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Sunday
Nov172013

Whit's Knits: Heirloom Christmas Stocking

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

The Materials

The Pattern

Gauge

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

Finished Size

Circumference at Cuff: 14 1/2 inches

Circumference at Ankle: 12 1/2 inches

Length from Cuff to Heel: 20 inches

Length from Heel to Toe: 11 1/2 inches

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:

Begin: 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 k2) 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.

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!

 

Reader Comments (33)

If I didn't already have so much Christmas knitting in my queue, I would cast this on immediately!! Maybe for next year.
November 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKerry
I just HAVE to do this... thank you, what a beautiful stocking. Will go onto the needles as soon as I can pick up the yarn!
November 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulieO
My goodness I love that stocking, I shall put it on my todo list.
You do such amazing, inspirational work I am envious
November 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJane
Love this ! Soooooo cute!
November 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda
LOVE this!
does it really use almost 500 yards of yarn??
Seems like a lot of yarn.
November 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbridy
Now that is a beautiful must-knit stocking. Thank you for sharing 💗
November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Boehlert
Is the little felt goose in the first photo from a pattern or book? Can you tell me which one, if any? Thank you.
November 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHolly Matsuo
Hi Holly-

You can buy this little goose (as well as a bunch of other super cute animals) here: http://www.selvedge.org/shop/gl-cksk-fer

or here: http://www.babynaturopathics.com/shop/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=92

Thanks so much for your question!

Molly
November 20, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi bridy,

I used about half of the third skein of Worsted Twist, so not quite 500 yards. It is a generously sized stocking though!

Thanks for asking!

Whitney
November 20, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I finished the stocking last night!
I loved making it, seeing how the pattern comes together was fun. Thank you for such a great keepsake stocking pattern! Now on to stocking #2!
November 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBridy
Is the DSS pattern incorrect here? isn't it purl on the odd rows? thanks!
November 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersao
never mind -- figured it out!
November 26, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersao
I'm a little confused by the pattern. For the heel flap it says "repeat rows 1 and 2 seventeen more time" So how many total rows will you have for the heel flap? 19 or 36 (including the two you did before)?

Thanks!
December 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCathy G.
Hi Cathy G,

WAIT! WAIT! WAIT! I must have been in some pre-holiday frenzy when I originally answered you! I am so sorry, but the correct answer to your question should have been 36 rows, not 19!

Whitney, December 31, 2013


Here, for the record, is my INCORRECT response to your question, given on December 13th...

You will work 19 total rows for the Heel Flap.

Hope this gets you on the right path! Please let us know if you have any more questions and thanks for this one!

Whitney
December 13, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I'm about to start working on "The Foot". I have 72 stitches (knit in the DSS pattern) on my needle, but I'm not sure I have the correct number of stitches between markers. Could you tell me how many stitches I should have between each of the three markers? Thanks!!
December 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatty
Hi Patty,

You should have 18 stitches between the beginning of the round and the next marker; 36 stitches between that marker and the next one; and 18 stitches between the last marker and the end of the round.

I hope this puts you on the right path; you're almost done! Thanks for your question and please let us know if you have any more!

Whitney
December 18, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Could you please explain the "gap" you refer to in the heel? Thanks! Also, just recapping Cathy g's question- your heel looks longer than 19 rows. I'm a little confused! Thanks so much!
December 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
Hi Katie,

The "gap" is the place where you turned the work two rows previously. A space (or gap) between the stitches should be apparent. You can see a picture of the gap in the Turning the Heel section of our Pom Pom Peds pattern here: http://www.purlbee.com/the-purl-bee/2008/4/14/whits-knits-pom-pom-peds.html

And as for the number of rows for the Heel Flap, I was totally mistaken when I answered Cathy G. I have amended that answer and will say again, here, that the heel flap is a total of 36 rows, not 19. Thank you so much for causing me to revisit that question; I, and future makers of this Stocking, really appreciate it!

Please let us know if you have any more questions and good luck!

Whitney
December 31, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
my heel flap is looking very stockinett stich like (after nine rows) any ideas? or am i just too impatient and it will come? thanks leslie
January 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterleslie
i have found my error. obviously a beginner here. thanx
January 21, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterleslie
hello again whitney, turning the heel was nothing short of magic, but now i am supposed to pick up 20 stitches on the flap. except i have 25. (and how did the 36 rows of heel flap leave 25 slip stitches on the edge anyway?) thanx for any help, leslie
January 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterleslie
Hi Leslie,

Since each Heel Flap row starts with a slip stitch, you should have 18 stitches to pick up (instead of 36). The two extra stitches (to make 20) are there to help close the gusset holes that tend to be born at this step in sock-making.

Now, how you're getting 25, I don't know! Perhaps you miscounted your Heel Flap rows or maybe you forgot to slip some of the first stitches. Either way, you can fudge this section (especially since this sock doesn't have to fit anyone!), either by skipping some stitches and just picking up 20 or by sticking with your 25 stitches and working the Gusset extra rounds.

I hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any more questions and good luck!

Whitney
January 22, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
hello again whitney, well i am still at this stocking!. i got down to the toe (the first time) to realize that the toe was askew, twisted to the one side. i decided since i had messed up the heel flap already i would just rip it out and fix both mistakes and hopefully be happy in the end. well, i got through the heel flap with the correct 20 pickup stitches (thank you) to see that my toe was twisting yet again. so my determination is that the dds in the round moves the marker over, thus making the center back marker no longer the center of the heel. again i have ripped out my work (just the toe) and eagerly await advice.
thanx, leslie
February 1, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterleslie
Just finished my version of this stocking! I had one problem where somehow my pattern got off after the heel, but i went with it and you don't notice it at all with how busy the pattern is and being at the very bottom/back of the stocking. So I left it and I am happy with it. I am going to make more in different colors, well see if I have the same problem with the next one. Other than that everything went off without a hitch which shocked me since I have never done several of the techniques used in this pattern. If anyone wants to see my version here it in here http://bansheescrawnbones.blogspot.com/2014/02/christmas-in-january-christmas.html?spref=fb
Thanks for the beautiful pattern!
February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSadie Atkinson
thank you sadie for your post and pictures. congrats on your no-hitch stocking. whitney i have a question, after looking at sadie's very close ups i see that her stitches are straight up and down. mine on the other hand spiral. hence my problem. this also made my dss off in places. do i need to watch a knitting in the round video? i had to finish this project or i might go crazy so i just plain knit the toe. BUT, my center back starting point is not at the center of the heel, so i need to adjust my icord hanger placement. do you know why my pattern spiraled? thanx again, leslie
February 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterleslie
Leslie,
I didn't even notice that her stitches looked straight down on the foot! As I mentioned, I did have a slight problem but did my own little "fix it" and was happy with the result. Sometimes with patterns I have found if you can do something that works and you are happy with how it looks, than do it! (if you know how) You don't always have to stick right to the pattern, use it as a guide to feel your way through and make adjustments if you need to along the way!
February 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSadie Atkinson
sadie, thanx for the encouragement. this was my first non-hat or scarf project so i think i was a little nerveous. but i do love the way it turned out and can't wait to make another. after re-reading the pattern over and over i now realize i was doing the dss from front to back! btw, way to go with that yoga!

whitney and laura and all the creators at purl bee thank you for sharing your beautiful patterns. you should be so proud that you can spark such a desire in us mere beginners to attempt your designs. thank you all, leslie
February 4, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterleslie
Hi Leslie,

Well, it sounds like you finished your stocking before I had a chance to answer your questions about the toe; I'm so sorry!

For future reference, you should not have had roving markers for the toe. They should have stayed in place, with the beginning of the round always at the center of the heel. The Gusset and Toe sections would be pretty challenging for a beginner knitter since there's so much going on: stitch markers, decreases, stitch patterns, oh my! I'm so impressed (and happy!) you ended up with a Christmas Stocking you're proud of... Congratulations!

On to the next challenge, right? Let us know what it is and how we can help!

Whitney

PS Thanks, Sadie, for your input and I love your yellow stocking!
February 6, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I just finished my second stocking if you want to check it out on my blog bansheescrawnbones.blogspot.com. I think there is possible a mistake on the pattern, I ran into the same issue twice. The first time I didn't notice and threw off my DSS, this time I did. I am about to start the third one and I will see if I run into the same problem again. It is when you start the DSS again after the heel decrease and you pick up the stitches on the side. You guys are the professionals though and I couldn't dream of making any of the patterns that you guys do and I'm SOO grateful that you make them available for us to make such beautiful things. I will just have to watch myself carefully on the next one and see what happens. Anyways, I have a few better pictures this time if you would like to see. Thanks again, I love this website!
April 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSadie Atkinson
Hi Sadie,

Your stockings looks amazing! Thank you so much for sharing them with us, and I can't wait to see your husband's!

Please do let us know if you run into problems with the pattern again. We definitely want to make sure it's perfect!

Whitney
April 21, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
What a gorgeous stocking! My fingers itch to make one already. Could I be allowed to sell any I make in my Etsy shop, or would you prefer they just be given as gifts?
June 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMary W
Hi Mary W-

Thank you for getting in touch about this. All of our patterns are for home use only so they cannot be made for resale, but thanks again for checking!

Best-

Molly
June 23, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
This is such a beautiful pattern and I am having a blast knitting it. I did run into a similar problem as other knitters, however, just after picking up the heel stitches. Is it possible that in round 3 after the ssk, k1 that it should be (start with picking up the bar between the stitches) instead of starting with k2??

Any help you can provide would be very helpful! I can't wait to finish it. :)
July 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLolo

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