Hugs and Kisses Aran Stocking Complete

September 20, 2006 at 1:43 pm | Posted in country living, family, food, knitting, stockings, yarn | 23 Comments

Fireflys Barn on a Rainy MorningGreen. My world is filled with green. I come from a place where we had about two days of green each year (Los Angeles) and I find myself in a place so lush and rich with water and soil nutrients that even the brown is green.

Each day we have some beautiful sunshine with blue skies and puffy clouds skittering along followed, at some time day or night, by rain. This morning it rained early, but now the sun is shinning and reflecting off of the sweet water on the streets, on the lawn, and on the corn field.

Fireflys Willow PondOur pond grows deeper daily … unfortunately, our septic system has backed up a bit because the ground is so saturated there is no where for it to drain. Oh well, so it goes. I am told to avoid running the washing machine for a few days to give it time to drain. Luckily I can still take showers … I am so spoiled!

As for knitting–first of all, I want to say I made it. For those of you who have followed the progress of the stocking I have been knitting for my husband, I did not run out of Winter White. All I had left was a tiny little ball, but … I did make it through to the toe. Whew!

[Note: I won a blue ribbon for this stocking at our agricultrual fiar on October 1st. Info on that posted in another posting, for your info.]

Hand Knit Hugs and Kisses Aran Christmas StockingFor more information about some of the details of knitting this project, see my blog of 7 Sep 06.

This stocking was knit using the “Hugs and Kisses Aran Stocking” pattern on page 57 in Christmas Stockings: 18 Holiday Treasures to Knit from Interweave Press; designer Dee Lockwood.

I used Size U.S. 6 dpns for the cuff, and Size U.S. 5 dpns for the leg as called for in the instructions (knit on four dpns, so two sets are needed to have a total of five of each to work with). The yarn is Berroco’s Ultra Alpaca in Winter White and Cardinal. The pattern stitches include 2×2 ribbing, OXOX cable, 2×1 twisted ribbing, and latticed spindle cable.

I found the directions to be thorough but for one exception: the pattern stitch on needles #1 and #3 continue through the heel and the instep, whereas the pattern stitches on needles #2 and #4 do not continue through the heel. That’s all fine, but confusion can occur after you knit and turn the heel and pick up stitches to continue on toward the foot. At this point the author merely says that you might not be at the same place in the pattern stitch on needle #1 as you are on needle #3. If you do not keep track of where you left off on needle #3, it can be disorienting when you start working that needle again.

Hand Knit Hugs and Kisses Aran Christmas StockingTo avoid confusion, write a note to yourself stating exactly which row you ended off with on needle #3 before working the heel on needle #1.

The hanger is a knitted I-cord, which is a pretty cool detail I believe. You cast on a few stitches on dpns and knit across but then instead of turning, you slide the stitches to the end of the needle and pull the yarn across the back, then knit across. You end up with a sturdy cord that can hold up a stocking full of goodies!

The finished product is wonderfully cushy to hold and squeeze. When I finished it last evening I gave it to my husband so he could give it a squeeze, which he did. He thought I was being a little silly, but this is the first time anyone has knitted something for him, so he wasn’t aware that squeezing the completed item was a part of the ritual and celebration of calling it a “done”.

If you would like to see photographs of other Christmas stockings I have knit using patterns from the same book, please leave a comment so I can get an idea of how much interest there is in this topic.

At the end of this month we are going to an Agricultural Fair at the country village and museum I have spoken of in other blogs. They are having various competitions and I decided to join in the old fashioned fun and enter some items of my own. I will be entering baking soda biscuits (my grandmother’s recipe from her farm, tweaked to suit my baking style), pumpkin pie (my grandmother’s pie crust recipe and my filling recipe), several photographs I shot while in the village recently, and this hand knit Christmas stocking.

I am not entering the competition to be competitive, to tell you the truth. I am entering to be supportive of the event and for the fun of participation. I feel certain there are many women around here who have skills far beyond mine in both cooking and knitting, so I am not anticipating bringing home a ribbon; I will, however, enjoy spending a day in good wholesome company with my husband in that beautiful and historical country village.




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  1. yes – i would love to see any other stockings you have finished. i did buy the book but it’s hard for me to visualize things in other color combinations. and great job with your hubby’s!

  2. Beautiful! I would love to see more stockings! I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a ribbon posted here. You’re being modest, we have our fingers crossed!

  3. I’d love to see your other projects from that book. Your hubby’s stocking is gorgeous.

  4. I love the pictures of where you live. It looks so peaceful. like paradise. Congratulations on the knitting finish. I’d love the see other projects from that book too, I’m in awe at your skills with the needles.

    Hope you have a great day,

  5. I’d love to see other pieces of your work from this book. The stocking is lovely and alpaca? Yum.

  6. I got here from LJ…I’m sorry about all the drama that happened and I hope you will consider coming back (after you’re unbanned…yikes!). I’m not sure what all happened, and I can see where you might have hard feelings, but I hope you’ll come back because I love, love, love seeing your work. Someone mentioned setting up an RSS feed to your blog…do you know how to do that? (I don’t). I’ve read through here a bit and love to see your postings (and I’m so jealous of your life on a farm!!).

  7. Yes, please! I’d love to see more stockings. This one is very nice. Are you going to line it?

  8. I love all your pictures, and will gladly look at anything you feel up to posting!

    The stocking is truly lovely, and I’m glad you didn’t run out of yarn. I really like the different cables, and think I need to work more on my cabled socks before I get too ansty. =)

    So i-cords are easy to knit, then? They’ve always intimidated me in the past. I’ll have to try one, and see what I think of it.

    Have a great day!

  9. Love the scenery, and is so green. looks like you found your piece of paradise. The stocking looks great, I would love to see any others you make. Good luck in the competitions.

  10. That stocking is beautiful. Amazon is down at this time. That stocking looks like a lot of skills could be learned/hoaned. I would love to try one sometime.

  11. Yes, yes, more stocking pictures please. That one is stunning! Your husband is a very lucky fellow. And by all means, enter some stuff in the fair. I miss that aspect of my life immensely. We have a fair here, of sorts, but it is very much a “city fair”.

  12. This is a wonderfull blog…Just like a serenity home…

  13. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the stocking! It’s beautiful and and so like Christmas, which I can’t even really start thinking about yet!

  14. Definitely more stocking pictures please!!! My book is still on back order from Amazon. It is not scheduled to ship until mid-October. I’m not sure I will be able to get a stocking finished before Christmas. It’s not that I am a slow knitter…the problem is that my knitting time is relegated to a few hours a week, mainly during my lunch break. Oh, to win the lottery and retire to a life a leisure and doing good deeds!!!

  15. Beautiful green. Ours is turning to yellow, red and orange already so it’s nice to see a little summer somewhere.

    Love the Christmas stocking. That is so beautiful and it does look like it needs a squeeze.

  16. Yes please more stockings!! Thst is just beautiful! I am going to find that book! Hopefully I can get it soon and get some started!! Happy knitting!!

  17. A beautiful stocking! I love the pattern and the red and white together! Keep up the good work.

  18. I’ve been reading your posts since discovering your blog last week, and I enjoy your writing so much. You live in a truly beautiful place, much different from LA! I am 41 years old and I still have (and use) a Christmas stocking that someone knit for me when I was 4 or 5 years old. My dream is to one day knit one for my son. I’m a relatively new knitter and I’ve not yet tried. I would love to see more of your stockings. Thank you for the inspiration.

  19. I finally gave in and checked the book out from the local library. I think I am not committing copyright infringement if I just copy a couple of pages for my own personal use (please, if you have copyright advice, do not clog up the comments here…just send them to my email I still have the book on order at Amazon, but I did want to get a sock done before Christmas. Once I get the book, I can take my leisure (or at least dream of taking my leisure) in knitting more socks! I haven’t looked in the book yet, as I am saving it for a quiet moment before bed.

  20. Peace people

    We love you

  21. I want to knit that stocking but I cannot find the pattern or book anywhere close to me. It is at a few libraries but they are all too far away.

  22. Is it possible to purchase the copy of “Hugs and Kisses Aran Stocking”. The book seems to be out of print. Thank you Ann Brown

    • Hi Ann, I can’t sell copies of that pattern, since it is not one of my designs. Have you searched through’s pattern database to see if the pattern is available individually from the designer or publisher?

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