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OXOX Cable and Latticed Spindles

339000 country living family humor knitting stockings yarn

Hugs and Kisses Hand Knit Christmas StockingI have been awake since four this morning. My husband gets up every morning at four o'clock and gets to work by five. He works ten hours and gets home by three fifteen in the afternoon. I try to get all of my work completed by the time he gets home so we may spend the late afternoon and evening doing whatever we choose, together. Often "whatever we choose" is a responsibility of some kind such as mowing the lawn (a three-hour task), driving to another small town about an hour away to see his mother where she stays at a very nice care facility (she suffers from alzheimerss). Or, sometimes there are church related activities, or something to do for Habitat for Humanity. Then again, sometimes we just get to choose something or just be together chatting and doing whatever in each other's company. It is very relaxing and pleasant spending time with him, even when the nature of the time is responsibility driven. His stocking is coming along, as you can see. Not terribly fast, but I am not particularly in a hurry. I try to work on it at times when he and I are hanging out together, so he sees me making it for him; I don't know, seems like I should. I have received some nice emails and comments about my humorous fiction story for knitters. I've got some others brewing in my mind, and will write them as time goes by to share. Thanks for your support, oh good humored (and good natured) knitters! Hugs and Kisses Hand Knit Stocking Close Up OneToday I would like to point out a few specifics regarding this piece, in case any one wants to make one. First of all, the pattern is "Hugs and Kisses Aran Stocking" on page 57 in Christmas Stockings: 18 Holiday Treasures to Knit from Interweave Press; designer Dee Lockwood. I am working it in Berroco Ultra Alpaca Winter White (primary color) and Cardinal (secondary color). I love the thick, red ribbing of the cuff. Notice in the first close up shot that the color transition from the cuff to the body of the stocking is not very attractive. If you make this stocking, don't become alarmed when you see that ugly transition. Although the body of the stocking you see there is the right side of the piece, the two rows where the color change occur are in fact the wrong side, because the cuff will be turned down. Take a look at the second detail photo and you will see how pretty the transition is just inside the cuff, which is essentially the "right side" for the cuff area. Hugs and Kisses Hand Knit Stocking Close Up TwoThe stocking features two different cable patterns, both of which are a bit on the complicated side but are quite lovely and worth the effort. In the first pattern detail shot, you see a pattern called the "Latticed Spindle", which I think looks like a Christmas tree ornament. The latticed spindle is repeated twice on the leg of the stocking, and one on the foot; the spindles run down the sides of the stocking. In the second pattern detail photo you see a pattern called the "OXOX Cable" ... thus "Hugs and Kisses." I think this pattern would also mike a very nice skinny scarf, and I will most likely use it for that sometime soon because I enjoy working this cable very well. If you notice, to each side of the OXOX cable, there are ribs. These ribs are worked using twisted stitches every other row. It very lovely and creates nice body ... feels good to give it a squeeze! Hugs and Kisses Hand Knit Stocking Pattern Detail OneI chose this stocking to knit for my husband because I have worked it before and it enjoyed it quite well, and also because I like the idea of the "Hugs and Kisses" being an integral part of the pattern ... love, it'll do that to ya. Something I would like to point out, if you get the book and knit this stocking. The two patterns are complicated to follow, and making matters worse, they repeat at different intervals. The latticed spindle has 38 rows while the OXOX cable has only sixteen. So, when you complete the first sixteen rows, you go back to row one for the OXOX cable but you continue on at row seventeen for the latticed spindle. It can get very confusing and may lead to you losing your place. To prevent that from happening my suggestion is that you take out a small piece of paper when you get to that point and write a chart such as this:
    1 - 17 2 - 18 3 - 19 4 - 20 5 - 21 6 - 22 7 - 28 (and so on)
Hugs and Kisses Hand Knit Stocking Pattern Detail TwoThe numbers on the left represent the rows you are repeating for the OXOX cable, the numbers on the right are the continuation of the rows you are working in the latticed spindle. At the end of each round, be sure to draw a line through the rows you just finished. If you do this, you won't end up getting confused or losing your place. The stocking is gorgeous when it is complete and likely to become an heirloom ... heed my advice and your journey through the complicated rows will be a success! One more thing I would like to point out about handknit Christmas stockings in general: they stretch when you put things in them. The first time you see it it is quite distressing because you think about all of your hard work and you might freak out for a minute thinking your beautiful creation is about to become a bulging, twisted, elongated sleeping bag rather than a lovely Christmas stocking. My nephew's wife, after filling four stockings I made then proceeded to hang them from the mantle, and from what she told me they stretched all the way to the floor. She thought that was supposed to happen, so did not take them down. (Oh, horror and a half!) Don't let this happen to your creations. The solution is to sew a liner for your stocking using any cotton fabric. Might I also add this one last thing for the morning ... you have a wonderful day! ~firefly


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