A few years ago when I was knitting stockings for my family I chose something 'fancy'. Something that was a bit of a challenge and really love the results. I opted not to make one for myself. I continue to hang the same stocking that has been hung on a mantle for the past 30-something years. It was made by my Nana, as was everyone's in my family (and extended family, and pets). It's simple, made with inexpensive yarn and felt. It isn't 'fancy' and it is christmas.
I was and is important to me to make sure the tradition of handmade things continues for my family. I think that would have made my grandparents proud. The moment I found out that had a little niece or nephew on the way, I wanted to make sure I would be able to continue this tradition for them and their parents (whether they use the stocking or not isn't the point). I know what receiving this gift for my children would have meant for me. I hope it means the same for them.
I remember my Nana always having her double-pointed needles on the go with some tinsel-laced yarn working on a stocking whilst chatting. I don't have my Nana to ask how exactly she made each stocking but I do have her tools, some of her needles are still in their original sleeves with their original price tag of a whopping .45¢
Attempting to reverse engineer my stocking wasn't necessarily difficult but it was daunting. I put a lot of pressure on myself to make it perfect, like Nana's. I counted and measured and swatched over and over until I was as close as I could get. I literally counted the stitches in a round and counted rows. And swatched some more, and finally committed to the needles and cast on. I have never checked and rechecked my work as often.
I had this stocking finished months before I knew the baby's name. I had never attempted to embroider before! I don't have the best penmanship to begin with but I am really happy with how this turned out.
I think I did my Nana's work justice and she'd be really happy to see her legacy continue. Each stitch was knit the same way, on the same needles as the originals. I'm really proud of this simple stocking for my much-loved niece.