My fun Christmas stocking

So, this is the first needlepoint stocking I’ve finished for myself. I stitched one last year for a customer, but don’t think I will do that very often. This one is smaller than the average stocking, which made it a little more manageable. It’s a Ruth Schmuff design, and I just love her whimsical ideas. This cat just looks so annoyed about this little bird on his head, and since he’s all tied up there’s not a darn thing he can do about it.

It was a relatively simple stocking, which is why I liked it so much — lots of room for creativity! I brought it to the advanced stocking class Stephen Janick was teaching some time back at Rittenhouse Needlepoint. That’s where I got the idea for the background that looks like snowflakes and the bottom of the sock that is a laid brick stitch. Then I used Turkey stitch for the fringe on the scarf and hat.

The background uses two different colors of #12 Kreinik Braid, blue Vineyard Silk, and a very dark blue #4 Kreinik Braid, just to give it a little extra sparkle that doesn’t compete with the largeness of the #12 braid. It’s a composite stitch where I laid the small dark Kreinik across on the diagonal, than couched them down with Mosaic stitches in the Vineyard silk, then filled in the spaces with the large snowflakes. (It drove me crazy that these “snowflakes” had 8 sides and not 6, but I decided that the effect was more important and let it go.) At first I used the lighter blue to represent snow, then I used less of that color as the snow was falling, using more of the dark blue to reflect the feel of a starry night.

The bird is just Basketweave and Continental stitched with Wisper to give it a little bit of a fuzzy appearance. The cat was stitched in Caron Impressions, using Kreink #12 Braid for the eyes and Petite Velvet for the inside of the ears. I used Basketweave for the scarf, stitching with red and green shades of Vineyard Mernino Wool. It’s a little tight for 18 mesh, but not too bad and I love how it looks. I also used that same Merino Wool for the Turkey stitch.

The bottom part of the stocking was painted as stripes, and I loved the contrast with the top of the stocking. I laid long strands of the dark blue Kreinik #4 braid across the stocking on every line, then couched them with a small over-2 Brick stitch using two shades of Vineyard Silk. I really like the effect — there is some shine to it but it’s not too much. There’s so much glitter at the top part of the stocking that I wanted a calmer effect at the bottom.

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