The Forever Stockings

December 09, 2013   //  Posted in: Holiday-Related Projects   //  By: Emily   //  Leave a comment

Back when we were little, my mom knit our family’s Christmas stockings of red and ivory yarns. Dad’s was the longest, little sister’s the shortest, and each was classically designed with–as I went on to learn just this year–a very evident Scandinavian flair. This is probably because Mom was into Marimekko and dressing us in Hanna Andersson, naturally she’d be one to design her own Scandi Christmas stockings, but I didn’t piece any of this together until more recently (it would seem that I’m totally her daughter).

I don’t remember a time that we didn’t have those stockings hanging above the fireplace; they were an expected feature in our holiday decor. I could go on for days explaining how significant Christmas is as a holiday to me–we were married last Christmas Eve and indulged in pierogis and apple pie, and I always want to have a real Christmas tree, and everything is anise infused, and I already have the roll of Santa wrapping paper hidden in my closet–but so many of the important elements of the season are vaguely indescribable. The stockings though, they’re fully describable, and I’ve always expected that I’d have a set of “forever” stockings in my home, a more permanent and memorable accent than the common felt or store-bought stocking varieties, so with the coming together of my own nuclear-esque family last winter, I went about finding out how to get this done.

The long and short of it is that I asked my Mom to do this stocking deed for us, considering that she has made stockings before. And wouldn’t you know that she downright refused to do them for us, even after finding out that I was pregnant. !!! She recommended that I make them myself, because I can knit a straight scarf or a jute rug, so a forever stocking should be a cinch. Not. Not even with a year of practicing, or so I believed. I still nag on my Mom a bit for her lacking sensitivity to my hormonal self, but in reality, the path that I ended up going down was completely worthwhile; our new stockings, handmade for us by my friend Erin, are hands-down, the most wonderful physical thing on display this holiday season.

Handmade wool Christmas stockings by Erin Makes Stuff.

Erin of Erin Makes Stuff and I have known each other since middle school–maybe earlier, I can’t remember–we rode the school bus together forever. My mom is actually who recommended that I ask Erin to commission our stockings for us (it was a blatant effort to get me to stop hounding her about them), and the idea was actually brilliant. Erin knits a lot of different things – hats, scarves, and colorful little stuffed monsters (and llamas); her product line extends to include greeting cards, ornaments, prints, even baby onesies, the girl makes wonderful, joyous things. It was late May when I wrote, inquiring if she knew how to do stockings and if they would be something she would be interested in helping me with… thankfully she said yes. She said yes!

We went back and forth a bit in the following weeks, me sending inspired images from all around the internet, her selecting premium wool yarns in a palette that was both very seasonal and very Erin. At one point over the summer, she visited and shared with us a first round of her designs and knit samples, which were in fact completely wonderful. That’s the last I saw from her until the week of Thanksgiving, when our final stockings were delivered.

The designs are original, yet pull in patterns and elements that are both classic and modern. They’re perfect for our new home, adopting a palette including colors that are reminiscent of the ’50’s (the light blue, the green, the citron specifically), and importantly, each one features one of our names, beautifully stitched in place. They coordinate with each other and share some design elements, but individually are unique, and I love that about them. (Side note: Hi Mom, I never, ever, ever, ever could have figured out how to make a stocking myself.)

Handmade wool Christmas stockings by Erin Makes Stuff.

Next year, when the living room furniture is a bit more situated, I plan to have the Christmas tree in the opposite corner and the stockings hung above the fireplace (we’ll wedge some anchors into the mortar). This year, I rigged them up on our stone planter beside the tree, using white yarn and wire to secure them.

They’re my favorite.

Handmade wool Christmas stockings by Erin Makes Stuff.

(Not that I’m obligated in any way, but of course I want to get the girl some biz, so if you want your own forever stockings, get in touch with Erin directly or check out her etsy shop.)

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