Easiest Christmas Stockings

Whether you're looking to bust some of your yarn stash or cut a few cost-corners, hand-made stockings are the way to go. This is a very simple pattern, appropriate for beginners, and can be customized and dressed up with embroidery, felt appliques, or anything your imagination deems appropriate.  This is a very basic toe-up pattern that can be used for simple wearable socks as well.

Materials

  • Any worsted weight yarn.  Red Heart SuperSaver is fine.
  • A set of 5 Size US8 double-pointed needles (DPNs), or Size US8 circulars at least 24 inches long if you use the Magic Loop method
  • A tapestry needle for weaving in
  • A safety pin or other marker to indicate the beginning of your row

Gauge

  • Gauge is not terribly important for this project, and you can change the size of your stocking by using different size needles or yarn. In the sample stocking, gauge came out to 4 stitches and 6.5 rows per inch.

Instructions

Toe
On two needles, cast on 10 stitches per needle using either the Magic Toe Cast-On or the Figure 8 Loop method. (20 stitches total)

Row 1: Knit around.
Row 2: *k1, m1, k8, m1, k1, repeat once from *. (24 stitches)

Mark the beginning of your round here.  In the next row, transfer to the full set of DPNs by knitting six stitches onto each needle.

Row 3 and remaining odd-numbered rows: Knit
Row 4: *k1, m1, k10, m1, k1, repeat once from * (28 stitches)
Row 6: *k1, m1, k12, m1, k1, repeat once from * (32 stitches)
Row 8: *k1, m1, k14, m1, k1, repeat once from * (36 stitches)
Row 10: *k1, m1, k16, m1, k1, repeat once from * (40 stitches)

Foot
From this point, knit 20 rows of stockinette.

Heel
This is a basic short-row heel. Because this stocking is not meant to be worn, it's acceptable to bypass the extra steps to close the resultant holes along the sides. Each short row will require a wrap, which, on the knit side, is to pass the working yarn to the front of your work, slip the last stitch worked back to the right needle, then pass the working yarn to the back of the work.  Do the opposite (pass the yarn to the back and then to the front) for the purl side.

Decreases:

Row 1: Knit first 20 stitches onto a single needle.  This is the "top" of the foot.
Row 2: k20, wrap, turn
Row 3: p19, wrap, turn
Row 4: k18, wrap, turn
Row 5: p17, wrap, turn
Row 6: k16, wrap, turn
Row 7: p15, wrap, turn
Row 8: k14, wrap, turn
Row 9: p13, wrap, turn
Row 10: k12, wrap, turn
Row 11: p11, wrap, turn
Row 12: k10, wrap, turn
Row 13: p9, wrap, turn

Increases:

Knit or purl the last stitch together with the wrapped yarn

Row 14: k9, slip last stitch back to the right, turn
Row 15: p10, slip last stitch back to the right, turn
Row 16: k11, slip last stitch back to the right, turn
Row 17: p12, slip last stitch back to the right, turn
Row 18: k13, slip last stitch back to the right, turn
Row 19: p14, slip last stitch back to the right, turn
Row 20: k15, slip last stitch back to the right, turn
Row 21: p16, slip last stitch back to the right, turn
Row 22: k17, slip last stitch back to the right, turn
Row 23: p18, slip last stitch back to the right, turn
Row 24: k19, slip last stitch back to the right, turn
Row 25: p20, slip last stitch back to the right, turn

Leg
Knit the next row all the way around, continuing with the 20 stitches held on the extra needle. Transfer 10 of these stitches to another needle if you so desire.

Knit in stockinette for about seven and a half inches (about 40 rows) or to your desired length. If making more than one stocking to match, remember to note your length or row count.

Finishing
Bind off the last row and weave in the ends. Decorate to your heart's content.

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