How to Knit a Christmas Stocking

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Don't you love the knit Christmas stockings?  When we were newly married and needed new stockings I found two beautiful blue knit stockings at Target. They were similar enough that they could go side by side but also different so that we could remember whose stocking was whose. Then we had kids and the style at the store had changed. What was I supposed to do? Make them of course! With each stocking, I've tweaked the pattern a bit and added more variations.  Each is unique but complimentary.  Want to make one too? 

These directions are completely original.  My Mom and I looked at the stockings I originally bought and figured out a way to make them similar.  I'm not a huge knitter by any means so if you aren't either, don't worry! This is a fairly simple pattern and when you have questions or get stuck (like me), go ask someone for help.  You could walk into your local yarn shop and ask someone there or even catch someone at church.  Thanks to my Mom for figuring things out and teaching me along the way. The two Target stockings are on the left in the picture above- they are stiffer but that is mostly due to the yarn (use a nice thick one). 

Knit Stocking Directions


Note: We used smaller needles with bigger yarn so that it would knit tightly and hold all the great stocking gifts.


Leg 1. Cast on 48 stitches; divide onto 2 circular needles (24 each)

         2. Rib: Knit 2 Purl 2 for 4 rows

         3. Stocking net stitch for 4 inches from beginning (this is where I would sometimes go more)

         4. Reverse (go the other way) until 8 inches from fold down cuff for a total of 16 inches from the beginning.  (I found that I actually liked them better longer like 18-20 inches)

Heel 5. Slip one Purl wise Knit 1= Row 1

  • Slip one Purl remaining= Row 2
  • Repeat Rows 1 and 2 for 2 inches and finish with a Purl Row. (So you would do this on one needle only and end up with 24 stitches)

Turn Heel

           6. Slip 1 Purl wise, Knit 13, Knit 2 together, Knit 1, turn

           7. Slip 1 Pwise, Purl 5, Purl 2 together, Purl 1, turn

           8. Slip 1 Pwise, K6, K 2 together, K1, turn

           9. Slip 1 Pwise, P7, P 2 together, P 1, turn

         10. Sl 1 Pwise, K8, K2 together, K 1, turn

         11. Sl 1 Pwise, P9, P2 together, P1, turn

         12. Sl 1 Pwise, K10, K2 together, K1, turn

         13. Sl 1 Pwise, P11, P2 together, P1, turn

         14. Sl 1 Pwise, K remaining, K least 2 together, turn

         15. Sl 1 Pwise, P remaining, P last 2 together


         16. Right Side facing you, Knit across heel stitches (14) and pick up 8 plus 1 stitches on side of heel (the first 8 will be easier to see but you kind of have to make up a spot for the 9th).

         17. Knit 24 stitches, Pick up 8 plus 1 stitches on other side of heel.

         18. Slip last 9 stitches onto 1st needle (end of 1st) and knit 1 all around. 

         19. Decrease 1 stitch at beginning and end of instep by:

  • At end of row: Stop at last 3 stitches K2 together K 1
  • At beginning of row: K1, Slip 1 Kwise, K1, pass slip stitch over K stitch.
  • Keep decreasing until there are 24 stitches on each needle

Foot 20. Knit around until foot measures 5 1/2 inches from heel (I prefered the 6-6 1/2 inches).

Toe  21. Now decrease 1st and last of every needle by:

  • At start of row: K1, slip 1 Kwise, K1, slip stitch over
  • At end of row: Last 3 stitches: K2 together, Knit 1
  • Decrease until 20 stitches (total so 10 on each needle) remain.

         22. Kitchner stitch weave toe together: Break off yarn leaving a 6 inch tail.  Thread yarn through tapestry needle.  Hold needles parallel. Pull needle through first stitch on the front needle Kwise and slip stitch off needle.  Pull yarn through 2nd stitch on front needle Pwise and leave on needle.  Pull yarn through first stitch on back needle Pwise and slip off needle; pull yarn through 2nd stitch on back needle Kwise and leave on needle.  Repeat until all stitches are off. 

       23. Tuck in loose ends and "sew" on any designs.

You have one beautifully knit Christmas stocking. I ended up liking longer stockings but that means you have to fill them up more! 

I have so many memories of knitting with a sleeping baby in my arms as I hurried to get these stockings done just in time. I've messed up lots but they always manage to look great.  I crocheted a loop on where it folds over at the top so I can hang them. These stockings hold a ton (especially since they will stretch a bit). The best part? If my kids want to keep their stocking, they can knit more for their family. If they don't, I can still keep all the memories. 


Don't have time to knit them yourself? Thankfully you can always order personalized ones.

Your Turn- Who are you making a stocking for? What is one of your favorite Christmas stocking memories?