Family Christmas Stockings

My family has had matching Christmas stockings for many generations.  My great-grandmother made them for every new member of the family.  Each stocking matched the others, and the person’s name was cross-stitched on the top.  People would order stockings from my great-grandma from all over the world.  She made them for many years.  After she passed away, we all wondered how we would continue to have matching stockings for new family members.

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Matching Christmas stockings hanging on the mantle

Several years ago, my mom found the pattern that my great-grandma used to make the stockings.  It was very difficult to read, so I kind of brushed it aside.  My crafty cousin was able to decipher the pattern and recreate this treasured family item.  A few weeks ago, I decided to try to tackle crocheting one of these stockings for myself.  I typed out the pattern so that I could read it easily as I worked.  After consulting with my cousin a couple of times, I got to work.

During my first attempt, after several hours, I got 2 rows from the top of the stocking, and I realized something looked WAY off.  I unraveled the whole thing!  When I restarted, I ended up tangling my yarn.  (Yarn and I get in to some serious arguments!)  I worked several HOURS on trying to untangle it.  I finally gave up and just cut it!

The next challenge came when trying to put the name “Savannah” on the stocking.  My great-grandma always said it was difficult to fit “Danielle” on the stocking, and she had to make adjustments to some of the letters in order for it to fit.  The reason Savannah didn’t have one yet on her 3rd Christmas is because my cousin couldn’t get her name to fit.  She really doesn’t have a shortened nickname yet, so we weren’t ever sure what to put.  I tried my hardest to adjust the letters to make her name fit, but no matter what, it wouldn’t work.  Finally I decided to just put “Vannah.”  Imagine my surprise when I found that the standard lettering wouldn’t allow Vannah to fit either.  Using graph paper (as suggested by my super smart cousin), I adjusted the letters to fit.  When I stitched them out, I got to the last leg of the “H” when I realized it wouldn’t fit.  I had to pull everything out and start 2 stitches back.  That worked, and I was finally able to finish it.

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Savannah’s stocking is a little bit bigger than the Mom and Dad ones my cousin made.  I tend to crochet tight, so I tried to consciously make my stitches loose.  It resulted in a bigger stocking, but I am okay with that because at least her stocking matches ours.

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Stockings made by my cousin

This week I made another stocking for little one on the way.  I made sure to make my stitches tight this time so it would be closer to the size of the others.  Turns out I made the stitches too tight, and his stocking is smaller than ours!  Now I know for the next one I make to just crochet as I normally would and it should end up a size in between, which will be perfect!

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The size difference between baby and Savannah’s stockings.  (I couldn’t put his name yet and ruin the surprise!)

 

 


On another note, tonight I opened an Etsy shop.  None of my creations are on there yet, but they will be soon.  For now, some of Scott’s Can Cars (actually the motorcycles) are on there.  It will probably be a variety shop.  Until I post actual listings, feel free to request a custom order if you have seen something I’ve made that you want for yourself!

Here is a link to the shop: Delicate Dani Designs

Let me know in the comments what you would like to see in the shop!

 

 

(If you are interested in opening your own shop on Etsy, let me know.  If I send you a referral link, you get 40 free listings, and I get 40 free listings.)

 

My Biggest Sewing Project

I started sewing in the late winter of 2014.  I went to an introductory class at Joann Fabrics, and from there, I used youtube and blog tutorials to learn everything else.  Most of what I have done has been trial and error.  I used tutorials or free patterns online to make my projects.  I also designed my own pattern for sausage pillows.  Up until this most recent project, I had bought a few patterns from Joann’s, but I hadn’t tried any yet.  I had my cousin’s baby shower coming up, and I wanted to make something for her gift, so I set out on using my first envelope pattern.

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I chose to make the bear.  I made a list of all of the fabric and other supplies I would need and set out to the store.  It was quite an ordeal having a toddler there with me.  She tries to grab everything off the shelves, and she touches all of the fabric I put in the cart, often times unrolling the bolts.  Several fits took place as well.  It took a while for me to pick out just the right fabric, but I finally had everything I needed.

When it came time for me to start working on it, I was a nervous wreck.  I read the instructions from start to finish several times.  My hands shook SO BAD the whole time I cut out the pattern pieces.  I was so afraid of messing them up.  After much longer than it should have taken, I finally got the pattern cut out.

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The next day, I started cutting out the fabric.  For some reason, that wasn’t as stressful as cutting the actual pattern.  I did struggle with how to mark the different parts of the pattern.  I finally decided to use tracing paper for the applique lines, and I used thread to mark the places where the pattern would go together.  It probably wasn’t the best method, but it worked out.

I worked on this project over a couple of weeks.  I would generally only work for about 2-3 hours at a time.  Finally it started taking shape.

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When I finally finished, it was such a relief.  My husband was impressed.  He never thought I would make anything like that.  My mom got to see it, and she loved it.  Of course, I am my own worst critic, so I saw imperfections here and there that bothered me, but overall, I think it turned out nice.

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I would love to see some of the projects you have made in the comments!

Welcome

I have been wanting to start a blog forever, but I never knew what I would write about.  I finally took the plunge, although I am still unsure what I will publish!  I will talk a lot about my family, a little about being a nurse, and I will probably throw in some crafts here and there.  I have always been able to write decently; however, I have always struggled with picking topics to write about.  If you happen to stumble across this blog and have a topic request or question, feel free to let me know!

We will leave this first post short and sweet!