Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Baby LAB Christmas Stocking

Through my pregnancy, I knew that I wanted to design a Christmas Stocking for our baby.  I decided to make it be a three color stocking to incorporate the colors from both Keith's and my Christmas Stocking Designs.  The telemark line of yarn from KnitPicks that I used for our stockings is no longer available, but the Wool of the Andes Sport yarn is a reasonable substitution.

Little Lucky's stocking is probably how it would have been whether he were a boy or a girl.  If there were any themes that we requested for baby items they were "Under the Sea" or "Dinosaurs".  (My favorite movie of all time is Jurassic Park.)  For my favorite movie, Lucky gets a big dinosaur, which also happens to play back to his father's stocking.  For the sea, Lucky gets some dancing turtles.  And for Keith's favorite movie, Darth Vader's TIE fighter.

This stocking is knit in the round as a tube with an afterthought heel.  The pattern is identical on both sides.

  • KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Sport in three colors: White (MC - 46 g/126 yards ), Grass (Green; CC1 - 35 g/96 yards) and Winter Night (Blue; CC2 - 19 g/53 yards)
  • Needles: 5 US Size 5 (3.75 mm) Double Pointed needles or circular needles with a cable long enough for a magic loop.  
  • Gauge (post light blocking): 22 sts/4"; 23 rows/4" over colorwork stockinette.
  • Notions: Yarn Needle for weaving in loose ends, Pins and blocking mat for light blocking (optional)
  • Finished Size (post light blocking): 6.26" wide x 21" cuff to toe.  

  • MC - Main Color
  • CC1/CC2 - Contrasting Color 1 or 2
  • K - Knit
  • P - Purl
  • Sts - stitches
  • 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.  

The Chart -  There are 119 rows to the chart total (not counting the row illustrating the afterthought heel - shown in grey and yellow). See the written instructions below for further afterthought heel instructions!

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). Unfortunately the Celtic Cross Stitch generator is no longer functional, so you will need to design your own letters or use another alphabet knitting chart.  Check out my tutorial on how to make knitting charts in Excel to help with making changes.

The LAB Stocking chart split into two images.  Open these charts in a new window to view at a higher resolution.  

The LAB Socking Knitting Pattern Instructions  
  • 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 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 CC1.
    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 the 35 stitches of 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 in the chart above. The stitches shaded in gray are not knit.
  • Resume the chart (in the turtle section), starting with working one complete row in CC1.
  • Follow the rest of the chart, ending with one CC1 row.  
  • Decreases for the toes using CC1 (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 CC1)
    • Pick up 70 stitches of the CC1 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 with a smaller needle than those used to knit the stocking.)
      Pictures from the KAB 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 in each of the three colors (1 green, 1 blue, and 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).
      Attaching the tie on the KAB stocking: 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.
    • 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)
  • Finishing - Weave in loose ends and then Block (Optional.) I basted the top of the stocking together with white yarn and then soaked it in luke warm water for 30 min before lightly pinning it out.  This will even out the fabric.  

Pictures Through Construction

While knitting the stocking, I realized that the color "Drift" from telemark is more of an off white than a pure white like I'm using here.  I wish there had been a more off white option for Lucky's stocking, but I am still happy with the outcome.

I started making this stocking on 9/9/13, so over a month before Lucky's scheduled arrival.  We had yet to purchase or construct anything with his name on it so this was very exciting for me.

With my first picture of the completed dino, I rolled up past the initials so that no one could see them!  I will be sharing the dino chart as a stand-alone chart in early 2014.

I felt euphoric after completing the entire chart.  After all, I'm close to being done with the stocking and I have not yet gone into labor!  My goal of completing the stocking before the baby arrives is right on target.  

The unblocked stocking
The stocking on the blocking board.

Some light wet blocking helps to even out the stitches and aid the shape of the heel.

I love my family!

Newborn Lucky with his stocking

Other Christmas Stocking Designs by ChemKnits

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. © 2013 ChemKnits