I’m working on a pair of slippers from the new issue, 05, of CRAFT Magazine. In the mag, they are called Easy House Slippers, and they are made with two colors of yarn. But I’m taking the opportunity to use a few skeins of Noro Kureyon that have been frustrating me for a long time. None of my other plans for them have worked out, and I have been disappointed with the colorway (102), which is just terribly garish. For slippers, it should be fine. Loud, but fine. I am using 2 skeins, and alternating, so each square is recognizably a different color combination. Read on past the jump for more details and photos.
I started with 18st squares, on US10 needles (I knit tight). The pattern doesn’t give gauge. (CRAFT, what are you thinking? You know we need gauge!) My gauge is 4sts/inch. Basically, you just stitch an L-shaped “scarf” made up of squares. It is, in fact, possibly the easiest thing you could ever make beyond a plain garter-stitch scarf. It’s just a garter stitch scarf that is L-shaped, and then folded and stitched together into a shoe shape. The hand-sewing is relatively painless as well, so don’t let that scare you off.
The pattern calls for x stitches by 2x rows, to make a square. For me, this is actually too much — my row gauge is not that tight, and it makes the square too tall. The squares do need to be relatively close to square shape, as far as I could tell. So I am making each square 18 stitches by 32 rows (16 garter rows).
However, there is an issue with this. The reason you need the same number of rows as you have stitches, is so when you pick up stitches for the last two squares, you’ll have the right amount picked up. Since I am 4 rows (2 garter rows) short, I just made a couple of extra stitches. No big deal; it’s gonna be felted anyway, and felting cures many ills. If there was more of a difference, it would be visible, but I doubt most knitters are going to be more than 2 garter rows off anyway.
When the first slipper was folded and assembled, pre-felting, it was 13″ from heel to toe. The diagram in CRAFT is rather confusing, at least for the second fold. To get the second fold, I found it easier just to try to get it to match picture D and not think about which letter goes where. If you knit it with the 2 color pattern as shown in the magazine, I bet it is easier to figure out how to fold the thing.
I felted the first slipper before knitting the second. After three runs through the front-loading washer, it went from 13″ long to a little over 10″. Then I decided to try to get rid of some more of the stitch definition by doing a bit of hand-felting. It didn’t shrink any further, but it is fuzzier and the stitches are a bit less obvious. Web searches show that Noro sometimes is very difficult to felt. It feels felty, but I can’t seem to get rid of all the stitch definition. I might keep trying to felt it more once the second slipper is done. But it is wearable now and should make a comfy slipper. I need to put something on the sole to make it not slippery, though.