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marc [cover] bella a capella c3 diamonds cheesylovevoodoosuki
fuzzyfeet tangled gardenstraight-laced  loopy & lusciousnosewarmer

by Theresa Vinson Stenersen

These slippers are made by knitting a pair of gigantic [and I mean GIGANTIC!] socks at a very loose gauge, then slowly felting them either in the washing machine or by hand to a custom fit.

If you've never knitted socks before, these slippers are ideal. They knit up quickly with worsted weight yarn and large needles and the felting process is very forgiving of errors. In the end, it's nearly impossible to tell they were knitted at all!

I knit the cuff and foot of these socks on a 16-inch circular needle, using double points to work the heel and the toe after there were too few stitches to fit on the circular needle.

photo: Theresa Vinson Stenersen

Women's medium [with instructions for calculating changes in foot length provided]


Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted [85% wool, 15% mohair; 4 oz/190 yards per skein]; color: M-181 Prairie Fire; 1 or 2 skeins [you may need a small amount of a 2nd skein to complete the to have it on hand just in case]

*This pair of adult slippers with a 3-inch cuff [before felting] took most of one skein of yarn. If you want a wider turned-down cuff, you will need more yarn. Feel free to mix yarn colors, but stick with one type of yarn for each project for better results when felting.

1 set US #10.5/7mm double-point needles
1 16-inch US #10.5/7mm circular needle

Tapestry needle


[before felting] 12 sts/18 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch


"Slip 1" [used while making the heel flap]
on WS rows, hold yarn to front and slip as if to purl
on RS rows, hold yarn to back and slip as if to knit

If you're knitting slippers for young children or for use on slippery floors, you'll want to attach a non-skid sole for safety purposes.

CO 44sts [Cast on loosely! I cast on over two needles held together].
Join, being careful not to twist the work and place a marker at join for beginning of round.
Knit every round in St st for 3 inches [or longer if desired].

[on 22 stitches]

Knit 11 sts past the marker, then turn and work back over the stitches you've just worked [ignoring the other 22 stitches on your needle, which will be held to become the instep] and

Heel Row 1: sl 1, p 21, turn
Heel Row 2: s1 1, k 21, turn

Repeat these 2 rows 11 more times or until the heel flap is about as long as it is wide.

Heel Turn
[don't worry, it isn't as mysterious as it sounds!]

Continuing on heel stitches only:
Row 1: p 13, p2tog, p1, turn
Row 2: k 6, k2tog, k1, turn
Row 3: p7, p2tog [1 st from each side created during the last turn], turn
Row 4: k7, k2tog, turn.

Repeat rows 3 & 4 until there are only 8 sts remaining of the original 22 heel stitches, with no stitches on either side of the decreases.
The last row should be right side row.

Now, you're going to connect this lovely heel you've just knit to the rest of the stitches in order to knit the rest of the foot in the round.

Pick up and knit [see note below*] 12 stitches from the right edge of the heel flap, place marker [Marker 1], k22 sts that were being held for the instep, place a marker [Marker 2], pick up and knit 12 stitches from the left edge of the heel flap, then knit 4 sts from the heel, place yet another marker [Marker 3] or a safety pin to mark the new beginning of the round. The remaining 4 heel stitches will be the first 4 of the next round [ 54 sts].

*Pick up and knit
Take a look at the edges of the heel flap; there will be 12 elongated Vs, resembling large knit sts, on each side. Holding the working needle in your right hand, insert it under both sides of the V and pull the yarn through. If this proves difficult, use a crochet hook to pull the yarn through, then transfer the stitches from the hook to the knitting needle.

Gusset Shaping
[to decrease those 54 sts down to the original 44 sts]

K 1 round plain over all stitches, slipping the markers when you come to them.
K to 2 st before Marker 1, k2tog, slip marker, k to Marker 2, slip it, ssk, complete round.
Repeat the last two rounds 4 more times [44 sts].

Knit around in St st until work measures 9 inches* in length from back of heel, then begin toe decreases:

*For different sizes: Take the total length of recipient's foot and multiply by 1.3 to determine the required total length of sock before felting. Then determine length of sock to knit before beginning toe decreases by subtracting 3.5 inches from total required length.

Toe Decreases
Round 1: *K to 3 sts before Marker 1, ssk, k1, slip marker, k1, k2tog* Repeat from * to * with second marker.

Round 2: K around without decreasing.

Repeat these last two rounds until there are 12 sts remaining.
Divide sts at the markers onto two needles [6 stitches from top half of sock on one needle and 6 stitches from bottom half on the other], break yarn leaving 12 in tail and graft the toe closed.
Weave in any ends using tapestry needle.


Felting slippers to size
I felted the slippers shown here by running them through the wash cycle of my washing machine set on 40 C [105 F] with a tablespoon of a mild liquid soap and a towel for added agitation. It is essential to check the status of the slipper every few minutes and stop the agitation process when it reaches the desired size.

Rinse to remove the soap residue and spin to remove as much water as possible, then either form to shape and leave to air dry or put them on over another pair of socks and walk around for a while to let them form to your feet perfectly.

Theresa is living in a house with a poorly insulated cellar under the kitchen, leading to a steady stream of cold air pouring out from under the cabinents and therefore appreciates the value of warm slippers.

Read more about her adventures in Norway at her weblog, Bagatell.


Pattern & images © 2002 Theresa Vinson Stenersen. Contact Theresa.