Sunday, November 13, 2016

Some Construction Notes for the Mini-Stocking

The beauty of a quick project like the mini-stocking is that it is quick. It doesn't have to fit, it doesn't have to drape well - - or at all, and it doesn't really matter if the seams are stiff or bulky; some candy or little toy is not going to be uncomfortable. But I wouldn't be ME if I didn't give consideration to the construction details. So here they are!

I generally use a long tail for the initial cast-on in a project like this. It's tidy and doesn't require looking up instructions or finding a crochet hook. However, there are a zillion cast-ons out there; try Techknitter (scroll down to the C's) or OfTroys Golden Apples for lots of good stuff.

I used a picot-type cast-on for the stocking up top; "picot-type" because it doesn't actually form picots. I'll have more to say about it later in the post.

For the end-of-row cast-on in Rows 28 & 29, I
used a loop cast-on as shown to the right. I just put my left index finger under the yarn, twisted my finger clockwise, put the needle through the back of the loop, and tightened. This method has minimal bulk but can leave a nasty gap ahead of the cast-on. I found a quick fix for this, again on Techknitter's site. Barring this fix, the gap can be finessed into the seam in this project.

I used a typical chain bind-off at the end of the knitting. I'd given some thought to leaving the last row open and grafting the bottom. However, the hard edge is better for moving from a horizontal edge to a vertical one while seaming. Again, reducing bulk and stiffness is not a priority here, so I did bind-off.

I would normally seam garter stitch using the edge to edge stitch I used on the cup cozy, but it just didn't look good here, especially moving from the horizontal top of the foot to the vertical edges on the leg. So I used mattress stitch on the entire seam. Getting between the first and second stitch on garter edges is a little fiddly, so I'm thinking that slipping the first stitch of every row is a better alternative. If you try this, please let us know.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

OMG! Only 55 days until Christmas!

Hi, all! Just a reminder that my Vintage Christmas Stocking pattern is available as a free download from my Ravelry store.

If you don't feel like making really big stockings, here's a little guy I'd like to share with you. With Lion Brand Wool-Ease on US 7 (4.5 mm) needles, it comes out to about 4.5 inches long.

The initial cast-on is the top of the stocking. When the leg is finished, stitches are cast on at the end of two rows to form the top of the foot. The heel and toe are shaped with decreases. The circle on the diagram, indicates where the sl2-k1-p2sso's occur. They form a natural fold to guide you when assembling the stocking.

Easy Mini-Stocking
Using any yarn and suitable needles, CO 19.
Rows 1-27: K19.
Row 28: K19, CO 5 (24 sts).
Row 29: K24, CO 5 (29 sts).
Row 30: K 29.
Row 31: K1, m1, k27, m1, k1 (31 sts).
Row 32: K31.
Row 33: K1, m1, k29, m1, k1 (33 sts).
Rows 34-36: K33.
Row 37: K1, ssk, k12, sl2-k1-p2sso, k12, k2tog, k1 (29 sts).
Row 38: K29.
Row 39: K1, ssk, k10, sl2-k1-p2sso, k10, k2tog, k1 (25 sts).
Row 40: K25.
Bind off in knit. Cut yarn and darn in ends.

Fold in half. Join yarn at the heel and seam around the foot and up the front of the leg. Darn in rem ends.

Until next time . . .