Please see the picture below: I am making the stocking with the Christmas tree. The person’s name is Geraldine. If I use the duplicate stitch, the name will wrap around which I don’t want. I am looking for alternatives to add the name. All the other family stockings have a name, so initials are not an alternative. I am pretty creative, so I am open to anything.

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  • Do Geraldine (and her family) always use her full name? That would seem unusual, unless they are never in a hurry when needing to talk to her.
    – alephzero
    Nov 10, 2020 at 0:37
  • I you asked Geraldine, she'd probably suggest larger stockings with a larger container capacity ... Nov 10, 2020 at 15:59

2 Answers 2


Several suggestions:

  • Knit a matching strip in a thinner yarn at a tighter gauge. Sew the strip onto the stocking after stitching letters onto it. That way you have more stitches per inch, so you can fit more letters in using duplicate stitch. Since the letters will be shorter, arrange them diagonally so they don't look lost in the middle of that tall strip.

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  • Use a skinnier font. It looks like your pattern makes the letters four stitches wide. Most letters can be made three stitches wide, as in this skinny cross stitch font:

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  • Look at other Christmas stocking patterns for ideas about how to fit a longer name on a stocking. This one has some 6- and 7-letter examples. It uses lowercase for all but the first letter. You can get away with making lowercase letters skinnier than uppercase, especially because "Geraldine" has an L and an I, each of which can be one stitch wide.

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    Here's an example where they squeezed "Savanna" onto a stocking:

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  • Add a vertical white stripe next to the tree, joining the top and bottom horizontal white stripes. I would start the stripe at the center of the front of the leg. You might need to slightly offset the Christmas tree towards the back of the sock. Work the name down the vertical stripe, and fill in the now blank top white stripe with matching holly leaves from the bottom white stripe. (Sorry about the terrible Microsoft Paint job, but it should give the idea of how the layout would work.) I think the vertical stripe will look like an intentional design element, not something slapped on. Depending on how the stitch count works out, you might start the name in the top white stripe or just below that stripe, and extend it into the bottom white stripe or not.

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  • Embroider the letters instead of doing duplicate stitch. Type "GERALDINE" into a word processor, and play with the font size until it fits in the required space. Try different fonts; some fonts are skinnier than others. In Microsoft Word, if you make a "word art" object, you can also control the spacing between letters. Print out the name, put tracing paper over the page, and trace the letters. Pin the tracing paper on the stocking, stitch through the paper, then rip off the paper.

  • Embroider or ink the name on a piece of fabric. Sew the fabric onto the stocking. For the fabric, use soft flannel, fleece or felt.

  • Make the white strip double-height. Split the name into two lines. You could reduce the amount of red under the tree to keep the stocking a similar length. (I don't actually love this idea, but I thought it was worth including for comparison.)


With names such as Joe and Deb, it's easy to see that they work well in the current position. The longer name of Geraldine requires greater flexibility in the design.

The first thought is to place the name in a vertical position, but I suspect that would make for difficult stitching?

The next thought is to create a tag separately from the stocking, perhaps with the lanyard stitched to the stocking. This would also be suspended vertically, but would be an easier creation and integrate more fluidly with the stocking.

If more than one stocking is being created with individual names, you'd want to have all of them as tags, regardless of length of the name, for consistency's sake.

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