Friday, March 29, 2013

Genius, Part 2

As much as I love these felted slippers, they do have one fatal flaw.  The softness that makes them so cozy , also is not very durable for walking on. 
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 Sadly, the bottoms wear out fairly quickly.  While they are not terribly expensive or difficult to replace, I just couldn’t toss out something that was only worn out on the bottom.  So I decided to try to save these favorite slippers. 

I cut off the bottoms....
Slipper on left has been surgically altered.
and stitched on a pair of slipper sock soles I had lying around. 

Stitching in progress

I never got around to making the slipper socks, but now I have….
drumroll, please…….
 I’m thinking these bad boys should last forever!!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Genius, I tells ya, genius!

Remember those grade-school aptitude tests where you had to look at a flat diagram with a dot on it and then predict where the dot would be when the diagram was folded into a cube? I   thought I was pretty good at that, but this pattern completely blows me away.  It’s called Midnattsol’s feltedslippers. 
  The pattern starts out as a row of squares knitted in alternating colors with two other squares picked up and knitted on the sides. When stitched together like one of those cube diagrams, it makes a bootie shape. 
 Even after sewing up four of these, I still can’t see how the shape goes together until the last seam.  I can’t imagine being able to visualize and design this pattern, but I love the magic of seeing it take shape.
The best thing about these slippers is that they are felted, which makes them soft and dense.  Felting is also great because it disguises any minor mistakes and sloppy seaming.   Also, the slippers are knit in garter stitch, so, simple even for a beginner. You could make these for friends and let them felt them to custom fit – you can control the shrinkage by monitoring the felting process.
 I love the harlequin design and the way they end up look like jester booties.  I used inexpensive but sturdy Paton’s classicwool.  Two skeins will make a pair of slippers with quite a bit of yarn left over.  Because this yarn felts easily, the leftovers can be used in a variety of ways, which I’ll show you soon.

I’ve already worn out one pair of these slippers and made a second pair. The simplicity and functionality of this design are genius.