This minuscule stocking is knit back and forth (flat) and is completely seamless. Yes, you read that right! Using the very useful technique of double knit, what would otherwise be a fiddly amount of stitches in the round becomes much more manageable. In an exercise to see how small this method really does allow you to work, I came up with this ornament stocking.
Inspired by Beverly Royce's Baby Socks from "Notes on Double Knitting" these toe-up socks use short-rows for the toe and heel shaping. This stocking is also worked "inside-out" with the purl side facing outside and is turned right side out after binding off. In double knitting, the stitches of one side of the tube are dispersed between the stitches of the other side. The key to working this is knitting (or purling) the stitches of one-half while slipping the other half's stitches then repeating the process for the opposite side. This pattern has you work the side farthest from you while slipping the near side. This allows you to go between knitting/purling and slipping stitches without having to move the yarn from back to front with each stitch thus speeding up the process even more.
Any thicker yarn may be substituted for a larger, yet still firmly in the category of "mini" stocking (see my DK weight version here). Use a needle size a couple sizes smaller than the recommended size for that yarn.
Width: 0.5 inches
Length: 1.5 inches
Small amounts (a couple yards) of crochet thread or similar in colors of choice. This example used:
MC: Classic Elite Provence (100% Mercerized Egyptian Cotton) Color: #2627 French Red; split into 1 ply
CC: Crochet cotton size 10, Color: white
48 sts and 64 rows = 4" in double knit stockinette stitch
K - Knit stitch
P - Purl stitch
Sl - Slip stitch purlwise
Wyib - With yarn held in back of work
Wyif - With yarn held in front of work
Pwise - purlwise
St - Stitch
W&t - "Wrap and Turn" move yarn to opposite side of current position, slip stitch purlwise, move yarn back to other side, turn work and slip stitch purlwise. For more help see this article on working short rows.
NOTES ABOUT CASTING ON
For this small of a project, using your preferred method of casting on should be sufficient. This sample was worked using a special invisible cast on for double knit which I may create a tutorial for in the future as it is a bit tricky to puzzle out. Some other options would be the Magic cast-on then transferring the stitches onto one needle alternating every other stitch.
A second option is the Double knit long tail cast on, for which I have created a tutorial. This cast on method alternates one cast on stitch in the usual long tail method (which makes a knit st) with one cast on stitch using the purl st version. It is not an invisible cast-on however.
To start, place slip knot on the needle. To make a purl cast on stitch,
start by holding the yarn in the usual manner. Pick up the strand
of yarn on the index finger farthest away from you by coming from
behind it. Move the needle towards the strand on the far side of the
thumb and go under it coming from behind to catch it on the needle.
Pull the needle back towards the index finger pulling the yarn through the loop around the index finger. Slip loop off index finger and tighten the stitch. One purl stitch is cast on. Alternate between casting on one knit stitch and one purl stitch.
Cast on 12 stitches in CC (see Notes About Casting On).
*Sl1 wyib [k1, sl1 wyib] repeating between [ ] until there are 3 sts on left needle. Wrap and turn next stitch (w&t worked as follows: bring yarn to front, slip st purlwise, bring yarn to back, slip stitch back to left needle pwise, and turn work).
[Sl1 wyif, p1] repeating between [ ] until there are 4 sts on left needle. Wrap and turn next stitch (work by bringing yarn to back, sl st purlwise, bring yarn to front, slip stitch back to left needle pwise, and turn work).
Sl1 wyib [k1, sl1 wyib] until 1 st remains on left needle. W&t last stitch.
[Sl1 wyif, p1] until 2 sts remain on left needle. W&t second to last stitch.
Sl1 wyib [k1, sl1 wyib] across all sts, ending k1*.
Short row shaping is now complete for one side. Repeat instructions between ** to work the other side of the toe.
Switch to MC and work rows as follows:
Sl1 wyib [k1, sl1 wyib] end k1 for 10 rows (5 full rounds completed).
Short rows worked on only one side. Work short row section between ** from above toe section once.
Sl1 wyib [k1, sl1 wyib] end k1 for 12 rows (6 full rounds completed).
Switch to CC to work top ribbing as follows:
Sl1 wyib [p1, sl1 wyib, k1, sl1 wyib] end k1 for 6 rows (3 full rounds completed).
We will now "open the tube" to bind off. Using a 2nd and 3rd needle held together in your right hand, slip the first stitch to the 2nd needle (the needle in front) and the next stitch to the 3rd needle (the needle in back) and so on until all stitches are now on two needles. Using a third needle, bind-off loosely in pattern the way you traditionally would for work on dpns and fasten off.
Thread a cut piece of yarn through last stitch and tie ends in a knot to form hanging loop. Secure all yarn ends inside with a knot and trim. Turn sock right side out and hang it with pride!