Like they say, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
After needing to steal some yarn from a second skein of Big Delight to finish the Allegria slippers, I wanted to find a use for the remainder of that skein (78 grams out of the original 100 grams).
My first attempt was to make these slippers, which called for using the Big Delight doubled. I got about 75% of the way through one slipper when I reached the halfway point of the yarn. No good.
I could make some slippers that were single-stranded, but I wanted something more heavy-duty. So instead, I found this pattern, which calls for Drops Eskimo yarn (super-bulky). It’s mostly stockinette stitch instead of garter stitch, so it would use a little less yarn. So I cast on again, hoping I’d have enough yarn.
Alas, I didn’t. At least, not when I made them as written for the medium size. I made one slipper, but hit the halfway mark of the yarn when I was about an inch short of finishing.
But since the doubled ‘Big Delight’ yarn was a little heavier than the ‘Eskimo’ called for in the pattern, I thought that if I used larger needles for a looser gauge, and cast on fewer stitches, I might be able to make it work.
I started over with 6.5mm needles, and cast on for the smallest size, but then increased to only 26 st instead of 28 (on last increase row, only did the outermost increases). I figured that would be pretty close to the same size as the 2nd pattern size. When I got to within the last few rows, I weighed the yarn, and had used about half of it. Yikes! Could I make it?
I cast on for the 2nd slipper using the opposite end of my yarn ball, and knit it to the same point as the first slipper. Then I knit one row of each slipper at the same time, until there was only enough yarn connecting the two slippers to bind off or seam (I hoped). I cut the remaining yarn so that each slipper had half of the remainder.
I seamed the toe and top of the foot, and checked the fit. It looked like I was a row or two short of the length I needed, but I figured I could make it work even if I had to use some other yarn to finish. I tried binding off with the remaining tail of the yarn, but I was short by just a few stitches. Plus, it looked like the slippers were still a row or two too short.
Hmmm. Well, I wasn’t all that happy with the pointy end of the heel anyway, so I ripped out the bindoff and the previous row. I reknit the previous row, decreasing 2 sts in the center of the row. Then with the remainder of the yarn, I knit one more row, decreasing another 2 sts in the center of the row. I had just enough yarn to finish the row, and the decreases gave a nice rounded curve to the heel.
After doing the same to the second slipper, I had to make a decision about how to do the back seams. I looked through all of my stash and remnants, looking for some yarn that would either blend in or make a nice contrast. I returned from my stash pile with some olive green Patons Classic Wool clutched in my fist.
Since the yarn color wasn’t going to match anyway, I first tried a 3-needle bind-off with the bound-off edge on the outside as a decorative seam. I didn’t like how that looked, so I took that out and grafted the edges together, making a green stripe down the back of each heel. I tried on the slipper, and it was a perfect fit! Score!
I probably could have done one less row and used the tail to graft the slippers, and they would have been big enough, since the wool will stretch. But I was really DONE playing with them, and I kind of like the green stripe anyway.
End result? I -LOVE- these. The doubled aran-weight yarn makes a nice thick fabric that is comfortable underfoot, and will probably wear better than a single strand of Eskimo. I could use a whole herd of these slippers. The colorway (“Summer Meadow”) is pretty, too. I like it even better than the “Marina”. Since I had used a chunk of the browns already, there was no possibility of making the slippers matchy, but I like them anyway.
More photos and details of the modifications on my Ravelry project.
You may have to pry them off my feet.
Beautiful slippers, ingenious design. You win the gold medal of knitting for your persistence!! Congratulations!
LOVE them! They remind me of the slippers my mom used to knit for me every winter.
Really amused by your details – you must put them on Rav – how will I be able to make mine look as nice as yours? Really did turn out nicely!!! And, in response to them not being “matchy”, just how many people see you in your slippers anyway? 🙂 Thanks for putting this all together for me so I won’t have to, It’s cooling off here (at least last week did) and I’ll need them soon!
Retro slippers! Good job of knitting two fabulous, wearable, warm slippers. You’ll have toasty toes this fall!