They can look like something the dog dragged in.
People who visit me at home know that I have an eccentric habit of wearing flipflops all winter with socks. It is not a statement of anything; I don't have an aversion to slippers. My last pair fell apart a couple of years ago and I simply didn't replace them. I'm a knitter. I can't buy slippers as a perfectly good pair can be knit and felted. I was just uninspired by the patterns out there to choose from.
Last year though, I knit these French Press Felted Slippers.
Cute, right? Approximately 6700 other Ravelers agreed. Very popular knit. Except what a pain to sew together. I'm an accomplished knitter. I've sewn together a LOT of knitted items. But this one was a doozy. I wouldn't knit another pair if you paid me to. Plus, no ankle coverage, so while I look really cute wandering around my old house with my jeans and my adorable ballet slipper slippers, I'm cold. Back to flip flops. I know that's not logical, but hey, they're my ankles. I do not have to explain myself except to say that I like the buffer of cheap rubber flip flops against the floor. Gives the impression of elevation and warmth.
Can you stand it? I couldn't. Nothing in my stash could be knitted and felted into these awesome slippers so I had to shop. Shop, people! Thank goodness for a real honest to goodness need for new yarn. I did something I don't normally do though, I bypassed my local yarn shops (temptation ya know), downloaded a 40% off coupon on my phone and hustled over to JoAnn Fabrics to buy Lion Brands Fisherman's Wool. I bought two skeins, but probably could have gotten away with one as there is a mind-blowing 465 yards to a skein.
These slippers are an excellent first knitting project. The pattern is very well written, gives a new knitter a chance to follow a fast pattern, work on using markers and keeping track of rows, some minimal shaping, but enough to get it, AND, if you mess up then you hide it with felting.
Here's my pair drying by the fire:
I hand-felted these and boy it took a long time. Like an hour long podcast long time. Given that this week I've been experimenting with wet felting (minimal success rate) and the temperatures have been subzero (not conducive to wet hands for hours), an hour was all I could stand. They could use more felting now that they've dried, but I am loath to get them wet again since it's 2 degrees and I want to wear them. My plan is to cut the straps off my beloved flip flops and sew them to the bottom - best of all worlds! The MiMBY Girl is hankering for a pair of her own, but I think she could (and should) knit them herself as she already has a pair of serviceable pink slippers made for her by yours truly.
I'm noticing a theme emerging in early 2014 knitting. Almost everything looks like it could walk away when you're not looking. I kind of like that.