Making Merry Holiday Stocking
Designed by Constance Hall
red stocking woven on rigid heddle loom by Constance Hall
blue stocking woven on floor loom by Deb Gerish
The Scandinavian weave structure called krokbragd makes a thick, sturdy fabric that is perfect for this festive holiday stocking. It's a weft-faced variation on twill. Traditionally, krokbragd is woven on a 3-shaft floor loom. Constance used a rigid heddle loom and two pick-up sticks for her red, white, and green stocking. Deb wanted to try krokbragd on her Baby Wolf with blue, white, and yellow yarn.
Beyond trying out krokbragd, this project provides other fun opportunities: improving your selvedges, stashbusting, and playing with color.
You'll weave fabric panels for the front and back of the stocking, then you'll seam and cut out the stocking shape. Experiment with different techniques to perfect your selvedges, because they'll never be seen.
Knitting yarns and handspun yarns work beautifully for the weft. Dive into your stash and have fun! Choose smooth, high-twist yarns without a halo to keep the patterns crisp—fuzzy mohair, for instance, will "blur" the top border. All three colors should be the same weight, and handspun yarns need to be fairly consistent, or krokbragd will look unbalanced. The lighter the yarn, the more you'll need to create weft-faced fabric. If you want to use very skinny yarn, try doubling or tripling it. If you want to use bulky yarn, you may need a wider sett. Constance and Deb used the same sett of 8 EPI for their worsted-weight and fingering-weight stockings.
Go for high-contrast colors, and choose bright (saturated) hues for a traditional Scandinavian look. White plus two medium- or dark-value colors will work very well. Or try white for the background color with a variegated accent yarn in the allover pattern.
It's easy to fall in love with krokbragd, especially when you start seeing a color pattern develop. You can use the same warp for multiple stockings, changing the color combinations or color patterns for each one. See The Weaver's Idea Book for more patterns—Constance used the zigzag border from this book (p. 162) for the top band.
Woven fabric: 12-1/2" wide and 36" long after finishing
Assembled stocking: 9" wide at foot x 16" long
Weave structure: krokbragd
Total warp ends: 104 (for floor loom, add 2 ends for floating selvedges)
Warp length: at least 60" (18" for front panel + 18" for back panel + 24" for loom waste)—add more length for space between panels and/or sampling
Width in reed: 13
What You'll Need
- Warp yarn: Maysville 8/4 cotton rug warp in white, 160 yards
- Weft yarn: Fingering, sport, DK, or worsted weight yarn in 3 colors
- 15" Cricket or Flip loom with 8 dent heddle
- 2 pick-up sticks
- 3 stick shuttles
- tapestry beater or fork (optional—for beating weft to cover the warp)
- 15" dowel (used as a heddle rod)
- 31 string heddles or Texsolv heddles at least 5-7/8" long—Constance made 7" string heddles from cotton rug warp
- masking tape
This project is long, with several pages of sewing templates. Please download the PDF.
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