When it came to appraising Christmas stockings when I was a kid, I was sure grateful that my grandma was a knitter. A knit stocking meant lots of stretch, and lots of stretch meant... well, lots of stuff. Santa still fills my stocking, and nowadays, I'm not as appreciative of getting piles of loot as I am of having a treasured hand knit from my dear ol' gram.

I count the Christmas stocking as one of knitting's most gratifying projects. It is one of the only things you can knit that is practically guaranteed to be cherished year after year, indelibly marking the memory of its owner every Christmas season. What a payoff!

For my Heirloom Christmas Stocking I wanted to reflect the quiet beauty of winter with a stitch pattern that evokes windswept fields of snow, rows of icicles hanging from the eaves, and scalloped patterns of frost on the window. I also wanted this stocking to look like it could have been plucked from a mantle sixty or eighty or a hundred years ago. And that it could grace a mantle a hundred years from now.

Knitting an heirloom definitely inspires me to choose my yarn with care. I want the yarn to be beautiful and pure, to be so special that fingers a generation from now will appreciate its quality. And so I chose Purl Soho's Worsted Twist, our 100% merino wool that is as soft as Santa's beard and as special as Christmas itself!

May your version of our Heirloom Christmas Stocking be just that: everlasting, classic, and most importantly, loved! -Whitney

Materials

Gauge

5 3/4 stitches = 1 inch in Diagonal Scallop Stitch (see below), using the smaller needle

Size

Finished Circumference at Cuff: 14 1/2 inches

Finished Circumference at Ankle: 12 1/2 inches

Finished Length from Cuff to Heel: 20 inches

Finished Length from Heel to Toe: 11 1/2 inches

Note

Diagonal Scallop Stitch (DSS)

Round 1: Knit.

Round 2: *K2, with the right needle pick up the bar between the stitches from back to front, k2, pass the bar over the 2 stitches, repeat from * to end of round.

Round 3: Knit.

Round 4: *With the right needle pick up the bar between the stitches from back to front, k2, pass the bar over the 2 stitches, k2, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat Rounds 1-4.

Here is the "bar between the stitches":

Here is the right needle picking up the bar from back to front:

And here is passing the bar over the 2 stitches:

Pattern

Cast On

With the Main Color and the smaller circular needle, use a Provisional Cast On to cast on 64 stitches.

(If you're intimidated by the Provisional Cast On, feel free to just use a regular long tail cast on and sew the cuff down at the end. Instructions are in the pattern!)

The Cuff

Place a marker and join for working in the round, being careful to not twist the stitches.

Knit every round until the piece measures 2 1/2 inches from the cast on.

Next Round: *K7, knit into front and back (kfb), repeat from * to end of round. 72 stitches

Next Round: Purl.

Change to bigger circular needle.

Work the Diagonal Scallop Stitch (DSS, see Note above) until piece measures 2 5/8 inches from the purl round, ending with Round 2 or 4.

If You Used a Provisional Cast On...

Slip the cast on stitches onto the smaller circular needle, removing the scrap yarn as you do. Fold the stockinette piece inside the Diagonal Scallop Stitch piece, wrong sides together.

Holding the two left needles parallel, use the front right needle to *[knit first stitch on front needle together with first stitch on back needle] 8 times, knit 1 stitch (alone) from front needle, repeat from * to end of round. 72 stitches.

If You Used a Regular Cast On...

Work the next row holding a piece of contrast sewing thread alongside the working yarn.

The Leg

Continue working the 4-round DSS as established until the piece measures 7 inches from the purl round.

Change to the smaller circular needle and continue working the DSS until the piece measures 15 3/4 inches from the purl round, ending with Round 2 of the DSS.

The Heel Flap

Knit 18 stitches and turn the work so the wrong side of the fabric is facing you.

Purl 36 stitches.

NOTE: The 36 stitches that you just purled are the Heel Flap stitches. For this section, you will be working back and forth on just these 36 stitches, turning the piece at the end of each row. Leave the end-of-the-round stitch marker where it is. Also, it's okay to leave the 36 stitches you aren't currently working on the needle. Just ignore them as you work the Heel Flap and the Heel.

Row 1 (right side): *Slip 1 purlwise, k1, repeat from * to end of 36 stitches, turn the work.

Row 2 (wrong side): Slip 1 purlwise, purl to end of 36 stitches, turn the work.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 seventeen more times.

Turn the Heel

Still just working the Heel Flap stitches...

Row 1 (right side): Slip 1 purlwise, K19, ssk, k1, turn the work so the wrong side is facing you and there are 22 stitches on the left needle and 13 stitches on the right needle.

Row 2 (wrong side): Slip 1 purlwise, p5, p2tog, p1, turn the work.

Row 3: Slip 1 purlwise, knit to 1 stitch before the gap, ssk (with the stitch before the gap and the stitch after the gap), k1, turn.

Row 4: Slip 1 purlwise, purl to 1 stitch before the gap, p2tog, p1, turn.

Repeat Rows 3 and 4 until all the heel stitches have been worked and 20 stitches remain on the needle. (For the last repeat, you will end Row 3 with ssk and Row 4 with p2tog.)

The Gusset

Knit across the 20 heel stitches.

With the right side facing you, use the right needle to pick up 20 stitches along the Heel Flap.

Place a marker that is a different color than the end-of-the-round marker.

Continuing to use the right needle, knit across the 36 instep stitches that have been on hold.

Place another marker that is a different color than the end-of-the-round marker.

Still with the right needle and the right side facing you, pick up 20 stitches along the other side of the heel flap.

Knit 10 stitches to the end of the round.

You are now ready to work the DSS in the round again with 96 stitches on the circular needle. The end-of-the-round marker is at the middle of the heel.

Round 1: (Starting with picking up the bar between the stitches) work DSS to 2 stitches before first marker, k2tog, slip marker, (starting with k2) work DSS to next marker, slip marker, ssk, (starting with picking up the bar) work DSS to end of round. 2 stitches decreased

Round 2: Knit.

Round 3: (Starting with k2) work DSS as established to 3 stitches before next marker, k1, k2tog, slip marker, (starting with picking up the bar between the stitches) work DSS to next marker, slip marker, ssk, k1, (starting with picking up the bar between the stitches) work DSS to end of round. 2 stitches decreased

Round 4: Knit.

Repeat Rounds 1-4 until 72 total stitches remain, ending with Round 3.

The Foot

Keeping the three stitch markers in place, start with Round 3 of the DSS and work the DSS until piece measures 8 1/2 inches from the back edge of the heel, ending with Round 1.

round 3 after the ssk, k1 that it should be (start with picking up the bar between the stitches) instead of starting with k2?? - See more at: http://www.purlbee.com/2013/11/17/whits-knits-heirloom-christmas-stocking/#sthash.2ie2iuq2.dpuf

The Toe

Round 1: (Starting with k2) work DSS to 4 stitches before first marker, [k1, k2tog, k1, slip marker, k1, ssk, k1, (starting with picking up the bar) work DSS to 4 stitches before next marker] two times, work in pattern to the end of the round. 4 stitches decreased

Round 2: Knit.

Round 3: (Starting with picking up the bar) work DSS to 3 stitches before first marker, [k2tog, k1, slip marker, k1, ssk, (starting with k2) work DSS to 3 stitches before next marker] two times, work in pattern to the end of the round. 4 stitches decreased

Round 4: Knit.

Round 5: (Starting with k2) work DSS to 4 stitches before first marker, [k1, k2tog, k1, slip marker, k1, ssk, k1, (starting with k2) work DSS to 4 stitches before next marker] two times, work in pattern to the end of the round. 4 stitches decreased

Round 6: Knit.

Round 7: (Starting with picking up the bar) work DSS to 3 stitches before first marker, [k2tog, k1, slip marker, k1, ssk, (starting with picking up the bar) work DSS to 3 stitches before next marker] two times, work in pattern to the end of the round. 4 stitches decreased

Round 8: Knit.

Repeat Rounds 1 -8, changing to double pointed needles when necessary (leave the stitch markers in place).  40 stitches

Next Round: *Knit to 3 stitches before next marker, k2tog, k1, slip marker, k1, ssk, repeat from * , knit to end of round. 4 stitches decreased

Repeat last round until 12 stitches remain.

Knit 3 stitches.

Removing stitch markers, arrange next 6 stitches onto one double pointed needle and remaining 6 stitches onto another double pointed needle.

Cut the yarn and bring it to the inside of the stocking.

Finish

Toe

Thread a 24-inch piece of Contrast Color (CC) onto a tapestry needle, and holding the two double pointed needles parallel, use the Kitchener Stitch and the CC to graft together the toe.

Cuff, If You Used a Long Tail Cast On

At the purl round, fold the cuff to the inside and sew the cast on edge to the round marked by the sewing thread, removing the thread as you work.

Top Trim and Loop

Using the CC and the smaller circular needle, start at the middle back of the top edge of the stocking (where the end of the round was) and pick up and knit each bottom purl bump, ending with 72 stitches.

With the right side facing you, use the larger circular needle to bind off each stitch until 2 stitches remain (1 on left needle and 1 on right needle). Knit the last stitch.

Using the CC and two double pointed needles, with the 2 remaining stitches knit a 3-inch I-cord.

Pass the first stitch over the second, cut the yarn and pull it through the remaining stitch.

Creating a loop, sew the end of the I-cord to the top edge of the stocking.

Weave in all the ends and have a merry Christmas!