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!

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.


Stuff It Stocking time!

It's the season to make a new Christmas stocking or two. The Stuff It Stocking pattern by Ewe Ewe is a lot of fun and totally cute!

Isn't it fun? With all of the color combinations in Wooly Worsted yarn you'll be sure to find a great set to fit your home. The stocking above is knit with Red Poppy, Vanilla and Berry colors and below is a funky combo with Pistachio for the top, bottom and heel and Vanilla and Black Licorice stripes.

The stocking is fun to make if you know how to knit socks and even if you don't! We have all the steps laid out for you, seriously step-by-step!

Introduction: Outline and supplies Read more >
Day 1: Working with DPNs and knitting a hem Read more >
Day 2: Knitting stripes and carrying colors Read more >
Day 3: Heel flap, turning the heel Read more >
Day 4: Decreasing and Kitchener stitch Read more >
Day 5: Knitting i-cord and blocking Read more >

So now if you're ready to get started take a look at all these awesome stockings made by knitters across the country.

SocalMeaghan's stockings, so many colors! See on  Ravelry >

SocalMeaghan's stockings, so many colors! See on Ravelry >

BaliBenoa's saffron and aquamarine stocking. See on  RaVELRY >

BaliBenoa's saffron and aquamarine stocking. See on RaVELRY >

Sharon0213's mix and match set of stockings! See on  RaVELRY >

Sharon0213's mix and match set of stockings! See on RaVELRY >

KaityBeth's sweet stocking. See on  Ravelry >

KaityBeth's sweet stocking. See on Ravelry >

Ryanpagehaas's set of stockings. See on  RaVELRY >

Ryanpagehaas's set of stockings. See on RaVELRY >

Magswilliams' stuff it stocking. See on  Ravelry >

Magswilliams' stuff it stocking. See on Ravelry >

You can check out these and a lot more versions of the Stuff It Stocking on its Ravelry page

Are you ready? Get the pattern here or on Ravelry; it's on sale through the holidays no coupon needed!

Find a Ewe Ewe yarn store near you or see Wooly Worsted yarn on our website.

Part 5: Making the hang loop and blocking the stocking

Today we'll knit the hang loop as an i-cord, sew in the ends and block our Christmas stockings so they're perfect for filling!

knitting an i-cord

Hang Loop

To make an i-cord is kind of strange but follow along and let's go! You'll only be using 2 needles for this part. With Color A, cast on 8 stitches.

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Then slide those stitches to the other end of the needle. Don't turn your work! Just slide the stitches to the other end.

how to knit an i-cord

Pull your knitting yarn across the back of your work and knit in to the first stitch. It seems odd but it's ok.

knitting an i-cord

Yes, there's a big thread across the back but that's ok. I promise! 

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Knit across those stitches. Don't turn.

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When you finish slide the stitches to the other end of the needle and keep going in this manner.

making an i-cord correctly

If you peek on the back of the work you'll see there's some long loops.

how to knit an i-cord

Gently tug down on the bottom of the work.

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 And those extra loops will tighten up.

making an i-cord

Work in i-cord until piece measures 5". 

binding off i-cord

Bind off the i-cord as you normally would.

attaching the i-cord

Attach the hang loop to the top of the stocking at the same edge as the heel.

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So there you go! Your very own hand-knitted Christmas stocking! Take a moment to congratulate yourself.

Now let's finish it by blocking.

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Block the Stocking

Blocking helps relax and even out your knitting stitches. It just refines the finished piece to help it looks as refined as possible. To block your Wooly Worsted stocking you'll need a bowl, some wool wash (I like Soak) and two large towels.

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Add your stocking and a few drops of wool wash to the bowl and fill with cool water.

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Submerge your stocking to and gently swish it around to release any air bubbles. You won't need to worry about the colors of Wooly Worsted yarn running or bleeding because Wooly Worsted is specially treated to be washed. Your water should remain clear. Let the stocking soak for about 15-20 minutes.

blocking hand knits

Drain the water from your bowl. Do not squeeze or wring your stocking. It looks pretty pathetic at this point but that's ok. It will recover!

blocking hand knits

Carefully lay your stocking out on a towel. Be sure not to pull or tug on one part of your stocking. 

blocking hand knits

Fold your towel over your stocking. I folded in thirds.

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Then roll it on up! Press and squeeze the towel as you roll to get as much water out of the stocking as you can.

blocking hand knits

Unroll your towel and check out your stocking. Lay it flat on the other, dry towel. Gently arrange the stocking in the way you would like it to dry. Line up your stitches, smooth out any bumps then let it rest. Leave your stocking to dry. Do not touch it until it's dry! This will set your stitches for the long run. It could take a whole day for your stocking to dry completely. Now it's time to hang your new stocking!

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It's ready for Santa to stuff! 

Thank you to everyone who participated and I hope you had fun making the Stuff It Stocking with us! Be sure to send photos of your finished stocking to me (heather at eweewe dot com). 

We were so happy to have lots of Ewe Ewe yarn stores participating in the KAL! Check out these stores to make your own Stuff It Stocking or other great Ewe Ewe project: 

Read more in our Ravelry group >

Join on InstagramTwitter and Facebook with #stuffitkal.

Thanks for joining our Stuff It Stocking knit along!