For the 11th hour: super quick mini Christmas stockings

It’s just a few days before Christmas. Where does the time go? The past week has found me getting my holiday knit on, combing through Ravelry’s collection of mini-stocking patterns and trying my hand at a few. My usual writing table has been temporarily transformed into a workshop strewn with yarny bits, coloured pencils, the odd DPN, and darning needles which tend to roll into their favourite hiding place: under all of the other mess. I now appreciate the true meaning of trying to find a needle in a ribbon-paper-and-tape stack.

If you’re pressed for time and are looking for a last-minute holiday knit, I’ve found mini-stockings to work well. The patterns are easy and can be worked + finished up in an evening (I am a slower knitter, so the speedy-stitchers among you could zip one off in no time).

The Patterns

I worked 6 different patterns.

sock FO 3 -

stocking 5.jpg

1) Gemma Towns’ Mini Christmas Stockings  turned out to be my favourite pattern of the lot. Striping, a contrast colour on the cuff, heel and toe, and ample space for stuffers — what’s not to like? Worked on DPNs, the heel is shaped through a series of short rows. Quick Kitchener-stitch to graft that toe. Easy peasy.

2) Kat Mcab’s Small Holiday Stockings are a fun take on the mini-stocking, and they knit up really fast with minimal finishing. The stocking is worked in the round and is shaped with a set of increases. The simplicity of this pattern allows you to personalize or customize it easily. Only the bottom of the stocking requires a quick seam: a kitchener stitch graft or a 3-needle bind-off.

3) Jean Greenhowe’s pattern for Mini Christmas Stockings is worked flat. The stocking is shaped through increases, and the seam is sewn up the ‘back’ (the right side of the ornament in the picture). I thought that this pattern made for the most traditional ‘stocking’ shape, but am discovering that I’m a bigger fan of DPNs than I am of seams! This pattern walks you through different variations for colours and striping.

4) Juliet Bernard’s Christmas Stockings are quite special: worked on DPNs, they feature a ribbed cuff, some variations of easy colour work to choose from, and a full slip-stitched heel and gusset. If you’re looking to bring some 3-D sock-realism to your stocking collection, this pattern is it.

mini stockign WIP.png

5) Beverly Leestma’s Mini Knit Stockings are worked flat, include short-rows for heel-shaping, and are seamed along the front of the stocking. This pattern produced the tiniest of the stockings (a mere 2.5″ from heel to cuff when using worsted weight and size 6 US needles). The pattern has variations for striping and working heel & toe contrast colours.

…and 6) comes from the pages of Joelle Hoverson’s Last-Minute Knitted Gifts (2004) – the Sweater and Stocking Minis pattern. True to its word, the book provides a range of 11th-hour knits. This one is under the category of “2-hour projects.” It knit up so fast, I was able to finish the stocking in the library and did not need to bring the book home with me (there is a lovely room in the library with a high, domed ceiling, a real fireplace, and huge windows that let all the light in. It is perfection for knitting). This one knit up the lumpiest, though – my mistake: the heel uses a few yarn-overs during the short-rows and my attempt to close up all the holes while finishing up left some bumps in the fabric. Lesson learned.

…and I-Cord Hangers

When attaching hangers to the stockings, I first tried a crochet slip-stitch hanger, but found this flimsy and shapeless (see stocking #2 above). What my heart desired (and what it got) was an i-cord loop. I-cords are so much fun to work! They make for a very sturdy hanging loop for heavier things, too (if you’re interested, you’ll find a tutorial for making a 2-colour i-cord at the end of the post).

For these ornaments, I worked a 2-colour 4-stitch i-cord on size 2 DPNs, then sewed the ends together to make a loop.

I-cord composite
Making an I-cord: just 4-stitches slid along a DPN produces a sturdy column of stockinette.

 

I attached the loops to the stocking corners, and with that, a first batch of stockings was ready:

ornaments 3.jpg

What do you think of these different patterns? I will try to work a few more stockings until just before Christmas – that will be my gentle quota for the next few days.

Are you putting in the last stitches on a project or two? I hope that this week finds you warm and well, sharing cozy times with loved ones & furry friends, and recharging your holiday energies wherever and whenever you can!

Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 

 

 

20 thoughts on “For the 11th hour: super quick mini Christmas stockings

  1. Such a wonderful idea, Shirley! These stockings are adorable and–probably–help one think through some of the variations available for socks. I always love your tutorials! Wonderful photography and advice 🙂 Thank you!! Happy holidays!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Melissa – I’m glad that you enjoy them, as a prolific sock-knitter. 🙂 I’m hoping to tackle some regular socks next year (which is just around the corner, can you believe it?). You, too – Happy Holidays!

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  2. I am terribly jealous of your library! Ours is just the standard cramped rooms with tube lighting and naff central heating. But free books, so I can’t complain too much 😉
    I love all the little stockings, but I think 6 has to be my favourite. They’re all super cute though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading, Hannah. 🙂 I’m glad you like #6 – it’s got a different stitch on the border that definitely adds some interest. And yes – free books are good. When I don’t feel like a sit down, I grab a few craft books and go!

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  3. I’d better not let the Beasties see this, or they’ll all be clamouring for their own mini stockings next Christmas! 😆 These worked up brilliantly – thanks for testing all the patterns for us! I think I like 3 and 6 best, but teeny no. 5 caught my eye as well, for its Beastie-sized-ness. I’m also itching to try out multicoloured i-cord! Oh, and I’m only a little jealous of your library’s reading/knitting room… It’s lucky that’s not near me, or they would have to forcibly eject me every evening! 😂 Hope you had a super Christmas, and I’m excited to see where your knit-sperimentation takes you in 2018!

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    1. Beastie stockings (carrying little Beastie-gifts?) would be a splendid idea! Oh, I love that!! I enjoyed working those patterns (3 and 6), and the stocking-sides of those do leave enough space for some customizing (I am reminded of your truly incredible embroidering on felt, for instance!). And, every knitter needs a ‘Room of One’s Own’, don’t they? lol (especially those abundant in natural light!) You, too – hoping that you enjoyed a great Christmas, and I’m looking forward to more Beastie news in 2018! Cheers! 😀

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      1. Thanks, Shirley! Here’s wishing you all the best for 2018 as well… Maybe I’ll even find some time over the coming weeks to investigate the idea of Beastie stockings a little further! That could be a big hit for next year’s markets… 🤔 Now I’m off to continue my search for Dublin’s best knitting venues… Happy new year to you! 😀

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