Hung by the Chimney with Flair

By Kay Gardiner
December 6, 2018

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  • Sweet Rosie is indeed lucky to have you Auntie Kay. This reminds me of an old acquaintance who was an avid needle pointer. She began the Christmas stockings while kiddos were in utero. She kept the stockings in a safe designed to survive a house fire knowing that some things just can’t be replaced.

    • My mother-in-law has needlepointed stockings for her kids, their spouses, and their children. They are literally works-of-art. Ours are definitely headed to the safe after Christmas. Good idea.

  • Good job, Kay. But what fabulous sweater is on your pup?

    • It’s called Voff! It’s a tiny Icelandic sweater.

  • Such a great idea to use sock reinforcement yarn, and also turn it rather than darn. The patch of the pom pom will forever be a reminder of a dear godmother (and a little helper) who “got er done”. A very sweet addition to the family holiday history. I’m also thinking that maybe the stalking can be returned inside some kind of sturdy plastic container to be used year to year for keeping it fresh and safe.
    Knit on!

    • Boy did my spell check make several glaring mistakes! I feel so embarrassed but I think you’ve got the idea anyway: “knit rather than darn”; ” the patch and the pom pom”; stocking, not “stalking”. Oh well. Happy holidays!

  • Hi-larious, as always. This reminds me that I need to mend the angora of Santa’s beard on the stocking made by her beloved Grandma for my now 25-year-old daughter. She’ll be home in 18 days–I’d better get on it….

  • I love your Visible Mend. It works perfectly!

    Should varmints ever return for further havoc-wreaking, there’s one thing you could do to make your godmotherly task easier. You mention sewing down the free edges; instead, at the beginning of each row you can catch a side stitch on your left hand needle and knit or purl it together with the original first stitch on that needle. Your patch is secured as you go. Then when you get to the top, thread onto another needle, from the fabric just above the patch, the same number of stitches you have on the patch needle and . . . I know, shudder . . . Kitchener stitch them together.

    I just spent a ridiculous number of hours patching many-holed pair of gloves (Robin Melanson pattern, houndstooth check, I loooove them), thinking the whole time how much I’d rather just be knitting another pair, if only I had the time.

  • Maybe you can throw in some anti-varmint nuggets. The patch will only add to the charm of the stocking over the years. I still have my felt department store version lo these many, many years. (Hahnes? Bambergers?)

  • I just finished a Christmas stocking for a brand new grandneice. That makes 15 stockings in the past 40 years. I did just realize nieces, nephews and their children have stocking but not their spouses! I should create 9 more asap.

  • I love what you did! No way was the repair ever going to be invisible, so this serves as a very happy memory jog for Rosie in the future…..and the Pom Pom is terrific! Good job!
    Now I’m thinking about those Ancestral Christmas Stockings for my three grands, but not for this year. If I get an early start (like tomorrow!), maybe they’d be finished for 2019????

    • My thought exactly! I started an ornament collection for each great- and grandchild (6 altogether) last year (knitted mini sweaters last year, mini stockings this year with each kid’s initial on the front) but thinking they’d love a big stocking to be filled year after year as well! Excellent year-long project in the good will yarns for longevity!

      • Will = wool

  • Oh, the pom pom on the toe is absolutely the best part! Now I’m thinking, could I adorn my knitted socks with pom poms for when I wear them with sandals…your Loome tool has turned me into a Pom Pom Queen, can’t stop making them. They look very nice on wrapped presents too.

  • The irony of the previous post lauding tiny machine knit stitches and now to mend the same. That’s just how knitters roll. Noting the owner of the stocking is now 16 alerts me to the fact that I have been reading here for quite some time. When I saw her name my mind’s eye recalled a toddler so sweet.

  • Or wait – you could just make an even bigger pompom and stick it over the patched area! A pompom on the ankle, such a festive touch!

  • Way to go sis! I hope you washed your hands good so you don’t get vermin flu. Jus’ sayin’

  • Olive was whining because strangers taste better with ketchup, and you wouldn’t go get her some!

  • Lucky Rose:)! She will have the added blessing in the years to come of pointing out her beloved Godmother Kay’s repairs to her Christmas stocking and every Christmas and Hanukkah she will think fondly of you:)!
    That’s what I call a mitzvah!

  • Nice work with the Regia sock-reinforcement yarn! I sorted my stash this spring and summer, and was surprised and pleased to see how man of the bits of Regia I had collected. I think that they are the best choice for sewing knitted embellishments to knitted items, and only wish that they came in more colors. Also, I it still makes me laugh to remember Ann’s story from the Outside the Lines book about her own hand-knit Christmas stocking featuring “the Dutch twins and hunchy Santa.” Finally, how could Rose have left any chocolate uneaten? That’s downright unnatural…

  • Poor, poor Olive. I don’t think you understand how truly difficult it is to be Olive!

  • Fabulous! I vote for keeping attic storage and handwahing before storing. Xmas stuff is ‘sposed to be in the attic!

  • I haven’t had to repair a stocking yet, but I did have to make one in the style (and extremely solid extruded petroleum-product bright red and green yarn) of my mother-in-law, stocking-maker extraordinaire, who developed dementia by the time her youngest grandchild was born and couldn’t make him a stocking. As the mother of said grandchild, I wanted him to have a stocking like the big kids, including his siblings. This yarn was somewhere in the Aran/bulky range, and she knit on size US 2 needles. Oh, and she used a recipe, a list of suggestions, not a pattern. I could knit two rows before my hands cramped. It was an adventure. But now that my little guy is five and old enough to realize things like “Hey, my stocking looks different from everyone else’s,” I’m really glad that his stocking does NOT look different from everyone else’s. 🙂 And I applaud your mending— much better than I could do.

  • So impressed by your perseverance and thinking processes. Kudos godmommt!!

  • This story touched a cord in me. I have the red felt stocking my Mom made for me over 50 years ago. I still hang it every year, even though it has a green patch on the toe courtesy of my 11-year-old self. Varmints in the attic also like walnuts.

  • Love it!! How can anyone not smile to see this hanging on the mantle? 🙂

  • Jealous!! I wish I were………..good enough to save a sock….. I wish I could make a sock!! Happy Holidays!

  • Ah, this was so fun to read! They’re never too old 🙂 My 14-year-old nephew moved in with is this summer. When I hung up the stockings I’ve knit for my three (younger) children — which took me 3 years — my 6-year-old exclaimed that I HAD to make nephew a stocking! After he admired the kids’ stockings (which are crocheted and cross-stitched), I knew it was true but kept thinking about how my kids had to share stockings til I got them all done 🙂 This post inspired me to cast on now! His will be knitted in bulky yarn.

  • Encouraged by your fine example, I am inching closer to my sock-mending basket.