The fun thing about trips with daughters and best friend is that they pull me out of my comfort zone. It was B’s idea to go to a yarn festival (not something I had really thought about, before), and we had a delightful long weekend which included the Southern Indiana Fiber Festival.
Of course, yarn was purchased and a good time was had by all – despite the fact that I was the only knitter in the group.
During the trip, we discussed knitted stockings as a fashion piece. While this is not something I would ever wear, the other three were enthused, and one of my purchases was two skeins of a lovely, hand painted, merino, 2-ply yarn from A Good Yarn, by Mary Ann Habeeb. Daughter 2 picked out the yarn and the color for her stockings.
Patterns for knitting stockings – and we’re talking about the thigh-high kind that require garters, and not knee socks or ankle socks – are surprisingly rare. There are several of the “fishnet” variety, but I was looking for something more elegant. B found a few for me, and I have them queued on Ravelry, but I wanted to start with something a little simpler.
Finally found Agnes’s Silk Stockings to Knit, from the September/October 2011 issue of PieceWork, published by the people at Interweave.
This is a nice, elegant pattern that is easy to grasp, and the increase in size up the leg is managed by gradually-increasing needle sizes. The instructions are clear and complete. The sock is knit toe-up, and it is important to try on the sock as it is knit for proper fit adjustment. Occasionally, I was able to get Daughter 2 to try on the stocking, and I had to be careful to not get it too big – she seems to be smaller than the pattern instructions call for.
I am working the piece using both DPN and a single circular needle (depending on what I have in the required needle size). I think I like the circular needle for this project – at least after the heel-turn and a bit up the leg. Easier to manage the project, less likely to drop a stitch and much easier to try on the project. Be sure to select a circular needle especially for lace knitting to avoid catching the yarn on the joints.
Here are two pictures – One of the start of the project with the toe detail, and one taken a few days ago as it reaches over the knee.