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Friday, 16 November 2012


If you are very lucky, your earliest memories of Christmas will include the sheer joy of waking early on Christmas morning to find a stocking filled with gorgeous gifts at the end of your bed. You'll remember as a child how near impossible it was to get to sleep - and then stay asleep! - maybe even trying to stay awake to catch a glimpse of Father Christmas delivering to your house in the dead of night. If you're like me, you'll recall the surprise you felt at finally waking up, though you were convinced that you'd NEVER get to sleep, and then the uncontrollable excitement at seeing that present-stuffed stocking!

Those memories are so vivid, even as a grown-up, that I wanted to re-create the sheer joy of the Christmas Stocking for all of my family (not just the kids). It's something that my teenage children can also be involved in and will maybe evolve into a tradition that they can share with their own children. So, we are going to have a stocking each (hand knitted, of course and I'll come to that!) and buy three small gifts for the three other recipients - if my math is correct, that means every member of my family will receive 9 gifts in total as there are 4 of us.

For me, having beautiful stockings to put the lovingly chosen gifts in is as important as the gifts themselves, so I decided to use the free pattern from (available as a FREE download) and knit up a stocking for each of us. The pattern has rather helpfully, 3 designs to choose from - each as lovely as the other - the Nordic Star, Candy Cane and the Cable Stocking and they use just 3 balls of yarn. As you'll see from my pictures, I've already knitted 2 of the Nordic Star, one in grass and snow and the other in scarlet and snow and this was more as a challenge to myself, to practice (and perfect!) my fairisle knitting. The section of fairisle is small and manageable and great for a beginner who wants to try the colourwork technique without being overwhelmed.

Candy Cane is super easy and a good quick knit. I again used traditional Christmas colours - scarlet and snow but I think this pattern in particular could be knitted in any combination. How about a stripey stocking in neutral shades for a babies first Christmas, or stripes in team colours for your son or husband? Have fun, and make them personal - your family will look forward to seeing these treasured knits year after year.

The last stocking that I'm making is the Cable Stocking for me! I love the rich, dark moss green knitted into sumptuous cables - perhaps I've been influenced by the adult collection this year which has the most amazing cable cardigan (check back next week for a very special preview of the first of our adult collections, Country Escape!), or perhaps I'm just an old traditionalist at heart.

(posted by Max)

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