Monday, November 2, 2009

Machine Knit Christmas Socks

This is a pattern I worked up last year, but I thought it would be a good idea to store it here so I could always find it!

Here is a close-up of two of the stockings I made. I think I made over 40 in 2008! Thank goodness for knitting machines!

Materials:
Wool Ease worsted weight wool from Lion Brand. Also some Patton’s wool.

Gauge: 
not really important since these are not meant to fit anyone. I used tension 6 on my mid-gauge Silver Reed knitting machine. Use whatever gauge that gives you a stitch that you like to look at.
  • Cast on 48 stitches with scrap yarn using whatever method you prefer.
  • Set row counter to 000.
  • Using Main Color yarn (MC) Knit leg for 76 rows. Leave carriage on the right if you are knitting the heel on the right. You may knit a solid or stripe pattern. Take MC from the carriage and tuck it under the machine and to the back.
  • Put a contrast color (CC) if you want a different color heel, into the carriage.
  • Set machine up for partial knitting. You will be knitting on the right side of the stocking, the left side is in hold position.
  • Short row heel on right side (it really doesn’t matter what side you knit your heel, it is easiest to pick a side for the heel and toe and stick with it so that all your stockings match). End with carriage on the right. See the end of this post for a description of how I short row.
  • Set row counter to 000. Return machine to normal knitting.
  • With MC knit foot for 34 rows. Continue stripe pattern. End with carriage on the right. Cut MC yarn if you are using CC yarn on the toe.
  • Set machine up for partial knitting. Leave the left half of the needles in hold position. End with carriage on the left so that your tail is by ‘0’. Leave the tail the width of the knitting x 1.5 plus the length of the stocking plus about 5 inches. This tail will be used to kitchener (knit or weave) toe together and sew sides together.
  • You should start with the carriage on the right. That means you must either take the carriage off the machine and put it back on the right side, or you might have a lever or switch on your carriage to move it from the left to the right without knitting or dropping stitches.
  • Short row toe.
  • Knit scrap yarn across all the stitches on the machine and take stocking off the machine.
Production Tip: If you are making more than one stocking, instead of taking the stocking off the machine, knit a row of ravel cord, knit 4 or 5 rows more of scrap yarn. Re-hang the weights above the ravel cord, and start a new stocking. Then pull the ravel cord to separate the first stocking from the second stocking.

For the edging on the top of the sock use size 3 needles, pick up stitches along the top of the stocking. Knit 6 rows of garter stitch starting with the knit side facing you. Bind off.

Kitchener together the toe, sew up the side. (Here are written directions for kitchener stitch.)

Stripe patterns

  • The stockings with a narrow/wide stripe pattern use a stripe pattern of MC 10 rows, CC 2 rows. When close to the heel is reached, divide the MC stripe by knitting 6 rows, knit the heel in CC, finish MC stripe with 4 rows. The heel is set into the MC stripe.
  • The stockings with a wide stripe use a stripe pattern of MC 10 rows, CC 10 rows. Divide the CC stripe (8th stripe) by knitting 6 rows CC, knit heel with MC, finish CC by knitting 4 rows CC, knit foot.
Every other needle cast-on is done by bringing every other needle forward (other needles are left in non-working position). Set the yarn into the carriage and knit one row. Hang weights or cast-on comb.
  • Bring non-working needles forward to the front of the bed so that you have the full number of cast on stitches in working position. Knit one row.
  • Bring all needles forward, knit one row.
  • Knitting 4 or 5 rows is usually enough to start a stocking.
How I Short Row
There are different techniques for short-rowing. This is the way that I do it. You may have to experiment with different ways before you find one that you like. These directions will take you step by step through a heel or toe for the Christmas stocking.

Step 1 With carriage on the right, change levers on your carriage for short row. The carriage should be on the right. Put all needles left of ‘0’ into hold position (usually this is the furthest position toward you.)

Step 2 Move the carriage from right to left, knitting one partial row (the needles to the left of ‘0’ will not knit.

Step 3 Pull out needle R1 (1st needle to the right of ‘0’ into hold position. Knit one row from left to right. There will be an extra loop on needle R1.

Step 4 Pull out needle R24 (the needle furthest to the right.) Knit one row from right to left.

Continue repeating Step 3 and Step 4 until only ⅓ of the needles are left in work.

Here is the tricky part:

Step 5 Put the needle on the carriage side into hold position, put 2 needles opposite the carriage into work position. Knit 1 row.

Continue repeating Step 5 until all needles to the right of ‘0’ are in work position and carriage is on the right.

Step 6 If you have used a contrasting color of the heel, clip the yarn of the CC and tie off with the other tail where you began. Put MC back into carriage yarn slot, place all levers for normal knitting, change row counter to ‘000’, continue knitting foot.

Here are most of the stockings I knit. There are actually 2 of each stocking-one for our child (in the color they chose) and one for their spouse (whether they are married right now or not).

Here is a PDF version that you can download:
Machine Knit Christmas Stocking pattern

2 comments:

Grandma Elsie said...

Oh my goodness. i wonder how much faster is that than hand knitting ? A lot I bet.

TJ said...

Yes, it is much faster! I can knit start a stocking and have it finished in about an hour. There is a seam on the back, but if you are careful when seaming the edges together, you can't see the seam.

I love knitting stockings!