Jan 7, 2008

Slippers All Around

DSC_0126It's going to be in the low 70's here in Washington, DC today and I'm talking about wool slippers. How strange!

These slippers were finished in December but there was so much going on that I didn't get a chance to show them to you until now.

DSC_0127I used 2 different patterns and you can see the difference between them here. DQ's cobalt blue slippers and the small green ones next to them were made using the Ballet Slipper pattern in Felted Knits by Beverly Galeskas. Stinkerbelle's slippers are the Family Classic Felt Slippers which are a Fiber Trends pattern also from Beverly Galeskas. I provided two different views of the slippers so that you can see the difference. Stink-o's come up higher around her ankles. What's not obvious from the pictures is that DQ's have a thicker sole because the pattern calls for 2 soles sewn together prior to felting.

The construction is a little different too. The ballet slippers start out being knit straight and then a seam is sewn up down the center of the sole before you join and continue knitting in the round using a complex series of short rows. The booties start with a sole that is knit the from heel to toe before you start the upper which can be knit as a separate piece attached later or, as I did it, you can pick up stitches around the edge and continue in the round. These don't use any short rows and instead there are consecutive rounds with decreases across the toe for shaping.

I think that the booties are a bit easier to knit but I can't say that I have a strong preference for one pattern over the other. It's really a question of style. DQ is a dancer and, before I treated the bottom, she said that her slippers were great for practicing dance moves. Stinky is not a dancer and the booties really appeal to her, especially now that the soles have been well coated so that she can even wear her slippers outside a little bit. Not that she's going to school in them or anything.

DSC_0132Let's talk about the soles of the slippers a bit. I was really worried about the kids slipping so I did a lot of research on the internet to find a good material to make the bottoms slip resistant. After reading about various solutions and reading the product information, I settled on Plasti-Dip which I bought at H*me Dep*t. I think it works well.

I used these on the red slippers that I made for my nephew and noted that painting it on the fuzzy bottoms with a sponge brush was a little messy. With these slippers I did things differently. First, I let the girls wear the slippers for a few days (with stern admonitions to be careful) to compact the fibers a bit. Then I sat and shaved them lightly with a razor befor painting the Plasti-Dip on with a disposable brush. I like the effect much better and I think that it came out smoother. No word yet on how it wears but I've got more Dip if I need to refresh it.

DSC_0131Most of the slippers have worked out well and they fit fine. These slippers will stretch a bit and mold to your feet somewhat. If you look at DQ's slippers you can see that she put a safety pin on her left slipper so that she remembers which goes on which foot. She's looking forward to having slippers that fit each foot like it was poured on. (She also had me paint the Dip on the sole of that slipper in the shape of an "L" for the same reason)

The exception to my slipper success is these sweet green slippers. They were supposed to be for my niece Sam but, as you can see above, they came out much smaller than the others and Sam is 9. There is no chance that they'd fit her and more yarn has been ordered. I do have another niece though. She's a 4 year old ballerina so, with the addition of a few rosettes, these should be perfect for her. As you can see, I used a differnt method to treat her soles. I used puff paint which is an idea that I was initially pondering for the rest of the slippers. I'm not sure how it will hold up but I figures that it was more likely to work for a smaller, lighter child. Let's hope I'm right.


Anonymous said...

Cute, Hill!

Kristi aka Fiber Fool said...

I've made the Bev Clogs from Fibertrends and I have to say I love the doubled sole. I made them for my sister. I really need to make some for me as my purchased slippers are worn out. Perhaps I'll do the ballet ones...

Carole Knits said...

The slippers are great. Everyone will have warm feet!

Cursing Mama said...

Jeepers those are cute....maybe I need to knit slippers instead of socks!

Mia said...

From seeing a pair of the slippers worn by a teen ager, you might want to make sure that the label "indoors only" goes on them. The trend now is to wear your slippers every where. And it will get cold again in DC. You know that we always pay for warm weather in March.

Carol said...

Very nice! I use puff paint to skid proof socks. Burning question, why do you call the "little" one Stinkerbelle?