12.03.2011

felted chevron christmas stocking


A great first "sock" project – with the chance to practice short rows, but with the forgiveness of felting to hide any mistakes you might make.


materials:
worsted weight, feltable wool yarn, 10.5 dpns, 10.5 circulars (opt.), two stitch markers

Sample shown is knit in Paton's Classic Wool Leaf Green, Winter White and Cherry, with Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe in a hot pink.

gauge:
Gauge is not important for this project. The stocking will be huge, with large stitches, but will felt into a nice, thick fabric. You can control the finished project size by the amount of felting. (For reference, my finished stockings are nearly three feet long, but after felting are more like 18 inches long)



notes:
heel is worked in short rows, without wrapping stitches (felting will hide any small holes created with short rows)

chevron pattern:
Row 1: *YO, K6, K3tog, k6, YO, K1* Repeat from *
Row 2: Knit

colorway:
Main Color (a series of stripes, collectively referred to as “Main Color” from here on)
Paton's Classic Wool in Cherry and Winter White and Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe in hot pink
*6 rows red; 4 rows pink; 2 rows white; 2 rows red; 2 rows white; 4 rows pink* (repeat between * *)
Contrast Color: Paton's Classic Wool Leaf Green (cuff, heel, toe)


instructions
cuff
Cast on 80 stitches (multiple of 16) in contrast color, join without twisting. Knit 15 rows.

leg
Change to Main Color, knit 70-77 rows in chevron pattern and colorway.
(note: 70 rows in above colorway will be mid-pattern, after a pink row, which then continues on the foot with a white row, after working the heel. An additional 30 rows on the foot ends the stocking with a completed colorway before working the toe in Contrast Color.)


heel
Set up for working the heel by knitting 48 stitches – heel is worked back and forth over the next 32 stitches (across the middle back of the stocking)

Change to the Contrast Color and begin the heel:

Row 1: K31, turn
Row 2: P30, turn
Row 3: K 29, turn
Row 4: P 28, turn
Row 5: K 27, turn
Row 6: P 26, turn
Row 7: K 25, turn
Row 8: P 24, turn
Row 9: K 23, turn
Row 10: P 22, turn
Row 11: K 21, turn
Row 12: P 20, turn
Row 13: K 19, turn
Row 14: P 18, turn
Row 15: K 17, turn
Row 16: P 16, turn
Row 17: K 15, turn
Row 18: P 14, turn
Row 19: K 15, turn
Row 20: P 16, turn
Row 21: K 17, turn
Row 22: P 18, turn
Row 23: K 19, turn
Row 24: P 20, turn
Row 25: K 21, turn
Row 26: P 22, turn
Row 27: K 23, turn
Row 28: P 24, turn
Row 29: K 25, turn
Row 30: P 26, turn
Row 31: K 27, turn
Row 32: P 28, turn
Row 33: K 29, turn
Row 34: P 30, turn
Row 35: K 31, turn
Row 36: P 32, turn

foot
Change back to Main Color, K16 (working back to original seam at back of stocking). Continue in established colorway for 30 rows

toe
Change to Contrast Color, k40, pm, k40, pm. (markers should be at center front and center back)

 Round 1: *Knit to 3 stitches before marker, k2tog, k1, slip marker, k1, ssk.* Repeat from *
 Round 2: Knit.

Repeat these two rounds until 16 stitches remain. Cut yarn leaving a long end, thread tail on a large tapestry needle, then pass through remaining live stitches, pull tight and fasten off.

hanging tab
Pick up 3-5 stitches on the inside of the cuff, center back (the side with the heel), about 2 inches below the cast on edge. Knit 7-8 inches of i-cord, then graft to the inside of the cuff a row or two aboved where you picked up the original stitches.

finishing
Weave in loose ends and felt. There are loads of felting tutorials on the internet, so feel free to use any method you are comfortable with. Personally, I like to put the finished piece in a zippered pillowcase, and put it in my top loading washing machine along with several old towels or pairs of jeans to help agitate. I use the smallest amount of hot water needed to cover the items, with a tiny amount of detergent. I set my timer to check every 10 minutes or so, until I’m happy with the size, and the felted-ness of the material, then roll it in a dry towel to squeeze out excess water.

Immediately after felting, while the project is still wet, there is time to stretch and block it lightly. I like to flare the cuff a bit and make sure everything is shaped exactly the way I want. Then I lay it out flat on a stack of towels and allow to dry fully – which sometimes can take a couple of days.

Once totally dry, personalize with needle felting or embroidery.  I take a length of wool yarn and use it to “write” the name across the cuff, needle felting slightly to hold the yarn in place until I’m happy with the placement, then fully needle felt into place.

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