Sunday, September 6, 2009

Yarn Adventure for Christmas

As you know, I've been commissioned to make three Christmas stockings. She's already paid me for two of them. I told her to pay me for the other one "on delivery", to give me an incentive to finish them. (tee-hee)

Anyway, when I agreed to make them, I had an idea of the yarn I would be using. I figured it would be easy to get a good match. HILARIOUS!!!! The yarn has turned out to be the most frustrating part so far! :P

To start with, here's a photo of the original stocking I am using as a guide. It was knit with acrylic yarn a LONG time ago:
Christmas Stocking Original Model

When I saw the colors, I immediately thought, "Red Heart Sport yarn would be perfect".
So, I went to my local Michaels, Hobby Lobby, then finally AC Moore, and found the Red Heart Sport in red, green, and cream. I also found Red Heart Designer in a great blue to match.
Yarn for Christmas Stockings

I was happy with my purchase, and set it aside to start working on it in a few days. My time was focused on making gloves for Cottage Yarn. Aren't they pretty so far?
Gloves with Little Fingers

In the midst of this, I had also been asked to make some samples for a new yarn shop in Charlotte, so I was figuring that out as well. AND I was working on a cape for the Bernat blog I've committed to doing. (I think I need ONE more thing to knit, don't you?) Ha!

So, after a few days of divided knitting, I took a look at the Christmas Stocking project again. I looked closely at the stocking, then looked closely at the yarn, and said, "Oh my gosh....this yarn is too thick." UGH!!!

So, off to Hobby Lobby I went, because I remembered having seen "I Love This Yarn" sportweight in the right colors. I was able to get a refund on the Red Heart yarn at AC Moore, so that turned out okay.
I Love This Yarn Sportweight - Red I Love This Yarn Sportweight - Green I Love This Yarn Sportweight - Ivory

Then, I took my new yarn purchase home, and tried knitting a swatch with this thinner yarn. No go....STILL too thick. ACK!!!! :(

Back to Hobby Lobby I went on the following day....and got another refund. I kept the green yarn, because I figured I could make it work if necessary....the green was the hardest to match. So, there I was....starting over again.

This time, I got SERIOUS, and went to a real yarn shop. Cottage Yarn, where my cousin happens to be the owner. :) I was happy to see my cousin there, so I could show her the gloves I'm making to display there. She loved them. Yay! After some mutual glove fondling, I told her all about my problem with matching yarn for the Christmas stockings. I showed her the original stocking, and asked if she had any yarn that would knit to a gauge of 28 stitches per 4 inches (7 stitches per inch).....IN THE RIGHT COLORS.

We searched for quite a while, and only came up with two yarns that might work. Katia Mississippi 3, which is a cotton-blend, and Universal Pace sock yarn.

Katia Mississippi 3 - Red Pace Natural

I had found some Delft blue DMC floss at AC Moore that matched the blue section, and figured I could just double strand it to knit the eyes and shirts on the stockings. Not the best option, I know, but I was desperate. So, now, here was my new yarn configuration:
Stockings - New Start

I wasn't too happy about it. Because, now I would be using FOUR DIFFERENT YARNS to make the stockings. I didn't feel like it would knit up well. But, I thought I would have to settle for it.

Then, when I got home, I had a brainstorm.....Why not just knit it with all wool yarns? My client said that she never washed the stockings, because she was afraid she might mess them up. So, this gave me hope. I then remembered that I had a nice red wool in my stash. Bear Brand Ever Match Sock and Sweater yarn. So, I went digging in my cedar chest, and found that yarn at the bottom of the chest. Gorgeous yarn.
Bear Brand Sport Sweater - Red

I knit a swatch with the red yarn....wonder of wonders. It matched gauge PERFECTLY!!!!!
Hallelujah!!! Praise the Lord!!!!!

I couldn't believe it....I think I fell to the floor in tears.

So, now I had a little bit of hope. I wondered if I could possibly find a match for the blue, green, and cream in my stash. I spied a skein of Knit Picks Palette in White, and quickly knit a little swatch. Again....PERFECT GAUGE!!! YAY!!!!!

Unfortunately, the white was too light for the project, but I had a great feeling inside. I decided to look at the Knit Picks website, to see if I could find a match for the other colors. EUREKA!

Chicory is a perfect match for the blue.
Cream is a perfect match for the ivory.
Grass looks VERY CLOSE to the green.

So, I'm ordering yarn from Knit Picks for the stockings. They will all work together nicely, and should look very professional. I'm so pleased!!!

Christmas Stockings - Yarn Found

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I'm a forum moderator and blogger for Spinrite Yarns (, and I spend WAY too much time there. :D You can also find me on the Knitting Help Forum occasionally