Sunday, November 9, 2014

Flowery Stocking Revisited

Last year I made a stocking for Clementine's first Christmas. As sometimes these things happen, I got an idea and mashed it together with another idea and it turned out pretty great. They don't always turn out great, mind you, but sometimes they do. I wish I had gotten a better picture- I bet there are some of it hanging at her house, but this I just snapped in a hurry.

This week I posted this picture when Crochet! Magazine started a stocking convo on Facebook. They later shared it and people really seemed to like it. I shared the link to my Ravelry project, but not everyone sees those when they are accessing Facebook on their phones. I thought I would add the links here, share a little bit of what I did, and some more ideas I would love to tackle if I had the time!

The original pattern is called Polka Dot Christmas Stocking on Priscilla's Crochet. (PDF LINK)  Like it on Ravelry*. This pattern is pretty adorable as it is, and versatile, too, allowing you to change the colors and color placement on the hexes, which could give you little circles or big circles or even rings that you could turn into tiny wreaths by adding a bow. But I found this pattern absolutely necessary when it comes to assembly. It looks pretty straight forward, but it's tricky on the foot, especially getting the toe shaped correctly. Definitely have a look through her Free Pattern Index, too. She has a lot of nice stuff!

I took the Polka Dot Stocking layout and substituted the African Flower Hexie by Briana Steele. (Designs by Bri). African Violets were pretty popular for a while, and still are with a lot of people. This is a simple, straight-forward pattern. I outlined in black so the flowers would stand out from the dark green. And I don't remember now if I had a reason for adding one white flower or if I was just trying to make it more interesting. Probably just a whim, but it turned out to be my favorite part. I DO remember that I was shooting for a 5 to 6 -inch hex so the stocking would end up about 8 inches wide. That was pretty easy to do with Medium Weight yarn and a 4.50mm hook. (And this is just one reason wny Ravelry is so great! I would not have remembered the hook size otherwise!)

I did a search on Ravelry and found a zillion hexagon patterns that would make beautiful stockings. There's all kinds of flowers and some lacy ones and granny square-type and starry ones and plain ones that would look great solid or in self-striping yarn and some that are hard to describe at all but so awesome- just endless possibilities. If you haven't used Ravelry to search for patterns before, this is a good time to give it a try. Click on patterns and choose Free Patterns then on the next page look at the left column and check Crochet, (uncheck Ravelry Downloads because that will limit your results) then under Attributes click the Shapes folder and check Hexagons under there. It will bring up any free crochet pattern with a hex shape- some just motifs, some parts of a blanket or bag or shawl- but they are all hexes!

Just remember that you may need to adjust your hook to get the size you want. Your stocking is going to turn out about 1.5 times the width of one completed hex.

And look here, while I was drooling over hexes- two more free patterns made from hexes: Christmas Stocking Hexagon and Diamond by Thomasina Cummings. It's got some pretty cute snow-flake shapes to it. And also African Flower Christmas Stocking by Persia Lou. THAT would have saved me some time, huh? There's some nice photos at the end that can help with the toe if the diagrams don't make sense to you (not everyone cares for diagrams as much as me).

I have to say, though, I do prefer the color outline to the flower. It seems neater and pops more for the eye. In my opinion. ;)

So... what is YOUR favorite stocking pattern? Share in the comments!

*Here's my personal opinion you can ignore if you like, but if you use someone's free pattern, pay them the courtesy of a LIKE. If you ever post a free pattern on Ravelry and see that 1300 people have downloaded it, but 13 people bothered to click LIKE, you will feel why I say that. We give away things because we like you, so like us back! Be kind and gracious, please!

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