holiday stockings

Last year I made these oversize holiday stockings from the purl bee. The heels are turned as they are on a regular sock, but it is knit flat with bulky yarn. It's a very good project to try out sock knitting. I did one in the round, but I wouldn't recommend it. The seaming up the back gives the stocking extra structure and it looks better seamed.

I had a ton of leftover white and cream yarn from a sweater (it's Louet fingering, held double) and lots of colourful scraps, so I followed the pattern exactly (I also wasn't feeling that creative last year, to be honest). However, if I made these with new yarn, I'd do them one each in chocolate, grey and tan with a little bright fair isle rather than stripes.

I'll add in this tip that I wish I'd known at the beginning: embroidery yarn works perfectly for the stripes. It's cheap and you can find any colour. Just be sure to only wash the socks in cold water and lay flat to dry. I didn't have any problems with bleeding or shrinking on mine.

baby pine trees

We got our tree last night. I don't really want to decorate it at all, it looks nice just plain in our living room. That's obviously not going to fly with the 3-year old set, though.  I have only just figured out why our trees weren't smelling like anything the last few years — we were picking small trees. I like small trees, but they don't have enough sap to smell like a tree, so we've switched back to the bigger ones.

This is a little clearing with baby pine trees protected by netting.