Tuesday, December 4, 2012

stockings from sweaters (how-to)

if you're one of those brilliantly gifted people who can just flash your needles together and turn out beautiful scarves and hats and socks, then disregard this bumbling tutorial.

And please don't laugh too hard at my lumpy toes.  I know yours would look nicer.

I can't knit. I can't crochet either. I wish I could do both just so that I could sit in the little downtown yarn shop we have and drink in all the glorious color. (and clack my fingers together to make some pretty stuff, too.)

So a long time ago, I made the kids stockings out of a sweater I had.

The knit was perfectly chunky and my very favorite shade of green. They were ridiculously easy to make and I kept my eyes peeled for the American Eagle green chunky knit sweater so I could make matching ones for the rest of the fam.

I found one at Loren's clothing swap party this summer and then I noticed another one in Cassie's profile picture the other day. The only problem was that the sweater was Cassie's friend, Linda, and I don't know Linda at all. But I jumped out on a limb and told Cassie if her friend ever wanted to get rid of her sweater, I'd happily buy.

Well, on Friday, Cassie showed up on my front porch with the sweater, further proof that living in a small town is the best thing ever. I'm convinced. (Thank you Linda for not being weirded out!)

Anyway, here are some super simple instructions.

You can easily make your own.

You can see here that I didn't even use a pattern, resulting in a short fat toe for the stocking on the left.  But that's okay, they really don't have to be perfect.

By the way, I'm thinking the left over sleeves could make some really cute leg warmers.  (Can't believe those are popular again. . . at least they are in calmer colors than the last time I wore them.)

So I just use the zigzag stitch on my sewing machine and sew along the outside edge of the sweater stocking.   I am a lazy seamstress anyway, but I see no reason not to use the existing seam in the sweater.  It makes for a preeettty quick project.

Then you turn them inside out and hang them up.  I usually thread a ribbon through, whatever the "color of the year" is.  Here I just used wooden thumbtacks.  That worked too.

*** advent today. . . Christmas library books.  I have to bring a crate into our library every three weeks.  I should probably start using a wheelbarrow.

Favorite Christmas Titles:

On Christmas Eve, Margaret Wise Brown

The Little Fir Tree, Margaret Wise Brown

Christmas in the Barn, Margaret Wise Brown

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, Susan Wojciechowski

The Christmas Party, Adrienne Adams

Arthur's Christmas Cookies, Lillian Hoban

Peter Spier's Christmas, Peter Spier

The Doll's Christmas, Tasha Tudor

Erik and the Christmas Horse, Hans Peterson

And the last two. . . well, it is hard for me to say which I like more.  Oh my.  It's like choosing which child is your favorite.  You can't.  You just love them all. 

Which reminds me, JD asked me tonight as I sat on his  bed:  "Mom, which of us is your favorite child?"

I gave the standard reply that any thinking parent would give and then asked. . . "wait. . . who do YOU think is my favorite?"

He said that he thought it was Eli, right away, so then we had a nice chat about how Eli definitely demads the most of my time right now, but that doesn't mean I love him more. And if one was measuring time spent, Eli gets less time from me at 14 months than Jacob did at 14 months.  Hopefully that will give him something to mull over.  UGH, parenting. 

Anyway, the last two on my faves list:

The Twenty-four Days Before Christmas, Madeleine L'Engle

favorite because the story captures the essence of hopes and unrealistic expectations, the beauty of Christmas even when it doesn't turn out the way we had planned. Plus, in true Madeleine L'Engle style, it is fascinating, funny and sweet.

Christmas in Noisy Village, Astrid Lindgren

Because Noisy Village is where my family lives. 


  1. Off the subject I know... BUT. Your second to last picture looks so cozy and inviting I would love to be sitting in that room with you just chatting...

  2. I wish for that too Deli! Someday! I know you will. :)

  3. Thanks for the recommendations! I'm putting a lot of these on request at our library ...