Hollingshead Christmas Stocking

Hollingshead Christmas Stocking
by Lara Neel
My friend and fellow knitter, Linsey Hollingshead,
brought me a Christmas stocking made by her
grandmother. She wanted to continue the
tradition of hand-knitted Christmas stockings for
each member of her family, starting with her
husband of a few months, Steve. So, I counted
stitches, and wrote up some instructions for her.
She did a great job in knitting it and I’m proud to
say that it was her first sock-like object.
It’s a pretty traditional top-down sock
construction, with a seamed, shaped leg, a
standard flap-and-gusset round heel, and a
grafted toe. It is a great beginner project because
the stitches are all easy to see and you only need
to make one at a time - no second sock
Linsey’s grandma was not fooling around when it
came to her Swiss darning, either. She had lovely
Christmas ornaments on the stockings for the
men, and names, as well. Linsey worked out her
designs on knitter’s graph paper and chose the
alphabet for the names from a book of
embroidered alphabets. She then copied the
letters she needed onto knitter’s graph paper, and
went from there. It is really lovely.
Gauge: 16 stitches to 4”.
Final size is about 26” long and 7.5” wide at the
Two colors of worsted-weight yarn, and a third, if
desired, for Swiss Darning.
You will also need:
waste yarn
3 stitch markers
a darning needle
dental floss, for safety in grafting
The leg of the stocking is knit flat, but the foot is
knit in the round. So, you should have whatever
needles you like best for both.
Needle Size: (Linsey used size 8 needles with
worsted-weight yarn)
Yarn Color 1 (just a very small amount of this
Yarn Color 2:
Cast on 64 stitches in color 1. Knit every stitch for
7 rows. On the next row, knit into the front and
back of the first and the last stitch (66 stitches
Change to color 2.
Straight Section
Row 1: Knit all stitches.
Row 2: Knit 1, purl to one stitch from the end,
knit the last stitch.
Repeat these two rows 13 times.
Decrease Section
Work 7 rows in stockinette stitch, keeping the first
and last stitches in knit on every row. Then work
a decrease row: Knit 1, p2t, purl to three stitches
from the end, p2t, knit 1.
Repeat these 8 rows 6 times. (54 stitches)
Straight Section
Row 1: Knit all stitches.
Row 2: Knit 1, purl to one stitch from the end,
knit the last stitch.
Repeat these two rows 4 times. Break yarn.
Divide for Heel Flap
Slip the first 13 stitches in the row onto a length
of waste yarn, slip the next 28 stitches onto
another length of waste yarn, join on the yarn
and knit the last 13 stitches. Do not turn the work
yet. Slide the first 13 stitches you placed on waste
yarn onto your free needle, so that the next stitch
you will knit would have been the first stitch in an
ordinary row. In other words, pick up those 13
stitches with the point facing as if you had just
purled a row. Knit those 13 stitches. You now
have 26 stitches on the needles and 28 stitches
on waste yarn. Until the heel is complete, simply
ignore the stitches that are on the waste yarn.
Make Heel Flap
Row 1: Slip 1 stitch, purl to end.
Row 2: Slip 1 stitch, knit to end.
Repeat these two rows 8 times. Work Row 1 once
Turn Heel
Knit 15, ssk.
Turn, slip 1, p5, p2t.
Turn, slip 1, k6, ssk.
Turn, slip 1, p7, p2t.
Turn, slip 1, k8, ssk.
Turn, slip 1, p9, p2t.
Turn, slip 1, k10, ssk.
Turn, slip 1, p11, p2t.
Turn, slip 1, k12, ssk.
Turn, slip 1, p13, p2t.
Turn, slip 1 and knit back across the remaining 15
heel stitches. Pick up and knit 8 stitches along the
left side of the heel flap (you will probably have to
fudge a stitch or two). Place a marker (this is the
first marker). Remove the waste yarn and knit the
next 28 stitches. Place a marker (this is the
second marker). Pick up and knit 8 stitches along
the right side of the heel flap. When you pick up
the last stitch, slip it back onto the left-hand
needle and knit it together with the first stitch in
the round. You now have a total of 58 stitches
and are ready to work in the round. Place a
marker in the center of the heel stitches, 7
stitches away from where you just knit 2
together, to mark the beginning of the round.
Gusset Decreases
Round 1: Knit to 2 stitches before the first
marker, k2t, knit to the second marker, slip it,
ssk, knit to the end of the round.
Round 1: Knit to three stitches away from
marker, k2t, knit 2, ssk. Repeat twice, knit to end
of round.
Round 2: Knit all stitches.
Repeat these two rounds until you have 12
stitches total. Graft 6 stitches to 6 stitches,
folding it in the way you think looks best. If you
have never grafted before, it helps to have an
experienced knitter helping you. Barring that, at
least put your live stitches onto dental floss
instead of needles when you are getting ready to
darn. This allows the stitches to turn the way they
like, and you won’t have to fight the weight of the
needle as you go.
Round 2: Knit all stitches.
Repeat these two rounds three times. (52
Now, simply knit every stitch for 3.5 inches,
removing all markers, except for the one at the
beginning of the round.
Make the Toe
Place one marker 13 stitches away from the
beginning of the round and another 39 stitches
away from it.
Tension is very important when grafting. If it’s too
tight, it’s really hard to fix. But, if you work it very
loosely, you can go back afterwards and tighten
the stitches “like when you lace a boot.” Thanks
for the great description, Linsey!
Sew the back seam. Darn in all ends. Add Swiss
darning, if desired.
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