A few months back, one of my neighbors asked me if I could knit two Christmas stockings for her new daughter-in-law and her youngest grandchild. It seems this is a family tradition that was started by her husband’s mother, and there are 18 of these stockings out there, all the same pattern. But she didn’t have the pattern – it had been lost after the two family members who had knitted the previous ones had passed away.
All she could do was give me her son’s stocking as an example:
Well, I have to tell you that intarsia knitting (knit-in separate motifs) is one of my least favorite things to do. But she is a good friend and I couldn’t see how she was going to find anyone else who could not only knit it, but also deconstruct the original stocking to come up with a pattern.
So I did a bunch of examining and stitch counting and charting (using Excel) and went to work. It turns out they were knit flat and seamed up the back, down as far as the heel shaping – because of the intarsia motifs. There are ways you can knit intarsia in the round and I considered that, but decided it was more hassle than it was worth. The foot can’t be knit in the round until you are done with the wreath motif on the instep (top of foot) so the part of the foot after the heel shaping, and the rest of the instep, are both knit flat and then seamed together. So only the last red and green parts of the foot were knit in the round.
I didn’t knit the names in as intarsia either – just knit the white section at the top, then used duplicate stitch with the green to add the names. Much easier!
I definitely had “second sock syndrome” by the time I was done with them. As in, sick and tired of knitting that second sock. But they turned out well, here they are with one in profile and one with the top facing so you can see the wreath:
I have also been a little scarf-weaving factory the last couple of weeks. Put on three 21-yard warps using some handpaint mohair boucle and brushed mohair yarns from New Zealand that I picked up when a business changed hands several years ago. This is actually much easier than it may sound, using my AVL warping wheel and winding directly on to the sectional warp beam. A 21-yard warp is just enough for me weave 10 scarves on the same warp colorway, each about 65″ plus fringe after washing. The scarves themselves are just plain weave with a hemstitched edge and fringe. I used mostly rayon chenille for the wefts, but also some Jaggerspun “Green Line” wools on some of them, and natural black alpaca on a couple of them. They are all out at the Winthrop Gallery, Confluence Gallery, and the holiday gift show at Local 98856 in Twisp.
Didn’t get pictures of all of them, but here is the last set of 10 drying on a rack:
We had a decent snow 2 weeks ago, then it stayed very cold for a while. Then, it rained a lot this week and stayed just above freezing during the day – so now the snow is a mess and it is really icy and dangerous to walk on. Yuck. I do hope we go back to normal snow soon, for the sake of the ski trail system!