Knitting a Christmas stocking is nearly a lost art. These directions will result in a stocking that you can hang from the mantle and stuff full for Christmas morning. If you are an expert knitter you can change the colours and knit in designs - if this is your first attempt at such a project, the stocking you make can be decorated with sewn on sequins, embroidery, or glued on felt or other fabric.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 1 pair size 8 straight knitting needles
- 1 set of four double-pointed knitting needles size 6
- 1 skein yarn or several skeins if you plan to change colours
- 1 stitch holder
- 1 blunt tapestry needle with a very large eye
- 40 cm (15 inches) ribbon
- 1 metal jingle bell (2.5 cm (1 inch) diameter)
Cast on sixty stitches. Knit 2, Purl 2 for two rows to begin to make a ribbing at the top of the Christmas stocking.
Make holes through which you can thread the ribbon from which the finished Christmas stocking will hang by doing the next row like this. Knit 2, place the yarn over the needle, Knit 2 together. Repeat this for the whole row. Then resume the ribbing: Knit 2, Purl 2 across the row. Continue making the ribbing (Knit 2, Purl 2) for 5 cm (2 inches).
Reduce the total number of stiches by two this way: Knit 2, Knit 2 together. Finish the row by knitting every stitch. Then, turn the stocking and Purl 2, Purl 2 together. Finish the row by purling every stitch. Now, instead of ribbing, you are using the stocking net stitch. The front of the stocking will look like the arrows - the knit side; the back of the stocking will look bumpy - the purl side. Continue in this stocking net stitch, reducing the total number of stitches by 2 again every 5 cm (2 inches) until the total number of stitches is 48. In all you will make six of these reductions.
Transfer the stitches to the double-pointed needles so that there are 12 stitches on each needle. Then, combine the stitches from the left side of the stocking with the stitches on the right side of the stocking on one of the needles. The two outside edges will face the centre of this needle so the stocking completes a round form. Place the remaining 24 stitches (the centre of the front of the stocking) onto a stitch holder.
Create the back of the heel this way. Transfer the first stitch from one double-pointed needle to another. Then Knit 1, transfer the next stitch to the new needle. Knit the next stitch. Continue until all 24 stitches are on the new needle. Turn the work and transfer the first stitch to the first needle. Purl the rest of the stitches. Repeat for a total of 24 rows.
Turn the heel. Transfer the first stitch to the new needle. Knit 13, Knit 2 together. Knit 1. Turn the work. Purl 5. Purl 2 together. Purl 1. Turn the work. Knit 7. Knit 2 together. Knit 1. Turn the work. Purl 8. Purl 2 together. Purl 1. Turn the work. Knit 9. Knit 2 together. Knit 1. Turn the work. Purl 11. Purl 2 together. Purl 1. Turn the work. Knit 12. Knit 2 together. Knit 1. Turn the work. Purl 14. Purl 2 together. Purl 1. Turn the work. Knit 14. Knit 2 together. Turn the work. Purl back. Knot the yarn but keep the 24 stitches on the needle.
Make the instep between the turned heel and the foot. First transfer the 24 stitches from the stitch holder to one of the double-pointed needles. Take another double-pointed needle. Insert it into the first of the stitches on the heel and knit so that a new stitch hangs. Pick up eight more stitches by knitting into the edge of the heel. This is why you transfered, rather than knitted the first stitch of each row- it produces a loop that is easy to pick up. Next knit 12 stitches from the group that had been on the stitch holder. There will be 21 stitches on this needle. Pull the yarn across and continue knitting the remaining 12 stitches that used to be on the stitch holder. Pick up 9 stitches from the other side of the heel. There will be 21 stitches on this needle as well.
Pull the yarn across and knit the remaining 24 stitches from the heel. Now you have the stocking arranged in the round and distributed on three of the four double-pointed needles. The empty needle is used to continue knitting. Reduce the instep by two stitches like this. Beginning with the first stitch that you picked up, start the next row. Knit 1. Knit 2 together. Knit the rest of the stitches on this needle and the next. Knit until you come to the third stitch from the end of the second needle - this is the other side of the heel, three stitches from the last one you picked up. Knit 2 together. Knit 1. Knit the last 24 stitches. Do this for three more rows. Then reduce the instep by two more stitches as before. Knit three more rows. Reduce by two stitches. Then, reduce every second row by two stitches three times. Finally, reduce every row by two stitches three times. Now there should be a total of 48 stitches and it is time for you to make the foot.
Continue knitting in the round on the double-pointed needles for 7.5 cm (3 inches). To make the toe you will make another series of reductions- read this whole section before doing the first one! Then reduce the stitches by two in the same series of repetitions as for the instep. Knit 1, Knit 2 together at the beginning of the row and knit across to the third stitch from the end of the second needle. Do this every third row three times; every second row three times, and every row three times. In addition, on the rows when you make these reductions, reduce the stitches on the third needle by two. Knit 1, Knit 2 together. Knit across the needle to the third from the end. Knit 2 together, Knit 1.
Cast off when there are six stitches remaining.
Turn the stocking inside out and sew the side seam by hand using the tapestry needle threaded with the same yarn you used to knit it. Sew a jingle bell from the point of the toe- this hides the casted off row and makes your Christmas stocking festive. Thread a piece of ribbon through the holes you made in the ribbing at the top of the stocking. Add any other decorations according to your taste and ability.
Fill the Christmas stocking with lots of little presents, candy canes, and surprises. Don't peek or open until Christmas morning.