Aaaaand I didn’t cast on until last summer. Of course.
First things first: while I finished the knitting of these back in January, and indicated they were finished then on Ravelry, I did not post them here yet because I thought they would need fabric tops to hold up with a garter belt. However, I wore them today with garter belt sans fabric tops and it worked fine. There are minor bumps in the stockings where the clips are, but I can live with that. With the garter belt, the stockings stay up nicely without slumping or sagging.
Second: though I am very happy with the end result, I am not very convinced of the pattern. The designer introduces the pattern by saying that shortly before her wedding she decided she needed to make herself stockings and that this pattern just sort of happened organically. Which… I’m sure that’s nice, but there was no mention of then going back and reworking the pattern to actually make it work in practice. I will list my issues with the pattern here (and don’t worry, I will also have a section on ‘where I screwed up making these’).
- The model illustrating the pattern in the book is wearing shorts covering the top of the stockings, so we can’t see exactly how they stay on, but I am very suspicious of any claim that they just stay on naturally through an entire day. However, there are no instructions for improving wearability, for instance by sewing in elastic.
- The designer and most people who have made the stockings suggest to take the smallest size for maximum negative ease. I cast on for the smallest size and knitted four pattern repeats. I could indeed get the stocking on my thigh where it fit very snugly and probably would not have shifted much – but it looked awful. At that point, the fabric is very stretched (certainly more than it is in the pictures) and while the stockings would be secure, the look would be ruined. So I cast on again for the middle size and this is far more successful for me, with the correct balance between look and function.
- The calf decreases are fairly random. I did not follow the instructions because they were not intuitive and, in my opinion, would not lead to a nicely decreased calf. Of course I then messed up and did not decrease on both calves in the same way, but still. You can see my attempt above. This is where the designer’s ‘I just flung these together and it was so easy! The increases and decreases just happened organically!’ annoyed me. It may have been better to not just let them happen but to actually plan them.
- The proportion between the black toe and the rest of the foot is off. I would start the contrast colour several rounds before the start of the toe decreases.
- The top is not working. You just jump straight in with the cables on row 2. Since I had to cast on again for the middle size anyway, I just repeated row 1 twice more before starting on the cables, which I find gives a slightly neater edge. If I were to make them again, I would do this for two centimetres even, because I also think this might help in getting the stockings to stay up.
- Not really a pattern error, but something noticeable: these are, I think, for quite short legs! I added three full pattern repeats to the length of the stocking to get them to come up to mid-thigh.
- Like I said above, I did not do the calf decreases the same on both stockings. Oops.
- I made a mistake in the cable pattern on both stockings and was too lazy (or uncaring) to unravel and redo. On the one stocking, the mistake is high up and will be covered by my clothes 99/100 times. On the other stocking, its further down but also a less bad mistake (I crossed the wrong cable over the other instead of under) and I’m pretty sure no one will ever notice. Except maybe fellow knitters!
- Making the first stocking, I didn’t even realize there was an instruction for the heel to ‘k1, slip 1’ on the right side rows. So I didn’t and just knit as normal. I only realized my mistake when I reached the heel on the second stocking. I then knit the second heel as the first for consistency.