Another entry for all you Christmas Stocking knit alongers – from guest Blogger Rosemary!
Did you get your supplies? You will need some knitting experience to tackle this stocking, but not necessarily a lot. My friend, Amy, had made a scarf, a hat, a simple shawl and a baby blanket prior to this project. Let’s go!
I’m going to focus on successfully knitting the name and birth year. There are three things that challenge us:
- Correctly mapping out the pattern
- Following the pattern with continual reversals of the design
- Working the two yarns nicely across the back of your work
As mentioned before, your letters and numbers, including spaces, should not exceed 60 as the total of number of stitches to begin is 64 and we need at least 2 on either side of the lettering. Count up the letters, numbers and spaces and subtract this total from 64, then, divide that number in 2 to determine how many stitches will you have on either side. If your total was 56, that is 8 less than 64, so you will have 4 stitches in just white before and after you complete the chart. See how Alanna is spaced out with just 2 left on either side.
Follow the pattern and make your ribbing band and the white rows before starting the letters. Remember 2 things: you are working from the top down, so you will be starting at the TOP of the letters and you will need to turn the design upside down every other row to follow the design accurately. This will make total sense when you are actually doing it. Beginning on the right side, you will start with the top line of your design WHILE LOOKING AT IT UPSIDE DOWN. Then, coming back on the purl side, you will be following your chart from LEFT TO RIGHT, looking at it right side up.
I hadn’t had much experience with working with more than one yarn when I made my first stocking. I loosely carried the color not in use across the back. It looked OK on the front, but the back was a big mess, so I had to line the stocking. We don’t want candy canes getting caught and pulling it all apart! But, my friend Alicia figured out how to do it nice and neat, and looks like Amy’s grandmother did the same thing. Look at the picture I’ve included. You do this by “weaving” the two colors as you go. So, even if I am doing six stitches in green, every 2 stitches I put the white over the green so that it “carries” along… look at the photograph and see how nice it comes out this way.
If you finish the name block and are feeling adventurous, I don’t want to hold you back from starting the children. I’d advise NOT carrying along yet another color for the eyes and mouths, but doing the whole face in white, then upon completion, “embroidering” it in with a needle and yarn. Notice on the picture my blank faces. I’m knitting along with you, but trying to get a little bit ahead so that I can warn you of the pitfalls.
Please post any questions or comments in the comments section of this blog entry. I’ll check daily and respond.
Good luck! Rosemary
***Thank you Rosemary for your post!! If you are just now joining us and want to see what you’ve missed here are links to the intro post and to step one.