Sturdy Slippers – Pattern

I have been meaning to post something here for a while thinking I hadn’t done so since May. It is only now I realise my last post was actually May last year – shameful!

Anyway, I took some notes on these little slippers when I first made them for Laira in January 2012. A month ago I had a lovely email asking for the pattern and so I began typing it up. Doing so was much harder than I thought, I ended up knitting two pairs just to make sure I had it right.

Now that I have it written up, it makes sense to share it with the world, though I certainly cannot guarantee that it make any sense.  Please do get in touch when you spot any of the inevitable mistakes/nonsense or if you have suggestions for improvements.

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Introduction
I like to knit these with quite rough or tweedy yarn and needles slightly on the small size to give a ‘sturdy’ effect. The size given is roughly 3-6 months. You can vary the size by changing the yarn and needles. Alternatively, once you have knitted a couple of pairs you can vary the length of the sole and number of stitches to get the desired size.

The sole is knitted flat, beginning at the heel. Without binding off, you then pick up the stitches all around the edge and knit in the round to build the upper. The only decrease is on either side of the toe. The strap is cast on either side of a few stitches at the back of the ankle without binding off.

Materials

  • 20g 4-ply / DK
  • 2.5 – 3.5 mm double pointed needles x 4 or 5
  • Darning needle
  • Stitch markers, if desired
  • 2 small buttons

Abbreviations
CO – Cast on
BO – Bind off
s1pw – slip 1 purlwise
k – knit
p – purl
st – stitch
inc1 – make one by knitting through the front and then the back loop of the same stitch.
k2tog – knit two together
ssk – slip one, knit one, pass slipped stitch over. (slip, slip, pass both back again and knit through back loop.
RS – right side
WS – wrong side

Instructions
One row or round per line unless otherwise stated.

Sole
CO 7 (I use a long-tail CO).
s1pw, k to end (WS).
s1pw, inc1, k to last 3 st, inc1, k2.
Repeat the last two rows until you have15 st.
k until there are a total of 19 ridges on the RS, excluding CO, slipping the first stitch of every row purlwise and ending with a WS row.
s1pw, ssk, k to last 3 st, k2tog, k1.
s1pw, k to end.
Repeat last two rows four times omitting the final knit row. (5 st).
With RS facing, pick up and knit one stitch from each slipped edge stitch all around the edge of the flat oval you have just made, plus 6 stitches across the cast on section (toe). This should give you 56 st. You should distribute the stitches across 3 or 4 needles, whichever you find more comfortable. If it helps, place a marker to signify the beginning of the round. Personally I like to have 10 st on one needle across the toe and then 23 st each on two needles for either side. If you prefer you can place the stitches across the heel on another needle though be sure to mark the beginning of the round with a stitch marker if you do this.

Upper
Round 1: p.
Round 2: k21, k2tog, k10, ssk, k21.
Round 3 and all following alternate rounds: p to end.
Round 4: k20, k2tog, k10, ssk, k20.
Round 6: k19, k2tog, k10, ssk, k19.
Round 8: k18, k2tog, k10, ssk, k18.
Round 10: k17, k2tog x3, k2, ssk x3, k17.
Round 12: k14, k2tog x3, k2, ssk x3, k14.
Round 14: k11, k2tog x3, k2, ssk x3, k11.
Round 15: p to end.
Round 16: p2, BO 34 purlwise, p2, k the 2 remaining stitches on to the same needle. (4 st)

Strap
Working flat:
CO 28, turn.
k5, YO, ssk, k25, CO 5, turn.
k to end, turn.
BO 32 knitwise, k to end, turn.
BO 5 purlwise.

Second Slipper
Work sole and upper as for first slipper.

Strap for second slipper
Working flat:
CO5, turn.
k9, CO 28, turn.
k5, YO, ssk, k to end, turn.
BO 5 knit wise, k 2 end, turn,
BO 32 purlwise.

Finishing
Weave in ends and block. I like to cut out ovals of plastic (ice-cream tub lids) a little larger than the sole and block them over those. Sew a small button to each of the shorter strap ends.

Wedding Cake

IMG_0470This cake was made for my uncle.. It was my first attempt at a full-blown wedding cake and what a lot of work it was. It was made over three weekends in Herefordshire with an extra hour and a half of assembly on the morning of the wedding at Thornton Manor, Wirral.

The cake was a traditional fruit cake with crystallised flowers from my mother’s garden.

Sweet things recently

Including Simnel cake made by Rose and the remains of a cherry pie made by Mum.

Commission

I have been working on a commission over the last week. Nice to have someone else choose what I’m going to knit for a change. I am pleased with the pieces, I just hope they are too! 

First is a pair of little slippers. These are from a pattern I created a while back. I would be happy to share it if anyone is interested? 

Second, a Coffee cosy! Now this was a first. Quite fun to do, I just really hope it fits! It was not designed for the pot it is modelled on below, hence the bad fit, but I wanted to give you an idea of how it works. I had a specific brief for this one, ‘fairisle in soft greys or blues with a ladybird somehow incorporated’.

 

Chocolate Cakes

Happy 50th Birthday Naomi Ocean!  Chocolate espresso cake made to order with dark and white chocolate icing for a very special occasion.

Chocolate truffle cake. Sponge with dark and light chocolate truffle layers. Truly divine.

Baby Dungarees

Whipped these up for my niece, or at least under the pretence that she might get some use out of them. They are all part of the great experiment – trying to establish whether there is really money to be made from such endeavours. Despite various hiccups along the way I am really rather pleased with the way they turned out, I only hope the fit! The fabric is vintage Laura Ashley (from my mothers stash), beautifully soft, slightly brushed cotton and machine washable. If anyone would like something similar for someone of a similar size then please get in touch. I originally thought I might sell them wholesale but I think it will be more profitable to sell them direct and anyway, I don’t want to become too detached from my customers. I like the idea that I can produce unique and customised pieces but this is only any fun if it is relevant to the person who is going to end up wearing the garments or using the objects. There isn’t quite the same magic in mass-produced, unique, customised products. (Out of interest do you call these dungarees, romper suit, play suit or something else?)

Smock dress

This little dress was created as an experiment. I have been asked to produce something similar to this as well as dungarees for small people in rather large quantities to be sold on a travelling stall that passes through Hereford occasionally. The question is: can such things be produced at a price that is reasonable both for the purchaser and the maker? I have yet to reach a decision though I would appreciate some feedback on what you think. Can you imagine yourself buying such a product (assuming you have someone who will fit it)? And taking into account that it is made by hand from recycled vintage fabrics (in this can an old Laura Ashley print) how much would you be willing to pay? Please do let me know via my confidential contact page and be as honest and realistic as possible, only then will the info I collect be truly useful. Finally, would you like it to be personalised – appliquéd names, creatures, motifs? Are there any particular design features you would like to see added or removed (there are actually deep lined pockets set into this dress though I admit that considering that they are not ornamental and the garment is designed for someone of such tender years they may be surplus to requirements). Should there be a popper, button or popper and fake button fastening on the shoulder straps?

P.s. I have added a little appliqué bird. Wanted to keep it quite simple so have left out any real detail in the design though this could be changed to be more like the Clutch Birds. Further, I realised that I don’t fit this rather tiny dress (newborn-3 months) so I am putting it up for sale at £15. It is machine washable and will be great for any spring or summer babies you know might be coming into existence!

First orders

I have taken my first real commissions and very pleased with them I am too. It’s nice to have a challenge and both of these projects have been that. I have had to create my own unique pattern for each so as to avoid breaking copywrite laws etc. Both required thinking very three-dimensionally and were knitted as one piece in the round. I would love to see if I can make an adult version of the slippers, perhaps someone has a slippers shaped hole in their lives?