i’ve been working on swatches for these christmas stockings this week:

they are for some friends, and hopefully they’ll be done for christmas.

the random people who have asked what i’m working on have laughed at the idea of me working on christmas stockings in early march. but considering the fact that i only just finished a sweater i started 15 months (it’s dry! FO shoot soon, hopefully!), and i watched jillie endlessly wrestle her way through a series of stockings last year, encountering unexpected problems at every turn, i don’t think nine months is a ridiculous amount of lead time.

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and if by some miracle, i have no issues with the pattern, never become bored with the knitting and want to put it down, and finish these by the summer, then, hey! awesome. i can’t imagine i’ll hate being done early.

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so far they are really fun. it’s ironic that i started swatching these (so that the recipients can pick which they want as MC and CC*) less than a week after coffee/tea meeting with chronographia. i went in to great detail about my dislike of purling colorwork. when knitting colorwork, i throw with both hands, generally MC in my right, CC in my left. purling colorwork does not lend itself to the same easy application. but after several swatches, i’ve found a method i find fairly comfortable. i’m terrible at describing things, but basically, i throw both colors with my right hand, and separate the two colors with two digits, one under my middle finger, and one above my pointer. the two digits keep them enough apart that they aren’t constantly getting tangled, and i have easy access to both colors to throw them. i don’t know if that was at all discernable or useful for anyone, but there it is.

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like the terrible blogger that i am, my meeting with chronographia (and her lovely mother) is completely undocumented, again. i need to get better about these things. but it was nice to see her face, meet her mum, and chat about all things woolly, plus more. she’s hatting it up in preparation for a jane austen fest right now, and i am nerd-core excited to see some of the results.

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ah, i’m rather shocked that i have so much to say on a post that is mainly about swatches. but while i’m here… since the palette of these stockings is very quiet and rustic (and i LOVE it), i thought i’d throw in a little braid in red or green around the tops of the stockings to give them a hint o’ the season. but i’ve never done any knitted braids before, so that’s fairly interesting in itself. i tried the latvian braid out twice. does a purl row always show between the two braid-y columns? do you guys have any good suggestions for a latvian braid tutorial?

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i also tried a vikkel/lateral braid, with at least one false start. i like that it doesn’t have the purl row, but it’s a tad on the dainty side, and i still need to play with making it two tone. but i found this tutorial suuuuuper helpful.

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which options do you like best? have you started any long term projects recently? are you prepping for christmas already?

*to my non-knitting readers, MC= main color, CC= contrasting color

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