I love unpacking the Christmas decorations and finding the hand-knit stockings. My original Christmas stocking (the second from the right) is the only hand-knit item that I still have from my childhood, and it brings up so many happy memories that it is truly magical. It was knit by my mother's cousin, Jean. I remember that I especially loved the fuzzy yarn that was used for Santa's beard. When I look at it now, I am touched by the work that went into it, and I love how the name is not centered properly on the top band. Sometimes those little knitting mistakes are what makes the final work more unique and, ultimately, perfect. (And it actually could have some existential meaning about how I am not very centered much of the time and I still manage to fumble through life...but I don't think that this was intended.)
Zoe's stocking (the second from the left) was also knit by my mother's cousin, as a gift for Zoe's first Christmas. This was a wonderful gift in so many ways. It meant a lot to me simply because it was similar to my stocking, and made by the same hands. But it was also special because I did not have time to make one that year, and--as a previously prolific knitter--I was feeling some of that never-ending-mommy-guilt about the situation. Voila, a package arrived in the mail, my guilt was assuaged, and our Christmas was appropriately merry.
My mother has informed me that I should soon receive a package containing a matching stocking for my nursling (who will be 364 days old on her first Christmas day). I am thrilled by this, and now I am trying to come up with an appropriate thank you gift for Jean. Ideas, anyone?
While I did not knit my daughters' stockings, I did knit stockings for DH and me. His is the red one, with stripes; mine--of course--is the green one with the sheep on it. The pattern is from FiberTrends, and I made them years ago when we were first married. I hope that we will be hanging them by our chimney together for another fifty years.