Saturday, May 30, 2015

Richter Stockings for the W's

When my almost-sister got married last fall, she gained a husband and two kids (who are absolutely adorable!)  This is the only event (save triplets) that would cause me to need to knit three Richter Family Christmas Stockings all at once!

With a November Wedding, I knew that I couldn't possibly finish three stockings for Christmas 2014, instead I have the mother/grandmother-in-law the charts for the holidays.  I figured that if I started these three stockings in January, that maybe I could finish them all by May.  (I'm assuming I might take some breaks between each stocking.)  I've optimistically scheduled this post for May 30, 2015.  Wish me luck!

We had a Christmas event with the family, and I was able to snap some pics of Laura's stocking.  This was good in case it was colored slightly different from her brother's.  Turns out it is the same, so i can follow the pattern as I originally wrote it.

I knit these stockings out of Wool of the Andes worsted weight yarn in Grass (green), Red and White.  I used size 3 (3.25 mm) knitting needles for this project.  For a second I couldn't find my size 3 needles and I almost panicked!  (Turns out they are just shorter than my other needles.  Phew!)  16 g of the grass colored yarn was from an older dye lot, but I don't think it will make a huge difference in these stockings.  Plus, I will need multiple ball for the intarsia anyway.

I decided to knit Sophie's stocking first.  Her brother's lettering had to be shorter since his name has a lot of letters, and since I haven't knit one of these in over a year I wanted to get back in the groove.  I could have started with Jason, but I want his kids to know that they are part of the family, and he won't feel left out if his is saved till last.

Sophie's chart with the un-updated seven.  
I rotated the charts 180 degrees when it was time to knit them, since you start knitting from the top of the chart.  I just like how they look right side up, which is why I decided to share them this way.

I realized when I was almost done with the bottom of the trees that one was slightly off position.  1 stitch off to be exact.  I think that Sophie will forgive me, don't you?

At first I had designed Jason's 4 in the continuous/enclosed numeral.  I then realized that I had pictures of the 4's from Laura's stocking so I could use this to make them match.  *Phew!*  I caught this before I started knitting. I also wasn't thrilled with the way I did the seven on Sophie's stocking, so I added a duplicate stitch to the upper corner and updated Jason's chart.

It is nice to knit one of my own designs again, especially when I notice some errors in the instructions!

I finished knitting Sophie's stocking in 5 days.  At least I finished through the grafting of the toe. I decided to hold of on weaving in my loose ends and stitching up the back, not because I was procrastinating (okay maybe a little) but so I could compare the inside to the next two stockings as I was knitting.  Some of the intarsia is easier if you float the colored yarn to the right spot before you start (like on the Santa), and being able to look at the inside of Sophie's stocking will help me keep track of where I am as I'm knitting her brother's.

I've mentioned this already, but Nathanial's stocking is going to be slightly different than the other three Richter stockings I've finished knitting.  His name has so many letters that I had to change the big block 10 row high letters to thinner, 8 row high letters.  7 Would have been a slightly easier height to chart out, but I wanted to maintain as much as the original character of the stocking as I could.  Don't worry, Nathaniel, I think your name is awesome!

I finished Nathaniel's name while watching the Superbowl.  He is a HUGE Patriots fan, so hopefully this will bring us some luck.  TOUCHDOWN right when I'm typing this sentence.  Wahoo!!

I worked on Nathaniel's stocking over a couple of weeks.  I had some trips and even another knitting project to do around the beginning of February.  I am now 2/3 done with the stockings and know that I will have plenty of yarn to finish up with.  I have even taken care to make sure that I'm working from 3 balls of red and 2 balls of green (I always have plenty of white WOTA in the house) so I will not have to wind out additional balls for the intarsia work.  

Now it is time to start Jason's!  I think I've got the hang of it by now, right?  I may not knit it straight through, but at least I'll get a good start so I'll be done by Christmas 2015.  (Which isn't putting that much pressure on me because it is only February!)  

Before I knew it, the end of March was approaching.  I had completed all of the colorwork of Jason's stocking and just had to do the green foot and toe.  After that, there is only finishing to complete.  I ALSO now know that there is ONE MORE STOCKING I will have to create next year!!  Wahoo!!  

All three stockings are complete, which means that it is time to do a lot of finishing.  I saved ALL of the loose ends for the end plus I have to stitch up the open sides.   A little blocking will go a long way for finishing these stockings.  I didn't bother pinning, I only soaked them in water and stretched them gently into shape.  

In total, these three stockings consumed 25 g white (55 yards) and 96 g each of red and green yarn (211 yards each color).  The trio is perfect to welcome the new additions to the family!