i took up knitting sometime in late 2003. my gramma had knit everyone's christmas stockings in our family. starting with her seven children, their spouses or significant others, then their children, and even some of their children. i wanted this tradition to continue. so i bought a book thinking that the written/illustrated directions would be all i needed to get started, except for the basket of yarn and needles gramma gave me. well . . .
learning to knit from text + drawings was not enough. while i would have loved for gramma to have taught me how to knit it was not geographically possible. so, i signed on for a knitting class at a big box craft store. the classes were cheap and i could just pay as i went. i think i went to 4 classes. as many classes as it took me to learn to cast on, knit, and purl. from there i just practiced on scarves. (everyone got a scarf that year).
since then i have been a knitter on and off. i'm pretty sure i took a couple years off of knitting. not sure why that happened. maybe it was fear of moving beyond knitting long rectangles, i don't know. anyway, i vowed that would never, never happen again. i did take a summer break from knitting, but i was trying to become better at sewing. and i think i did. now i haven't touched the sewing machine (except for when i moved it to it's new home in my bedroom) for all the knitting i have been doing. there may be a seasonal cycle here. this winter i have chosen small, simple projects and have been very pleased with the amount of knitting i have accomplished. of course it helps that wee bea is growing and entertaining herself for longer stretches of time and i can squeeze in a few rows here and there with children underfoot. i surprised myself by getting 3 stockings done well before the holidays set in! many late nights and all 3 seasons of 30 rock on netflix were involved in that outcome though.
bea's stocking was knit a little out of pattern because i knit hers last. i ran out of red and my lys had run out too (and you know i wasn't going to wait until it came back in stock!). i decided to use some of that berroco that i have so much of. i was a little hesitant about using the mustard yellow even though it complimented the green so nicely. with matt's encouragement i kept going and i am very happy with the result. it gives the stocking a nice vintage look i think and i also like the earthy tones.
one of the things i love most about knitting these stockings is that except for one pattern all the patterns were the ones my gramma used. everyone's names are charted out right there on the pattern. i know who has what stocking. i like being able to add names to the charts. many of them are taped together because they have become so worn and i now keep them in plastic sleeves.
now all the stockings are hung by the fire and i don't have to take out of focus pictures of the mantle like last year so bea won't know she didn't have a handknit stocking. now her stocking is there, right where it should be. and i must say it looks perfect hanging there!