The Stockings

This started a long, long time ago. I grew up with a felt stocking with glued on decorations that exactly matched my siblings stockings except for the name on it. By the time I had my firstborn, it was faded, tattered, and discolored. I wanted my son to have a special stocking, and I hadn’t taken up knitting again (not for another 24 years). I found a crewel work stocking kit and made it for his first Christmas, but I also needed stockings for us, so hubby got a crocheted one from a kit I found and I then used that pattern and modified it to make one for me too.

When daughter was born, a second crewel work kit was found and another stocking made for her first Christmas. Son two is a February baby and you would think I had plenty of time to plan and make his, but it didn’t get done for his first Christmas, but a third crewel work kit was made into his stocking for his second Christmas, each one of them different from each other.

You can see part of daughter’s behind her son’s left shoulder. I thought I was done. When grandson 1 was born, it never occurred to me to make him one, his parents weren’t really into celebrating holidays at that point, then daughter had a January baby and close to Christmas, she asked me if I was going to make his stocking. I still hadn’t begun making the intarsia knitted stockings yet and his is the quilted on far left in the photo.

Son 2 adopted his wife’s firstborn and they had a little girl the same year daughter had a little girl and I started knitting the intarsia stockings. That year I made 4, one each for the two little girls, 1 for Son 2’s son, and one for grandson 1.

Each one is different, each one has a cross stitched tag inside as seen above with the message and the year. Each one is lined to preserve the stitching and the shape. Every grandchild has a stocking.

Last year for Christmas, we learned that Son2 and his wife were expecting a baby boy in January, just days after Christmas, so the most recent stocking is in the works.

I have made 3 crewel work ones, 2 crocheted ones, 1 quilted one, and this is my 9th intarsia one. I have run out of vintage patterns. If Son 2 and his wife have another, I may have to duplicate a stocking that went to a grand not in his brood. In addition to these, three years ago at the New Year’s Eve party at Mountain Lake, I was knitting a shawl in the lounge before dinner and a woman asked me if I would knit up a Christmas stocking kit she bought for her grandson. I agreed and gave her a price which was way too low. She mailed it to me and asked if I would use the same pattern to make a second one for her other grandson which meant going out to purchase the yarn for it. I made those two also and mailed them back to her. I will make them for family, but never again for a contract. So those two were two of the 9. I hope they are all treasured.

Oh, The Spice

Not the kind from “Dune.” The smaller Jalapenos and Serranos were sliced and spread on a huge baking sheet covered with Parchment paper and put in a 200 f oven for 2 hours. At the end of the two hours, they weren’t quite dry enough, but I needed the oven for a casserole, so I took the pan out on a cooling rack and cooked the casserole. After turning the oven off, I put the pan back in over night.

That dried them to only about 2/3 of a pint jar of nicely dried hot peppers that can be used to spice soups, chili, or ground if a bit of spice is needed on another dish. I will divide the spoils with Son 1’s household for their cooking. The first two hours in the low oven filled the house with the hot spicy scent of capsaicin. One slice ended up on the counter as I was filling jars and I popped it in my mouth. MISTAKE! There is no milk in the house. A swig of plant based creamer and a slice of bread helped calm the fire.

The remaining green hot peppers that had any size on them were pickled, another half gallon jar. One entire shelf of the refrigerator is full of quart and half gallon jars of cucumber pickles, dilly beans, and pickled hot peppers to enjoy through the cold dark months ahead.

The red Thai peppers were strung, another couple strings with the ones hanging in the utility room beginning to turn, so more will be strung. There are 8 plus one of Serranos hanging to dry in the kitchen/dining area.

I tried last night to get a photograph of the gorgeous moon as it rose above the ridges and trees. I lack the photography skills or camera to get a good shot.

It was so large and beautiful.

I retook the photo for my November fiber challenge start on the fall tablecloth with the pumpkins and gourds. The only color we really had this year, the leaf colors never materialized and were short lived.

This morning I pulled off the first length of the “Apple Picking” braid and divided it lengthwise and started the two spindles that will spin it. The other two live in my bag and travel everywhere with me to be taken out when sitting in the car or as a passenger. The different textures of the two fiber give me variety.

A few more rows were finished on the sweater. The decreases every other row shaping the shoulders make it go faster the farther up I go. A few more rows and I have to begin the neck placket which will slow things up again as I will no longer be knitting in the round, but back and forth and each row makes the pile in my lap heavier and more awkward to turn.

It is a cool, rainy day, so more knitting will get done, there is no more produce to be prepped. After not being able to get jars or lids during canning season, the shelves at the grocer are restocked. I may buy a flat or two of jars to set aside for next year. I purchased the reuseable canning lids, so I should be okay there as there are enough on hand for the jars currently on hand. Now I need to figure out how to get the pickles, salsa, peppers, and dried herbs to Son 1’s family without a whole day in the car.

Have a great rest of your weekend and don’t forget to vote if you haven’t already.