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.

For the sample above, I used a cast-on which creates spaces to run a ribbon through. Put a slip knot on the needle, *knit on two stitches, cast off one* and repeat from * to * until there are 19 stitches on the needle. If you're not familiar with the knitted cast-on, there are any number of tutorials and videos. It's basically knitting a stitch but instead of removing the old one from the left needle, you add the new one onto the left needle. Do this by inserting the left needle through the front of the new loop; now before removing the right needle, knit another stitch into the current one.

When you seam the stocking, take care to make the two end holes even. An extra stitch across the top can work wonders.

Now for the embellishment! I used a safety pin to run a 3/8" (.9525 cm) ribbon through the spaces, beginning and ending on the inside. I cut the ends of the ribbon so there was a slight overlap. I used a dab of glue to hold the overlap together.

Then the best part! I found this tutorial on how to make a perfect bow. It's just as sweet as can be and I love it! Again, I used a dab of glue to hold it in place.

Until next time . . .

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