Saturday, September 11, 2010

RFR/RFB Stocking

I am getting married in the summer of 2011. Ever since Keith and I moved in together I have wanted to design stockings for us. I worked out a design, and then discovered a flaw. This Christmas I will still be unmarried, but the following June my last name is going to change. Which means that my initials will be different. Why make a stocking with my old initials if I'm going to make a new one in a year? I compromised by putting my current initials (RFR) on one side, and my future initials (RFB) on the other.

Check out Keith's Stocking that I published yesterday.

  • Knitting Needles: 5 - size 5 (3.75 mm) double pointed knitting needles
  • Yarn: 2 balls each of Telemark Yarn in Drift (MC; white) and Skyline (CC; Blue).
  • Gauge: Not important.
  • Misc: Yarn needle
  • Finished Size: 6" wide, 20" top to toe.
The majority of the stocking was knit stranded with the blue and white. Inspired by the description of the Modern Classics Christmas Stockings, the stocking is knit as a tube and afterthought heel finishes off the stocking.

The Chart (Knit from the bottom up, right to left. The images can be opened larger if you open them in a new window.) There are 116 rows to the chart total. See the instructions below for where the afterthought heel goes!

You can also access the excel document of the chart so you can enter your own initials (Note: you will need to save the document as another file before you can edit it). Check out my tutorial on how to make knitting charts in Excel to help with making changes.

Rebecca's Stocking Pattern

PDF printout of this page
  • Cast on 70 stitches in MC. I arranged the stitches on 4 double pointed needles as follows: 20, 15, 20, 15.
  • Join in the round, and begin to work the chart (see below). The first two knit rows are the first two rows in white on the chart. The chart is followed starting at the bottom, and working from right to left. When you substitute your own initials, make sure that you turn them upside down to knit. Since we are knitting the stocking from top down, if you were to leave the chart as you expect to see it in the finished product you would end up with upside down letters.
  • Setting up the Afterthought Heel: After the third section (curly loops) has been completed, we will use some waste yarn to set aside stitches for the afterthought heel. This occurs after row 77, and before row 78 of the chart (see the yellow stitches below). You will have completed one complete row in CC.

    Rearrange the stitches on the four needles as follows: 18, 17, 18, 17. Using waste yarn (I recommend using a color that is not MC or CC), Knit across needles 2 and 3. Turn the work and purl back across needles 3 and 2. The stitches that you are knitting are shown highlighted in yellow below. The stitches shaded in gray are not knit.
  • Resume the chart, starting with working one complete row in CC.
  • Follow the rest of the chart.
  • Decreases for the toes using CC (starting with 70 sts)
    • *K5, K2tog* repeat across (60 sts)
    • K 1 row even
    • *K4, K2tog* repeat across (50 sts)
    • K 1 row even
    • *K3, K2tog* repeat across (40 sts)
    • K 1 round even
    • *K2, K2tog* repeat across (30 sts)
    • K 1 round even
    • *K1, K2tog* repeat across (20 sts)
    • K 1 round even
    • K2tog across (10 sts)
    • K2tog across (5 sts)
    • Cut yarn, pull through the remaining 5 stitches and weave in loose ends.
  • Knitting the Afterthought heel (in CC)
    • Pick up 70 stitches of the CC that is on either side of the waste yarn, cut waste yarn and remove from stocking. (I found it easier to pick up stitches from the inside of the stocking)

    • knit one round even, (70 stitches). To minimize gaps, I will sometimes pick up and decease extra stitches at the edges, or else you can stitch these closed after you finish the heel.
    • Decrease as instructed for toe decreases
  • Braided tie
    • For the tie, I cut 3 - 24" pieces of yarn (2 blue, 1 white) and braided them. I then wove these into the hanging corner (I went in and out of the knit fabric more than one time so it would be sturdy when hung). T
    • Tie a bow, hang and admire! (I used a bow rather than a loop so I would not be limited to hooks to hang the stocking)

Pictures through the construction

Comparing my initials to Keith's. Starting out, mine is a bit bigger.

So I am a little disappointed with my large snowflake. When I did a K/P test of this snowflake, if anything it was a little wide. Once I was done with the whole stocking, I was happy with the final product, but early on I considered a re-design.

Location of the afterthought heel waste yarn.

Done with the colorwork!

About to pick up the stitches for the afterthought heel. Inside of the work.

The amount of white remaining from 3 balls of telemark for the 2 stockings.

Finished stocking before blocking.

Attaching the tie: Red line is where the braid is on the outside of the stocking, blue dashed line is where the braid is on the inside of the stocking.

Both Sides of the Finished stocking

References, Credits and Influences
Abbreviations Used in this pattern:
K - knit
P - purl
SSK - decrease by slipping two stitches then knitting them together. Alternatively, you could slip one stitch, knit one stitch and pass slipped stitch over.
K2tog - decrease by knitting two stitches together.
MC - Main Color
CC - Contrast Color

This this pattern was created by ChemKnits for your personal or charity use. This pattern is not to be replicated, sold or redistributed without permission from ChemKnits. © 2010 ChemKnits


  1. Nice patterns wish I could read the directions. It is hard to read white on black unless you have good eyesight

  2. I would be happy to send anyone a document version of the pattern. I will make a PDF of this pattern and link to it later today.

    If you would like a copy of this PDF, email

    1. Please send me the PDF version. Thank you! Happy Knitting!

    2. The PDF Is linked to in the text (, but I will also send you an email.

  3. Here is the link to the PDF:

    The hyperlinks don't appear to work in the PDF, so you will need to reference this page for the Celtic Initials, but hopefully this will help.

  4. This pattern is fantastic! Thanks for sharing :) I'm not a real experienced knitter, could you explain how to switch back and forth colors? Do you tie it off every switch or run the contrasting color behind (on the inside of the stocking)?

  5. I run the unused color behind (on the inside of the stocking). When there are more than 5 sts of one color in a row, I wrap the yarns around each other a bit to help with the tension.

    Here is a good reference for colorwork:

    And thanks :)

  6. Wonderful stocking design; love the swirls and corner details around the primary visual grabs. Thanks for sharing! I am going to use one of your borders on a stocking for my SIL!

  7. Love your design. Years ago my mother had personalized stockings made for everyone in the family. Over the years, we've added members and lost members. When new members are added, I have cut the top of the stocking below the name off and then reknit the top with the new name. You lose a row or two due to cutting the yarn (unless you can match the yarn) but no one has noticed.

  8. What a great way to recycle old stockings! This idea would work for ones that are found in thrift stores, too. If you use a contrasting color, then no one would notice anyway!

  9. Or you could just keep your name.

  10. Ellen, I could certainly keep my name, but I decided a while ago that I was going to change it. I love having a stocking that combines both of my names!

  11. Thank you again for posting this wonderful pattern! I've now made one for my husband, myself, my son and next year I'll be doing another for my daughter! I get so many compliments when people see them hanging. Thanks for making patterns and explanations so understandable :)

  12. Brenna,

    I am so glad that you enjoy my patterns and instruction. It means a lot to hear such kind comments.

    I will be having more stocking patterns coming out in the future. I have lots of design ideas!

  13. Fantastic!! you are doing good job! I impressed. Many bodies are follow to you and try to some new.. After read your comments I feel; Its very interesting and every guys sahre with you own works. Great!!

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