Monday, October 09, 2006

My first sock

This is the first item I ever knit. I didn't start with a scarf or a hat or a dishcloth. I started with a Christmas stocking.

Way, way back in 1992 I was at my brother-in-law's house for the family Christmas. There were stockings hung by the fire for each of us. They were nice stockings - from LLBean mostly - but one stocking stood out from the rest. It was kind of raggety looking but it was obviously handmade. My mother-in-law told me that a neighbor had made it for the oldest boy soon after he was born but they moved away and the younger boys never got hand knit stockings.

I got an idea that I could knit Christmas stockings for the whole family by the next Christmas. I had never knit a stitch and didn't know a thing about knitting but it seemed like a good idea. In March of 1993 I visited a friend who worked at a LYS on Sundays. I told her my plan and we picked out a pattern and yarn together. I bought what I thought was very expensive Lamb's Pride Worsted Weight wool in many colors and one pattern. Even though I knew nothing about knitting I figured I could make each stocking similar but individual by changing the motifs on the leg of the stocking.

What was my friend thinking? Can you imagine leading someone to this pattern as their first knitting project?

knitting pattern

I decided to knit my stocking first figuring it would have the most mistakes. I then went on to knit my husband's and one each for my mother-in-law, father-in-law and younger brother-in-law. During that year I also got pregnant for the first time and was very, very sick. I plugged on determined to finish the stockings by Christmas. I was duplicate stitching the final name on the drive to Connecticut. I had everyone open their gifts on Christmas Eve (even though this is against the rules at my brother-in-law's house) and everyone was very surprised. My father-in-law, who is a man of few words, told me it was the nicest gift he ever received.

I have gone on to make stockings for each of my three boys as well as my girlfriend's oldest daughter. I have come to hate this pattern. I know my girlfriend wants stockings for her other two daughters and I do have one of them halfway done but I just can't get the motivation to finish it. It languishes at the bottom of my knitting bag.