At last, Alastair’s Christmas stocking is finished. I’m generally pleased with it, but as always, if I were to do it over I’d make some changes.
The Santa in flight embroidery design is from Babylock’s Christmas Collection II. The intricacy and shading has tremendous appeal to me, but the real clincher was the inclusion of Rudolph in the sleigh’s team of reindeer.
I have always enjoyed adding details to an embroidery and this one gave plentiful opportunity. A seed bead has been stitched to Rudolph’s nose, a detail that will be overlooked by most, but not Hawk-Eye Alastair.
He will also finger the tiny bells stitched to the reindeer harnesses. They were a little large, but just how realistic do you have to be with a design like this?
Another addition is a tiny soldier button to Santa’s pack. I’d like to have included more toy buttons, but only the soldier was a suitable size.
Edging the black ultrasuede stocking body is red and white double mini piping. The ultrasuede was purchased years ago to make wine bags for my oenophile brother.
I whipped up a few for his birthday, but the remaining ultrasuede has been languishing in its storage box. No doubt it has grumbled bitterly about my broken promises of good times with my up-town, fast-lane brother.
The lining is a cotton stripe that I bought for counterchange smocking years ago. It almost screamed with joy when it was released from captivity in another storage box in the garage.
The cuff is featherwale corduroy, put aside for some creative, long since forgotten winter garment. The red and white stripe lining was cut on the bias for a more pleasing diagonal pattern. A lightweight batting is sandwiched between the corduroy and lining for body.
The candy cane font was a free download somewhere but I can’t recall the source. It is especially useful because it loaded into my PEDesign and can be sized just like the other fonts. Maybe it is a true type font.
I’d like to have made the letters taller, but his name is so long that if the letters were enlarged proportionally, it would have required an even wider cuff. As it is, I had to gather the cuff slightly to fit it to the stocking.
One limitation is that it is just a single color. So you are pretty much limited to stitching it on white or red.
Using Judy Day’s technique for adding miniature designs to the letters (see previous post, Kids’ Towels), I inserted the Santa hat and holly.
My children, Ryan and Rebecca, still hang the Christmas stockings I knit for them 32 years ago. They are less than lovely, but hold a lot of sentiment for these grown up kids of mine. The date was worked in duplicate stitch.
On the outside chance that Alastair keeps this one into adulthood, I wanted it dated. So under the cuff in the back, I added a message and the date, much as is done on a quilt.
For some time now, I’ve tried very hard to design my projects around the supplies on hand, rather than shopping for more stuff. In that respect, this was a success. My only purchase was the $1.88 star buttons, essential, I think, to making the black ultrasuede look festive rather than grim.
Christmas will be especially magical this year, as both of our children, their families and another young family with two small children will be celebrating with us at our home.
Bob is wrestling with just how to hang all those stockings from our 90 year old quarry tile mantle. He has always resisted drilling into the tile to set hooks, probably a wise reluctance. But he is an engineer. He’ll figure it out.
Santa will have his work cut out for him when he comes down our chimney.