The gift of knitting

You know the saying, “chopping wood warms you twice”? I propose a knitting corollary: knitting a gift for another is a gift for yourself. I’ve long known there’s joy in the making and was recently given the chance to experience it.

Last month, my nephew and godson asked if I’d be able to knit a Christmas stocking for his lovely wife. They were married days before last Christmas and are preparing to celebrate for the first time in their own home. My Mom, his beloved Nannie, was the family stocking knitter for decades but is no longer able to knit. So I was given the honor.

Honestly, my heart leapt at the opportunity. My knitting mojo had drooped a bit as the pandemic has dragged on. This was the spark I needed. I started thinking of designs to incorporate into the body almost immediately.

But the element I was sure of was that her name, Porshai, would be stitched into the top. So I pulled out some graph paper and got started.

The edge is a Latvian braid, which I think is a bit sturdier than a simple cast-on or ribbing. And when a stocking is loaded with presents, one needs a sturdy edge!

The braided cuff edge, heel flap, and toe would all include green and red, just as some foot socks incorporate contrasting colors for those components. The two-row stripes on the Eye of Partridge heel have a houndstooth check look.

For the design motifs (that’s redundant, isn’t it?), I wanted to include some general wintery, Christmas themes with occasional personalization. Starting at the top, on the back side:

  • two hearts, representing the love of Ben and Porshai, fit nicely between the start and end of her name;
  • green and red holly follows
  • two golden keys are next, symbols of St. Peter, who has special meaning to Ben and Porshai, whose lives are grounded in faith. Of course, Peter is also referred to as the rock of the church, but a rock isn’t a particularly attractive motif.
  • reindeer leap around the lower leg

On the front,

  • an angel stretches her arms and wings in wide welcome, symbolizing the embracing love of this phenomenal woman who has joined our family
  • a snowflake on a red background (after all, she — and we — live in New England)
  • light and dark blue speckles mimic the pattern of the red border around the holly
  • green and red stripes make a reappearance on the toe

Just as I was finishing this post, Ben texted a photo of his and Porshai’s stockings hanging by the window. From this image, you might think hers is somewhat smaller than the usual stocking. But you’d be wrong.

Although she always said that she loves all her grandchildren equally (and bearing in mind that stocking size is not a measure of love), Mom/Nannie certainly conveyed her joy she felt at the birth of her first grandchild with the size of Ben’s stocking, which is nearly 3 feet (1m) long!

As with Porshai’s stocking, I’m sure there’s love knit into every stitch.

10 thoughts on “The gift of knitting

  1. Oh my goodness this is a beautiful project and it is extra special with the symbols you chose. I really love your colors and the happy warm feeling of this stocking. You are very talented. Hearing about your mom is also nice. This is a treasure. What a tradition! I’m sending love and good holiday wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. We had heavy wind and rain then slashing snow and ice. We had a ground cover that just barely froze but I went out and shoveled the slush about 9:00 pm and all is clear this morning. The ground is now white but roads are clear which adds to a holiday feeling. Am making fudge today. Cheers!


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