Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mom's Slippers

The other day my mom made a comment to me about her feet starting to get cold and wondering about getting some warm socks that wouldn't bother her feet.  I had already been thinking about spinning her some cushy yarn for slippers so this was my push to try something.

After I figured out how I wanted to make the slippers, it was time to try one.

It came out okay but not exactly what I wanted and it was sized more to fit my foot than my mother's.  But now I had a plan.  The second one was better so I made a copy of the second one to finish the pair for my mom.  But now I had a single slipper that fitted my foot.  What was I supposed to do with my other foot?  Go cold?  I think not.

I still had some yarn left so I embarked on the final slipper.  I was okay up until the final band.  Then I realized it was going to be a very close thing indeed. 

So the band on mine (on the right) is a little mismatched but I'm happy with the pattern.  My mom's pair is turned with the stockinette side turned in so it will be softer on her little tootsies but we'll have to wait to see if they fit and if they're soft enough.

I should say that the yarn was spun on my Fricke wheel, on the largest whorl, so it would be a soft, open yarn.  The fiber is a cashmere, silk, merino mixture that will, if nothing else, keep our tootsies warmy and cozy!

Mom, I'll have them in the mail tomorrow.  Enjoy!

In case anyone would like to make your own slippers, here's what I did.

I was thinking sock, without the cuff.  So I started with the heel.

This was a medium yarn so I used size 4 double points, although circular needles would work just as well.  In fact, you could use straight needles up to the toe section.  On second thought, you could work it flat all the way around if you don't mind having the top and end of the toe seamed. 

So here goes:

Cast on 14 stitches and knit in stockinette stitch for about 2 inches.
To do the heel shaping, knit 9 stitches, then K2together. Turn.
Purl 3 stitches, purl 2 together.  Turn.  (there should be 3 stitches left on the needle)
Knit to the K2 together. Knit that stitch together with the next stitch (to close up the gap).  Turn.
Repeat this process until all stitches have been incorporated.  There will be 6 stitches on the needle.

Knit across all stitches and then pick up 9 stitches along the left side of the heel. Turn.
Purl across all stitches and then pick up 9 stitches along the right side of the heel.  With the double pointed needles, I spread the 24 stitches evenly across 3 needles and worked stockinette stitch for maybe 4-5 inches.  Stop when the slipper is about 2 inches from the tip of the toes. 

Increase 2 stitches each end on the next 4 rows and then join and begin to knit in the round with 8 stitches on each needle.  Work in the round for about an inch and then begin to decrease for the toe.

A number of decreases will work for this toe, including a round toe decrease, but I worked it like this.

I moved 2 stitches from each side needle onto the top and bottom needles.  So it was 12 stitches on the top needle, 4 on the side, 12 on the bottom, 4 on the side.  I worked the decreases at the beginning and end of both the top and bottom needles every other round until there were 6 stitches on the top and bottom.  At this point, I decreased the side needles by K2together, SSK, leaving 2 stitches on each side needle.

The I divided those stitches onto the top and bottom needles and then used a Kitchener Stitch to finish the toe.

For the band, I'm afraid I wasn't very consistent here.  On mine, I picked up 30 stitches along each side 8 across the back heel and 14 across the toe.  I worked K1, P1 ribbing around, decreasing the stitches on the toe end on almost every round until there were only 8 stitches on that needle.  On mine, I bound off by knitting 1 stitch and slipping the previous stitch over the one just knitted.

For Mom's, I did a single crochet across the toes, decreasing as I went across, then with the knitting needle, I picked up as for mine - 30 on each side and 8 across the back.  I did a stretchier bind off for hers because I wanted to make sure it was stretchy enough to fit her foot without binding.  Then I sewed the beginning and end of the ribbing to create the little keyhole at the foot.

The nice thing about this pattern is that you don't really need measurements or gauge because you just fit the foot.  If it's not as wide as you want, knit the ribbing longer, etc.  I have some other yarn that I may try another pair with.  Plus it goes really, really quickly.  I easily made a slipper in an evening, and that was with plotting and trying to figure out what I was doing.  Use a chunkier yarn and bigger needles and I bet you could easily make the pair in an evening.

Have fun!