Eight Snowy Boughs

Happy New Year everyone, and Happy Feast of the Holy Name! (Formerly known, in less inhibited times, as the Feast of the Circumcision. Guess what happened on the eighth day of our Savior’s life.) It may be the new year for everyone on the Gregorian calendar, but for us on the liturgical calendar, we’re still smack dab in the middle of Christmas season. So I am going to carry on, on this eighth day of Christmas, by sharing something new that I did in what is now last year.

I have gotten to the point with my knitting that I suspected I could replicate something with a fair amount of accuracy, but I hadn’t ever tried. I got my chance when Alyssa emailed me with a special commission: her family has a stocking tradition, as many families (including my husband’s) do, but for reasons into which I did not inquire, Alyssa hadn’t been able to get a stocking for her husband Matt, our favorite identifier of flora. She sent me her stocking, below on the right, and my task was to make one in the same style, customized to the nature-tastes of her spouse.

I think it worked out pretty well. I frankensteined a graph for a tree pattern out of a couple pictures of patterns I saw on Ravelry (it’s probably closest to the one on Kim Hargreaves’ Little Trees pattern, though I adapted it very heavily.) After that, I’ve knit enough socks and helped enough people with stockings that the rest of the pattern came together easily. To my surprise, I was able to match all the colors in Alyssa’s stocking pretty precisely in Plymouth’s Galway Worsted, though Alyssa’s was clearly made out of an older acrylic. The main trouble was with the gauge – Stitch gauge I can get, but I remain convinced that I have unusually long row gauge. So I had to cut out a few rows here and there, and it looks a little different, but the result is pleasing. The two fabrics were going to act differently anyway. But in the end, they do look like a pair, methinks.

The tree and its trunk was intarsia; the name and the X’s were fair isle, with the snow duplicate stitched on and sequins sewn on with thread. Like all embellishments, amazingly fiddly, but the effect is so worth it. Now, since Alyssa sent me this picture of her family’s mantle on Christmas, morning, even more worth it:

I love how all the stockings are so different, but obviously are the same size and general style. Do they not look cozy?

According to Alyssa, Matt was very pleased with this surprise on Christmas morning. Such a fun idea. Thanks for the adventure, guys!

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