Loose Ends

Loose Ends

the creative impulse gone awry

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A little holiday magic!

After last year's hilarious reaction to Santa and the possibility of a large mystical creature coming down our chimney in the middle of the night - presents or no, I didn't really think that Santa would ever be visiting our house (at least at night!)

But some healthy watching of traditional children's programming has warmed Clara to the concept of Santa- a magic dude, bringing presents, is apparently okay for 4 year olds.  So of course we needed to have some stockings for Santa to fill!

True to the yarn shop owner’s dilemma (along the lines of the cobbler's children have no shoes)- I’ve made several stockings for Josh and I and I’ve hated all of them because I just used whatever wasn’t selling, or was left over from something else.  (bright yellow lamb's pride bulky one year... sigh)

This time I swore was going to be different. I spent a whole hour (to myself, in my store with just my business partner, with no children even!) picking out precisely what colors and yarns I wanted. Sparing no expense and not caring one bit if I was taking something that would surely sell.  I spent a long time looking at Ravelry for inspiration- trying to find just the right feeling in a pattern that I could play with. I wanted something fun and hilarious and bright- just like the girls I was making them for.  And let's be honest, I wanted something impressive and complicated.  Something that would say, "Yo, my mama owns a knitting store, what did you expect?" 

To say that I am pleased with the results is a massive understatement, I am THRILLED and so are the girls. Zoë’s was a little more challenging than Clara’s, as I knit it second and I wanted to make them really different and it didn’t go so well- upon the suggestion of Naomi, I ripped out most of it and repeated the tree motif which is absolutely the best part of Clara’s stocking. I changed the horizon color and one of the mountain colors to vary it a bit.  I love how having the trees in both stockings gives a bit of consistency, but they are different enough that they are not perfectly matching- much like the sisters themselves. 

Of course, then I became terrified that at some point there will be a sweetheart and a demand for a "matching stocking" (we get several panicked mothers, aunts, and grandmothers every year with the same dilemma) and the pattern will be gone and I'll have to rechart the damn thing from scratch.  Naomi points out this is what safe deposit boxes are for- I am likely to agree and the next trip to the bank we'll have a little knitting addition to the birth certificates and notices of loans paid in full.  That way in what I'm sure will seem like a heartbeat and a sneeze I'll be able to whip out matching stockings for any sweetie that decides to love my babies well enough to deserve one! 

Clara's has a cat motif that I adapted from Norsck Strikkdesign and Zoë because she loves them, got Elephants slightly modified from Alice Starmore’s Children’s Collection. They each had 9 colors- the most colors I’ve used in anything ever. They are the brightest things I’ve ever made and I just love them.  The girls are equally thrilled, Zoë kept on pointing at it while I was knitting going, "ME!" and then pointing to Clara's hanging by the fireplace and going "Dada's!"  (which is how she say's clara, really very adorable!)

So, now the cobbler's children have some enormous socks.  Love!  Oh, and Mommy and Daddy?  Plans are in the works, I have patterns chosen and as soon as we finish some gift knitting they will go on the needles.  Blue and White to honor Josh's 1/2 Jewish-ness.  And because I found the most gorgeous patterns, oh my just wait until you see them! 


Laurie said...

I LOVE THEM! I have been fantasizing about knitting up some Christmas stockings but to be honest am a little scared about whether or not I can handle them and about how long it will take me to finish them!! Maybe now I'll get up the courage and perhaps have some ready for next year.... Thanks so much for sharing! <3

Liz M said...

I bet you knew this but Zoe (spelled Zou, or 象) in Japanese means elephant. So immediately when I saw your stocking for her I thought: It's a Zoe stocking with Zou's on it!!!!

Also, these are AMAZING. Mind bogglingly amazingly awesome. Real works of art.

My sister and I grew up with hand-knit stockings courtesy of my aunt, and I love mine dearly still. It is beyond better than any store bought one could ever be.

Kim said...

Liz- I had *no* idea that Zoë means elephant in japanese! Maybe that's why she loves them so much and honestly they love her right back- I have to post the video we took at the zoo, they are always doing wacky things around her!

that is so exciting. i will have to tell her!


Cambria said...

they turned out so freaking awesome! my boys both have one, but Alex decided that my husband and I need them too...so now i just have to find the time to make them :) don't be surprised if you see ones just like yours ;)

Ginger said...

L O V E them Kim!!! You may actually motivate me to do this for next year!!! need to go read the post now, but must have taken you a decent amount of time, but well worth it! Don't even tell me you made the pattern yourself too or it may be time for a 3rd stocking! ;)

Ginger said...

ps...can you please post these on ravelry so i can heart them please! (this may benefit you in the future too when knitting for you, josh and sils!