Felted Slippers - one last time.

After my last round of making felted slippers, I swore I'd never make them again. It's sooooo foolish to knit a great big item, throw it into the washer and pull out a considerably smaller item, isn't it? Seems backwards, yes?

However, dear darling hubby's slippers quit on him, and I can't stand for my dear darling husband to have cold feet.... soooo....

Another pair is born!  Fiber Trends "Felt Clogs" by Bev Galeskas.
The obligatory "before felting" shot -

In setting up the obligatory "after felting shot," this little cutie pie felt certain that dh's feet were splayed just for her. Or was it the camera? Whichever, she appeared out of nowhere and took her seat, pretty as you please. She's so spoiled.

OK, got her shooed away, and the other little cutie pie showed up. What's with these dogs?

OK, HERE is the obligatory "after felting shot" complete with the pattern for scale. I needle-felted the hearts, and in the process, discovered that needle felting isn't my craft. I'll stick with knitting.

As you can plainly see in the photos, we have hardwood floors, and I didn't want dear darling hubby to slip, so I sewed bits of leather to the bottoms. We have a Tandy store here in town, and it has a scrap bin, so I was able to buy scraps for $2. The two pieces of leather don't match, but dh doesn't care, and neither do I. These pieces were smooth on one side, and suede on the other side - I sewed them suede side out. DH reports that they are super grippy and no worries about slipping. Added bonus - they can be worn for quick trips out into the garage or yard. Looks like they've already taken a couple of these trips, eh?

This is a completely genius pattern. It works up so nicely! And fast, too.

I'd like to share with you a couple of tricks I've discovered, while making oodles of pairs of these clogs. First, make a photo copy. Black out all of the instructions which don't pertain to the size you are making. Careful now, as it's not always easy to tell which parts to mark out until you've read that entire line.

Here, you can see my heavily marked up page. Yes, it's blurred - buy your own pattern!!!

The highlights are to indicate where the pattern shifts from one type of thing to another. See, this pattern is quite repetitive, but not forever. You do the same thing for a number of rows, then you do a special row, then you do a different thing for a number of rows. This is what makes the pattern so completely wonderful. Marking up the pattern makes it much easier to follow, and to remember where the special, shaping rows are.

Next, circle the middle stitches. You can see part of my pattern below. In the upper margin, I wrote the word, middle, and circled it in purple ink. This is to remind me that the parts of the pattern which are circled in purple ink are the middle (middle of the toe) stitches. If you put a stitch marker before and after this middle stitch, then it makes everything so much simpler when it comes to knitting the upper.
See, the pattern will say to knit howevermanystitches, increase, knit some stitches, increase, knit some stitches, then "m1, k1, m1" - the "k1" here is your middle stitch. The first howevermany is a large number of stitches, but the "increase, knit, increase, knit" isn't very many at all, less than 10 in each case.

I don't mind counting up to 10, but I don't want to count the large number, especially if I'm knitting at a coffee shop or something (mistakes!!!), so I count backwards from the middle stitch, and then place a temporary stitch marker. I knit to the temporary marker, then do the middle increases, and so on. Get it?

If you count backwards from the middle stitch, it's so much easier than counting forward from where you are in the knitting. The same goes for the other side of the middle stitch - each row ends with something like "m1, k1, m1, k1." There's no sense in counting out 45 stitches when all you really need to do is to knit up to the last two stitches, then m1 k1 m1 k1. Get it?

This probably makes no sense to those of you who aren't knitting these slippers, but it makes perfect sense when you are knitting! This little trick turns this project from an - Only knit when you have quiet and privacy project - to a - Knit while participating in lively conversation project. Anyway, I find that this little tip makes all the difference.

Also, I've circled the stitch numbers in pencil. It's nice to stop and check every now and then. I've also circled the special rows - more incentive to stop and follow the instructions, rather than just knit and knit...

Once you get your pattern all marked up, put the copy back into the plastic sleeve, behind your original. You'll still want to look at the photos as you are knitting. I move a Post-it Note along the pattern, so I can keep up with which line I'm supposed to be on.

Another hint is that if you goof up the stitch counts, it really doesn't matter - you are going to felt the things! So, just fix the math on the next round and continue on your merry way. If you were supposed to decrease on the knit row, but you forgot, then decrease on the purl row. Honestly, it won't matter in the end, and it makes no sense to rip out when no one will ever know but you, and you'll forget.

When I made my very first pair I followed the directions for knitting the soles, which means that I knitted the soles with a slit up the middle. However, when I knitted all subsequent pairs, I made a significant change in how I make the soles - I do the "turkish cast on" and then knit the soles in one piece, rather than going back and sewing up the seam on the very bottom. I find that this makes it much neater, and for me much easier, in the long run. You have to alternate between knit and purl in order to end up with garter stitch, but I still like it so much better than going back and sewing up the sole.

OK, now, it's official. I'm never making another pair of these slippers, ever again. This time, I mean it. Really.



fleegle said...

Those are adorable!

Hope you are having a merry Christmas!

fleegle said...

And I hope you had an amazing Christmas as well!

Happy New Year!

Marcy said...

I'm glad you posted this! I've had that pattern in my collection for over a year and haven't made them, yet. Nice to have some tips to make it easier when I finally get around to doing them.