theraineysisters knitting and so much more

December 20, 2006

From Susan — Christmas Traditions

Filed under: Back Story — lv2knit @ 7:55 pm

Pam shared her delightful Christmas stockings and Mittens on her blog so I thought I would do the same.

The stocking on the left is the original made for me, the others are the ones I knitted for my family over the years, with a smaller one for dog, Molly.

Our family stockings are more than just a family tradition.  Receiving a stocking — hand knit with your name on it — symbolizes that you are part of the family.  It is a time-honored ritual, highly anticipated when a new baby or spouse joins the fold.  The stockings are identical, with angora-bearded Santas and red candy canes, and we wouldn’t want them any other way.

My dad’s mother, Jeannette, hand-knit the stockings for all of us one Christmas in the early 60s from an old Bernat kit.  For me, the stockings meant Christmas.  Jeannette is the person who taught me to knit (or so I am told), so I was able to carry on the tradition.

As family members are added, I knit stockings for the brother- and sister- in -laws, nieces and nephews.  The family was shocked, however, the Christmas I made a stocking for my long-time boyfriend, John.  He wasn’t “official” — how did he warrant a stocking?  Don’t we have criteria?  Well, he had already planned to propose on Christmas Day, so I guess we were on the same wavelength!  And, as you know, we just celebrated our anniversary.

I did not realize until many years had passed that Jeannette had not made a stocking for herself, so I knitted one for her.  Darn that long name!  Very tough to fit it on a stocking!  I made it in time for her last Christmas.

I’m not sure who will carry on the tradition, but I hope someone picks up the needles.  It is something that truly knits us together.

Here is the pattern for those who wish to begin or continue this tradition!  Bernat Santa Stocking Pattern


  1. What beautiful stockings and a great tradition that goes with them! How funny that she never knit one for herself, the true heart of a knitter-others first. As for your (jumping the gun a bit) on your hubby’s stocking, you already knew when you made it for him. Some things don’t need a piece of paper to bind souls.

    Comment by Carol — December 21, 2006 @ 12:05 am

  2. That is one of those wonderful traditions that warms the heart! Your stocking a da bomb!
    Ho Ho Ho!!! Happiest of Holidays!

    Comment by Michelle — December 21, 2006 @ 12:25 am

  3. PS That was a compliment contained absolute sincerity… Dummy me… my typo Your stockings are Da Bomb!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Michelle — December 21, 2006 @ 12:26 am

  4. We too all have socks knit for us by husband’s mother.. Same criteria as you — so all sons, wives and kids have the same sock. You know, I’ll have to get that pattern from her and do one for the dog!

    Comment by Annie — December 21, 2006 @ 8:19 am

  5. What a wonderful tradition! And so nice of you to continue. You’ll just have to work harder on the next generation.

    Wishing you and yours all the joy of the Holiday Season.

    Comment by Marina — December 21, 2006 @ 9:46 am

  6. Susan even knit my husband’s stocking and the ones for my two children. I did knit one a few years ago for the family dog — complete with three-dimensional ears. The kids insisted.

    Comment by surly — December 21, 2006 @ 11:20 am

  7. Wonderful stockings and an even better story –thank you! And Merry Christmas!

    Comment by Pam — December 21, 2006 @ 1:35 pm

  8. Those are the same stockings that I had growing up! It makes me miss them SO much! Thank you for sharing your story and stockings.

    Comment by Lisa S. — December 22, 2006 @ 3:05 pm

  9. Yes my sister and I also have the same stockings, from the very early 1970s.
    Our Santas don’t have angora beards though – too bad!
    New members of the family have other types of stockings, which could be cross-stitched, sewn or knitted.
    My mother still has her original sock from her childhood, but we had to replace the loop due to heavy stocking gifts.

    Comment by Lisa R-R — January 7, 2007 @ 10:21 pm

  10. everyone in my 60+ extended family has this exact stocking. my grandmother who made them all now is too old now and cannot see to make them. i want to make them but cannot find this pattern anywhere. do you have a pattern or know of where to find one so that i can too continue the tradition?? please let me know! my email is or i would love to suprise my family by being able to create the same stockings for the new editions to the family.



    Comment by liz anderson — October 22, 2009 @ 11:47 am

  11. OMG! My brother and I have these exact stockings that my grandmother had made for us. I have been begging her to make a stocking for my hubby and now my son who just turned 1, but she she says she’s too old to do it, and she doesn’t have the pattern anymore. Could you possibly let me know where to find the pattern??

    Comment by Bridget — October 26, 2009 @ 6:31 pm

  12. Please tell me you still have the pattern. I took out my stocking today, the same one I’ve had since birth, and it was mildewed due to a moist storage unit. I laundered it on the gentle cycle and when I opened the machine, it was shredded, only pieces remaining. I’m devastated. Please help!!!

    Comment by Julie — November 25, 2010 @ 5:59 pm

  13. What a surprise to come upon another Pam with a stocking identical to my own. My grandmother made stockings for each of us 6 kids, each one different. Mine was the first. That’s cool you could replicate the pattern.

    My stocking has held up perfectly for over 50 years, washed periodically in Woolite and laid to dry. I stored it covered to protect from bugs.

    I am not a knitter so I managed to find hand knitted stockings from Maine that complimented mine, for my family. But they just weren’t as nice as the ones my grandmother had made.

    Comment by Pam R — November 30, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

  14. Do you have the pattern? We had the exact stockings, and my sister, Susan and I still have ours. I’d like to find someone to knit for our family, but I need the pattern…

    Thanks…and it WAS a great tradition!

    Comment by cayce weber — December 14, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

  15. These stockings look identical in pattern to my husband family’s, I was fortunate enough to have my name put on one when I joined the family. I would like to continue this tradition in my home with the same pattern. Did you recreate the pattern by yourself or did you buy one?

    Comment by Amy Hogan — October 25, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

  16. Your stockings are wonderful. Thank you for sharing your story. I have one my aunt knitted for me as an infant and loved seeing the same pattern in your family. I have just had my first and second grandchild in 2010 and would love to knit stockings for them. Would you sell a copy of your pattern?

    Comment by Wendy Davis — January 8, 2012 @ 10:02 pm

  17. Hi, I came across this post by accident but those stockings are EXACTLY like the ones I grew up with. My grandma made them for all of us but has since lost the pattern, is there any way possible I could buy the pattern from you? Please?!?! You can e-mail me at Thanks so much!

    Comment by Sarah-Olivia — April 25, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

  18. I was recently asked by a friend to make her some stockings. I said yes before I realized that her stockings were made in 1979 and looked absolutely nothing like the ones I make. I’m about to sit down to write the pattern for them, and I came accross your picture.

    Do you share this pattern with anyone? They look just like yours!

    Hope you say yes! :)

    Comment by Ximena — September 10, 2012 @ 12:32 am

  19. We have the same stockings !!!! As my son is getting married on Nov 3, 2012, his fiance will be “official” this year. :)
    However, my pattern got wet in a flood at my home and I am having a tough time finding it again. I am wondering if you would consider sending it to me, or selling it to me or whatever. I can make out some of the one that I have and can probably get it mostly right but I sure would love to have a decent one. :)
    Thank you so much. It’s great to see that others have the same traditions and the same socks as we do. We are currently at 15 and counting.
    Wanda Oleson

    Comment by Wanda — October 6, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

  20. I was searching for a Christmas Stocking pattern to knit and I found your website. Yes, like the others who have commmented on your site, I have the same stocking knitted for me by my grandmother. I now am a grandmother and would love to knit the same stocking for my two grandchildren. To this day I still hang my stocking. My grandson loves to feel the santa beard. Would it be possible to have the pattern. I would love to give my grandchildren the wonderful memories I have. Thank you.

    Comment by Sharon Olander — October 20, 2012 @ 7:33 pm

  21. Yes I too have this same stocking knitted for me at birth by my Aunt. I would love to have the pattern so that I could carry on the tradition for my own family. Would you share the pattern?

    Comment by Didi — November 11, 2012 @ 7:58 am

  22. I also have these stockings. My sister knitted them about 20 years ago and she is no longer with us. We have never found the pattern she used. I have younger children whom I would like to make these for so they have the same stockings as my older children. Is there any way you can send me the pattern or send me in the direction to purchase it? Thank you for any help you maybe able to give me. :)

    Comment by Georgia Villalobos — November 11, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

  23. I cried when I saw these stockings. My family shares the same tradition with these very stockings. My great aunt made these for each new child and newly married family members. She passed away some time ago. Most of my family lost their stockings in Hurricane Andrew 20 years ago. My grandmother knits, but was never shown or given the pattern for these stockings. I would love the pattern if you wouldnt mind sharing it.

    Comment by Rebecca DeGannes — November 15, 2012 @ 5:42 pm

  24. My husband has the same stocking that his great aunt made! We are wanting to make one for our 3 month old but do no know where to find one or get the pattern? Can you help me?!?

    Comment by Xheavire — December 12, 2012 @ 8:44 am

  25. OMG, we have the exact same stockings and the same tradition! My aunt made ours when we were kids. When I had my first baby, 23 years ago, I made my first one. My aunt didn’t have the pattern, so I counted every stitch and rewrote the pattern. A lot of work, but worth keeping the tradition alive!

    Comment by Lisa d — January 5, 2014 @ 10:54 am

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