Southwest Stockings KAL: Part 4 Finishing

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Hello and welcome to the last day of the Southwest Stockings Knit Along! We've done a lot of knitting and now it's time to embellish our big Christmas sock. If you've knit the Cozy Socks then you're probably on your way through the second sock and almost done. For the Christmas Stocking knitters today we'll add a hang loop and top it with a pom pom. Woohoo!

Remember, you can always watch me work these steps on The Knit Show with Vickie Howell.

Knitting a hang loop for a Christmas Stocking

In the pattern it tells us to cast on 4 stitches and work back and forth in garter stitch for 6". That's all we need to do.

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Now we stitch that little strip of fabric to the top edge of the stocking. Lay the top of the stocking out flat and attach the hang loop to the first 2 and last 2 stitches of the ribbing at the top of the stocking. Use the tail and the darning needle to sew it securely.

Bring the other end of the loop around and stitch that down to meet the first edge. Sew, sew, sew. Remember, this is what holds that stocking up when it's all packed with presents!

And, done! A cute little loop.

Our next job is to weave in the yarn ends inside the stocking. I usually flip mine inside out, weave them in, then flip it back the other way. When you're all done give your stocking a good blast of steam to help set the stitches. I use my regular iron set to the highest steam setting. Hover the iron over the fabric and let the steam relax the yarn. Never touch the iron to the project! Set the iron aside and let the stitches cool before touching them. Ahh, look how even!

Making a multi-color pom pom

Now for the best part, pom pom time! I made pom pom with the Llamallooma Pom-Pom Maker by Betz White. This little llama is so adorable that I had to use it. 

The first step is to wrap a long strand around the llama's body. This will be the yarn that secures the pom pom together after we cut the strands. 

I decided to make a pom pom using all 4 colors that are in my stocking so I lined them all up and wound them around the llama's legs until it was thick and full.

Next we untie that original loop and tie it tightly across our wrapped yarn.

Remove the yarn bundle and carefully cut the loops in half to make a fluffy pom pom.

Trim your pom pom to make it round. There's always weird long pieces on any pom so give it a good haircut.

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And attach it to the top of the stocking by the hang loop. 

And there we have it! A finished Southwest Stockings Christmas Stocking. I can't wait for Santa to come and fill it with goodies in a few weeks!

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Be social! Post photos. Ask questions. Say hello!

Southwest Stockings KAL: Part 3 Closing the toe and Kitchener stitch

Hello! Welcome to Day 3 of the Southwest Stockings Knit Along. Today we're going to close the toe of the sock and learn to graft stitches with the Kitchener stitch. The Kitchener stitch is something that gets a bad wrap in knitting but I think it's fun to work. We only have 12 stitches to close so it's just the right amount to learn on and practice your skills. Remember, you can always watch me work these steps on The Knit Show with Vickie Howell

Closing the toe of a sock

Here we are, we've worked all the stitches on the Fair Isle chart and we're ready to narrow the end of the sock to close around the toes.

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Break any remaining yarn colors and take a moment to admire your sock knitting accomplishment. To close the toe we work Rounds 1 and 2 of the toe section.

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Round 1: K to the last 3 sts on Needle 1, k2tog, k1; Needle 2, k1, ssk, k to end; Needle 3, k to the last 3 sts, k2tog, k1; Needle 4, k1, ssk, k to end.

Round 2: Knit.

Repeat these two rounds until 28 sts remain. Here's what the toe will look like at this point.

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Then we continue to work Round 1 until just 12 stitches remain. 3 on each needle.

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How to work the Kitchener Stitch

To get ready for the Kitchener stitch we need to have all the stitches organized in a specific way. We're going to take it down to just two needles -- here's how. Knit across 3 sts on Needle 1 to set up for Kitchener Stitch. Slip stitches from Needle 2 on to Needle 3. There should now be 12 sts arranged on 2 needles with 6 sts on each.

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Arrange the needles with wrong sides facing each other and the yarn coming from the first stitch on the back needle. Cut yarn leaving an 18” tail. Thread a darning needle with the yarn tail.

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Now we're ready to get started! We are going to be knitting and purling these stitches but we use the threaded yarn needle to work them. We get started with two setup sittches.

Kitchener Setup: Insert the yarn through the first stitch on the FRONT needle as if to PURL and pull yarn through leaving the stitch on the needle. Insert the yarn through the first stitch on the BACK needle as if to KNIT and pull yarn through leaving the stitch on the needle.

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Step 1: Insert yarn through the first stitch on the FRONT needle as if to KNIT. Slip the stitch OFF the needle.

Step 2: Insert yarn through the next stitch on the FRONT needle as if to PURL. Leave the stitch ON the needle.

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Step 3: Insert the yarn through the first stitch on the BACK needle as if to PURL. Slip the stitch OFF the needle.

Step 4: Insert the yarn through the next stitch on the BACK needle as if to KNIT. Leave the stitch ON the needle.

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Repeat Steps 1-4 across the row adjusting the yarn and stitch tension to match your knitting. Weave in all yarn ends.

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There we go! The toe is closed and it just looks like another row of knitting. The best part is that there's no uncomfortable seam inside that would irratate your little tootsies. 

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Take the time to securely weave in the yarn tail from the Kitchener stitch. 

And there! We have a finished sock! Can you believe it? If you're making the Cozy Socks now is the time to get started on the second sock. A finished pair is always better than having one cold foot so be sure to work all the way to the end.

If you're knitting the Christmas Stocking then meet me back here on Tuesday for the finishing steps like making a hang loop and an adorable pom pom to adorn the top. 

Be social! Post photos. Ask questions. Say hello!

Southwest Stockings KAL: Part 2 Sock heel flap and turning the heel

Here we go! It's Day 2 of the Southwest Stockings Knit Along and today we've worked the ankle of the sock and we're ready to start the heel flap and then turn the heel with short rows. It's fun to knit in a different direction like this. I've got a lot of pictures here for you but if you have any questions be sure to leave a comment! Remember you can always watch me knit these steps on The Knit Show with Vickie Howell.

Setting up and knitting the heel flap

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The heel flap is only worked with Color A so we can cut any other strands we have remaining. Now with A we knit across Needle 1.

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Then... we TURN the work. 

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There's the inside of the stocking. Slip the first stitch as if to purl and then purl the rest of the stitches on Needle 1 and across to Needle 4.

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Now we have 24 stitches all on one needle with Needles 2 and 3 holding the other half of the stitches and waiting patiently for us to return to them.

To work the heel flap stitches we slip 1 stitch as if to purl, then knit 1 stitch. Alternate these two moves across the row.

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And, turn. Slip the first stitch and then purl ALL the other stitches back across. As you continue these two rows you'll see this squishy fabric start to happen. This makes a reinforced heel on a regular sock and it's a good technique to know so we do it the same way for the Christmas stocking. Plus, it looks cute on a project of that scale!

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The pattern tells us to "Repeat these two rows for 24 rows total. There will be 12 chain stitches on each of the new edges. These are what we're looking for -- 12 chains, here I have 8.

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Continue on until you have completed the heel flap. It should look something like this. 

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Turning the heel

Now we start the fun of short rows! It sounds scary but I think this is the most fun part of making a sock. This is the part of the sock that wraps from the back of the foot and hugs the heel. It's a fun adventure that will amaze you if you haven't done it before!

Knit across 14 stitches. Just plain knit, no slipping here.

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Next you're going to decrease with SSK or slip, slip, knit. To perform this decrease slip one stitch knit-wise, slip a second stitch in the same manner. Then insert the left needle into the front of the two slipped stitches and knit them together. That's an SSK. Now knit 1 stitch and TURN.

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On the inside, slip the first stitch purl-wise then purl 5 stitches.

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Purl 2 stitches together, or P2tog, by picking up two stitches and purling them together. Purl 1 more stitch and TURN.

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Now you'll start working back and forth as the pattern says. You will be able to see a gap forming where you have turned your work. Can you see the gap in the middle of my row? 

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Continue working the two rows until 16 stitches remain on your needle. Wow! Isn't that awesome? Look that how the heel just suddenly appears. 

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We're all set and ready to join the bottom of the heel flap back to the rest of the sock. Cut Color A and begin following Fair Isle Chart 2 on page 3.

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With Color D as the chart shows, knit across 14 stitches from the base of the heel.

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Rotate your work slightly. We will now be picking up stitches down the edge of the heel flap. Insert your needle in to the large, slipped stitches on the edge of the heel flap, wrap your yarn around the needle and pick up a stitch. 

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Continue picking up stitches along the heel flap until you have 12 additional stitches on  your needle. This needle looks a little intense with all those stitches but we will even it out as we work our way around.

From Needle 1 head to Needles 2 and 3 to work those stitches that have been waiting for us. Then we get back to the other side of the heel flap. Pick up 12 stitches down the edge in the same manner as the first side.

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Now we're left with this offset orientation. Knit across 7 stitches from Needle 1 directly on to Needle 4.

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Ahh, happy organized sock needles! You'll have 19 stitches on Needles 1 and 4 and 12 stitches on Needles 2 and 3 for a total of 62 stitches. Woohoo! Success at socks.

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Knitting the instep toward the foot

Ok, so we have a ton of stitches now but we don't need that many forever. This is where we start decreasing to get the sock back to 48 stitches. On the Fair Isle Chart I placed a little dot next to each row where you'll be making a decrease. You'll do 2 decreases on these rows and that happens 7 times. 62 - 14 = 48!

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To decrease on Needle 1: Knit to the last 3 stitches, k2tog, k1.

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Work across Needles 2 and 3 as normal. To decrease on Needle 4: K1, SSK (just like we did on the heel), knit to the end of the round.

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And there we have it! A sock heel is born. Continue decreasing and working Fair Isle Chart 2. If you're making the Cozy Socks when you get to the end of the chart you can try the sock on for size. Be careful with those needles but slip it over your foot to check the length. The sock should be about 1 and a half inches less than the length of your foot. If you think it needs to be a bit longer add a few more rows by making up your own Fair Isle stitch combination, adding stripes, or working your favorite section of the charts again.

I'll be back on Thursday the 16th to talk about decreasing for the toe and finally grafting our stitches together to close the sock using the Kitchener stitch. 

Be social! Post photos. Ask questions. Say hello!

Introducing: Southwest Stockings Knit Along!

Southwest Stockings Knit Along

Southwest Stockings Knit Along

Handmade holidays are the best kind of holidays. I want to share my love of holiday knits with you with a knit-along! I recently appeared on The Knit Show with Vickie Howell to teach how to knit the Southwest Stockings. This pattern can make either a Christmas stocking or a pair of cozy socks and I'd love to work on them with you. I've even got a few more tricks up my sleeve that I'll show you along the way. I hope you'll join me for the Southwest Stockings KAL!

Heather on The Knit Show with Vickie Howell!  Watch the show >

Heather on The Knit Show with Vickie Howell! Watch the show >

What's a KAL?

A knit-along, or KAL, is a virtual sit-and-knit. We're all going to make the same project during a set timeframe and I'll show you how to do it! I hope you'll join me. Continue reading to see more details and decide if you'd like to knit the Southwest Stockings with me.

Step 1: Pick your project

Which project would you like to knit?

  1. Christmas Stocking using Baa Baa Bulky yarn from Ewe Ewe
  2. Cozy Socks using Wooly Worsted yarn from Ewe Ewe
Option 1:  Southwest Stockings Christmas Stocking

Option 1: Southwest Stockings Christmas Stocking

Option 2:  Southwest Stockings Cozy Socks

Option 2: Southwest Stockings Cozy Socks

The Southwest Stockings are a design that is unique to Ewe Ewe Yarns. Using the same pattern you can make two very different items! The secret's in the yarn. Use Baa Baa Bulky to create a big bright Christmas stocking OR change to a smaller needle size and Wooly Worsted yarn to a squishy pair of socks for yourself. It's super fun!

Download the pattern:

Get the Southwest Stockings pattern FREE from The Knit Show with Vickie Howell >

    Step 2: Choose your colors

    Pick your color way. The best part about Ewe Ewe is that all of our yarn colors are planned to work together so you really can't go wrong. Find a Ewe Ewe yarn store near you to see the colors!

    If you don't have a shop near you, I put together 7 color combo kit ideas that fit all different styles. Maybe you want to pick your own shades of Baa Baa Bulky yarn or make the Christmas Stocking in one of these: 

    Stocking kit color option:  True Christmas

    Stocking kit color option: True Christmas

    Stocking kit color option:  Cotton Candy Dreams

    Stocking kit color option: Cotton Candy Dreams

    See Christmas Stocking kits >

    Perhaps you're going to make the Cozy Socks to wear on Christmas morning or give as a gift. Take a look at the Cozy Sock kit ideas or browse Wooly Worsted yarn colors.

    Cozy socks kit ideas:

    Cozy Socks kit color option:  Soft + Sweet

    Cozy Socks kit color option: Soft + Sweet

    Cozy Socks kit color option:  Rich Red

    Cozy Socks kit color option: Rich Red

    See Cozy Socks kits >

    Step 3: Knit Along!

    We'll be learning great techniques like:

    • Casting on to double-pointed needles
    • Knitting with two colors of yarn (Fair Isle, color work)
    • How to knit the heel flap and turn the heel of a sock
    • Knitted decreases
    • Kitchener stitch grafting for the toe of a sock
    • Finishing, weaving in ends, and pom pom making

    Here are our dates:

    • October 26-November 8: Get your supplies! Find a yarn shop >
    • Thursday, November 9: CAST ON! Learn how to knit color work.
    • Tuesday, November 14: Sock heel flap and turning the heel
    • Thursday, November 16: Decreasing for the toe and Kitchener stitch
    • Tuesday, November 21: Finishing and pom pom making

    Get social!

    Get your supplies now. We start on November 9th! Read the Supplies post >


    Heather Walpole appears on The Knit Show with Vickie Howell

    Learn how to knit Fair Isle socks -- the easy way!

    That's me right there! I am on the incredible new knitting series called The Knit Show with Vickie Howell. I teach the easy way to knit Fair Isle socks with instructions on how to make socks for you or a Christmas stocking for your home! Watch the Handmade Holiday episode now.

    Holidays are made better when a little something handmade is involved. On The Handmade Holiday Episode of The Knit Show with Vickie Howell we show stitchers how to make their season bright with projects to give and decorate with, plus gift ideas for the crafty types in your life!

    Southwest Stockings Free Sock Knitting Pattern

    Southwest Stockings  free Fair Isle socks and Christmas stocking pattern designed by Heather Walpole

    Southwest Stockings free Fair Isle socks and Christmas stocking pattern designed by Heather Walpole

    On the show I teach this adorable socks and Christmas stocking combination. The Southwest Stockings knitting pattern includes instructions for both a Christmas stocking knit in Ewe Ewe Baa Baa Bulky AND cozy Fair Isle socks using Ewe Ewe Wooly Worsted washable merino yarn. 

    Visit The Knit Show to download the free pattern!

    The techniques I teach in the video are how to read a color work chart for Fair Isle knitting, knitting with two colors of yarn, turning the heel of a sock, and how to graft the toe of a sock using the Kitchener Stitch. 

    Ready to make the Southwest Stockings?

    We have knitting kits available! Grab the pattern from The Knit Show's website and then take a look at our kits. We put together some great color combinations so you can choose and get started right away.

    Southwest Stockings Bulky Christmas Stocking Knitting Kit
    80.00
    Color:
    Quantity:
    Add To Cart
    Southwest Stockings Cozy Socks Knitting Kit
    50.00
    Color:
    Quantity:
    Add To Cart

    I hope you have as much fun knitting these socks and stockings as I did. The color work is easy and the projects go fast. Download the Southwest Stockings free knitting pattern. Shop yarn kits.


    Candy Cane Cowl Knitting Pattern

    There's nothing like a little holiday cheer to warm you up. Make the Candy Cane Cowl in Baa Baa Bulky yarn! This sweet little project is a quick knit.

    Designed by Cait St. George for Cream City Yarn, she says, "A little cowl full of holiday cheer! Inspired by my favorite candy this easy colorwork pattern knits up quick in bulky yarn and is perfect if you’re looking to give stranded knitting a try."

    Get the Candy Cane Cowl pattern on Ravelry >

    See Baa Baa Bulky yarn >

    Visit Cream City Yarn in Brookfield, WI or their online shop >