Taking a short break from the historical--though not completely, since re-using old things is about as historical a practice as you can come up with--for a quick holiday craft tutorial.
I'd seen and coveted knit, especially cable-knit, stockings from various retailers but the prices were more than I wanted to pay for a holiday decoration. Cue a trip to the thrift store, where the aisles of gently worn sweaters called my name.
Turns out, it's exceptionally easy to turn an old sweater into a nearly-new Christmas stocking.
First, the sweaters. I selected three sweaters in cable knits I liked, all in shades of ivory. We have a three-person family; I got three sweaters. It's theoretically possible to get more than one stocking per sweater, especially if you can find large men's sweaters, but I didn't find any big ones in patterns and colors I liked. (Hint--if you like taupe and beige, there will be plenty of men's sweaters for you to play with.)
Then, the crafting begins!
I used a stocking I already had and liked the shape of to cut my sweaters. Simple--I just laid the stocking over the sweater (just the sweater, as it was, no cutting, turning, or manipulation required) and cut around it, giving myself about a 3/4 inch seam allowance.
You get two pieces, like this:
I just pinned right sides together and stitched it up on the machine.
Turned right side out, it's a stocking! I trimmed corners and any edges that looked bulky, but for the most part I left a very large seam allowance. Knits tend to ravel and I didn't want to deal with a hole in my Christmas sock.
I finished the top of this simple stocking with a basic hem:
You can also make a simple cuff. I left one stocking extra long, sewed it up as normal, then cut the excess from the top:
Pinned it inside and stitched:
Then folded it over the main part of the stocking:
One of my sweaters was a mock turtleneck, so I left the ribbed neck in place when I cut out the stocking:
And just folded it over to make a cuff.
All three stockings, ready for hanging!