Finally, the cuff, where I really hated the stocking. This was the last section I worked on. I tried a number of different background stitches in the outside margins, but they either let too much of the white canvas show or they drew attention away from the main design. I settled on Basketweave (boring) in a paler blue from the same family as the sky colors. I loved the lettering, but when I stitched it with Kreinik, it faded away. I then stitched over it with the Ribbon Floss I used for the sleigh. This was a little better, but the lettering still faded away, especially at night. In frustration, I picked up the #4 Kreinik I used to couch the braided trim and outlined each letter…and now I am back in love with the stocking.I have one last step to complete. I have decided that I want my stockings to be passed on through the family, so I have stopped putting names on the cuff. Instead I will stitch a name or monogram tag that coordinates with the stocking. I started with my own stocking—that way no one has to name the cat or dog Michele. (Heaven knows there won’t be any grandchildren named for me!)
My favorite words of advice from Brenda Hart are that you need to step back and admire your work as you stitch. As stitchers it is so easy to “get into the weeds” and focus too much on individual stitches, ignoring the overall effect. When I get tired of stitching a Christmas stocking I prop it up in the evening light and I can see how it will look hanging on the mantel. “Noel” definitely glows and shows all the effects I was hoping for.
My next Christmas stocking is for my brother-in-law. He has a Harley Davidson “Fat Boy”, so his Tapestry Tent stocking features Santa on a bright red motorcycle. I love this stocking…for now!