2 tog (1 st from each side of gap), p1, turn.
Repeat rows 3 and 4 until all heel sts have been worked, ending with a WS row and ending p2tog. There will remain 18 sts.

Heel gusset

Cut yarn and rejoin at right side by picking up 15 sts along right side of heel flap, working through each chain selvedge stitch; knit across 18 sts of turned heel and pick up 15 sts on left side of flap. Place a marker (PM) and retrieve the stitches on holder and work across 30 instep sts (you will now have 78 sts.) Turn work and purl back.

Row 1 (Right side): K 1, ssk, knit to last 3 sts before M, K2 tog, K1, continue across instep.

Row 2: Purl

Continue these 2 rows, decreasing on RS rows and changing color as needed (with colors C and D) for the instep portion only every 4 rows until there remain a total of 60 sts (this will coincide with the 4th row of main color).  For help with color change in the middle of the row, please check out our Intarsia Tutorial at this link.



Switch to Color E.

Row 1 (Right side): Knit, remove M as you come to it.

Row 2: purl

Repeat these two rows.

Resume color progression as above, ending with 4 rows of color H.


Reposition stitches onto dpns as follows: place first 15 sts on needle 1, then 15 sts on needle 2, and 30 sts on needle 3. Join into a round.  For help with Double Pointed Needles, check out our tutorial at this link.

Round 1:

  • On needle 1: K1, ssk, K to end of needle.
  • On needle 2: K to last 3 sts, K 2 tog, K1.
  • On needle 3: K1, ssk, K to last 3 sts, K2 tog, K1.

Round 2: Knit.

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until there remain 32 sts total.
Repeat round 1 only until there remain 8 sts total.

Place sts on needles 1 and 2 and use Kitchener stitch to graft remaining sts together.   You can find our Kitchener Stitch Tutorial at this link.


Beginning at bottom of foot seam, thread yarn through tapestry needle and use mattress stitch to sew the seam together. Pick up the colors as you get to them and carry a length of main color, carefully matching the stitches side to side so the seam is as invisible as possible. Use same technique on leg seam, working from heel up. Weave in all ends in the seam, if possible.  If you need help with Mattress Stitch, click here to find a great tutorial on

Hanging loop

With color A and dpns, CO 3 sts and make an I-cord about 3 inches in length. Double over I-cord and sew to top on the inside of the leg seam so your stocking can be hung.  You can find our I-cord Tutorial at this link.

Block finished stocking as desired.

Happy Holidays!

Click here to add a comment

10 Responses to Mary Lou’s Holiday Stocking

  1. jen says:

    oh my, that is cute. i think ray and i will be getting stockings for christmas to hang at our house this year :)


  2. Rebecca says:

    I’ve been looking for a great pattern for my Gigi’s Christmas stocking. This will be her third Christmas, and she needs a Forever Stocking. I found it! Thanks!

  3. cyndi says:

    This is so cute! I’ve been looking for a holiday stocking that isn’t so “holiday” which sounds completely crazy but true.

  4. LC says:

    I love this pattern! I’m wondering if you can suggest any other color combinations….I love this pattern but I’m not a big fan of the browns/pinks in this version. But I’m also terrible at figuring out better color combos….little help?

  5. Patricia says:

    Wonderful color combo, especially for those of us in the tropics. I plan on this stocking for the Ravelry Sock Knitters Anonymous holiday October entry.

  6. Jen M says:

    I am just about done with this and the pattern is mostly spot-on! I did a different color combo based on what was on sale – shetland wool, in mushroom brown (MC), 3 reds, 3 greens, and a blue. Looks very natural and earthy.

    One question, though: why is this knit flat instead of knitting in the round all the way down? The seams aren't that hard to take care of but it does seem like it adds an unnecessary extra step. Next time perhaps I'll try it in the round…

  7. Natasha says:

    Hi, Just to let you know that i have featured you on my blog

    Natasha xxx

  8. Pippa says:

    I absolutely love this pattern but am a bit stuck! This is the first time I have knit a sock, and so this is probably a very silly question but…

    When starting to knit the heel flap, am I knitting the middle 30 stitches or the 30 stitches that I have placed back onto my circular needle?

    Sorry if this doesn't make sense but my brain just can't seem to figure it out! x

  9. purl bee says:

    Hi Pippa,

    You will work the 30 stitches that you've placed onto the circular needle, ignoring for now the other 30 stitches that you've placed on a stitch holder.

    Please let us know if you have any other questions and thanks for this one!


  10. Shanzler says:

    This pattern is also great felted. I knit this in cascade 220 and then put it in a hot washing machine. So happy with the results!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

9 × five =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>



Subscribers receive a FREE premium Purl Soho Pattern of your choice (up to a $15 value!). learn more