Once upon a time there was a child who needed a Christmas stocking. Mama had knitted a stocking for Big Brother when Big Brother was just a baby, and now it was little one’s turn.
Unfortunately for Mama, she did not do a gauge swatch on the first knitted stocking and it turned out HUGE. The baby could fit in it huge. Ginormous stocking. So, there was much to live up to because you can’t exactly have one child with a gigantic stocking and one with a regular size stocking.
Therefore littlest’s stocking was clearly going to gargantuan as well.
Now Mama was in a bit of a felting phase at the time and thought, “I know, I’ll hand felt a huge stocking! That sounds like a brilliant idea!” So she did the test swatch (having learned THAT lesson before) and did the math to see how big the stocking would have to start out in order to end up the proper (ginormous) size.
This turned out to be stupendously large:
It took up an entire half of the cutting table! There wasn’t a piece of plastic large enough in the house to make the resist, so a garbage bag was used. Hey, whatever works!
That sucker took DAYS to felt.
Mama had to roll for what seemed like hours, then work in sections on the washing board, and generally pound the thing to death.
Eventually it shrunk.
Somewhere in there either the felting was different from the test swatch (entirely likely has the vertical felting was limited) or the math was just plain wrong (also entirely likely) and the stocking ended up too tall.
So Mama cut off the top part. Voila! Blue felted stocking. (Apparently there isn’t a picture of that part.)
Of course that wasn’t the end of the story. No, it can never be THAT simple.
For Mama had a Plan and the Plan included Polar Bears. Mama had seen an utterly adorable stocking in some catalog or another that had a Mama Polar Bear and a Baby Polar Bear and the image got stuck in her head. But Mama knew she could improve upon the idea and so was determined to make her own version.
Therefore in order to complete the Plan, Mama needed to make some white felt, obviously, for the Polar Bears.
Thus more felting was needed. (By this time Mama’s wrists and arms were getting mighty sore indeed.)
By Christmas, the blue stocking was in existence and the white felt was in existence, but neither knew of the other. “Oh well. It can wait until next year,” Mama said.
And wait it did.
However Christmas did eventually roll around again and Mama remembered, “Huh, I think I have a stocking to finish!” So several evenings were spent designing the bears.. cutting them out..
sewing them on..
figuring out how to finish the top..
and YET still the stocking was not done by Christmas. All that was left was the child’s name, though, and yes, that too can wait yet one more year.
In any case, littlest seemed to love his stocking, which is good since it took so damn long and took so much effort to make! Next time, Mama said, I’ll just buy the felt and sew the darned thing. Sometimes retail is just so much easier.