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Pink Needles
spacer photos: Kristin Goedert


These Oomingmack slippers were designed for a contest that took place on the SeaSocks 2008 Cruise, which visited the chilly frontiers of Alaska.

In my wildest and most imaginative fantasies about my grand Alaska vacation, I would return home with a pet musk ox, who would kindly provide me with a lifetime of luscious qiviut fiber. These slippers are a tribute to that fantasy.

As it turns out, there are no free-roaming musk oxen in Ketchikan or Juneau (or the Inside Passage or Victoria, BC), so my fantasy would have been a bust even if the cruise line allowed large pets in our cabins.

My slippers did win a prize in the contest, though, and despite the fact that they do not produce qiviut, they will keep your feet (or the feet of someone you love) nice and cozy this winter.


S (Womens’ shoe size 6) [M (Womens’ shoe size 8), L (Womens’ shoe size 10)]
shown in size L


Length: 9 [9.75, 10.5] inches
Width: 4 [4, 4] inches

spacer [MC] Cascade 220 [100% Peruvian Highland Wool; 220 yd per 100g skein]; color # 7822: Dark Brown; 3 skeins
spacer [CC] Cascade 220 [100% Peruvian Highland Wool; 220 yd per 100g skein]; color #8407: Oatmeal; 1 skein

Recommended needle size:
spacer One 16 inch US #13/9mm circular needle
spacer One set US #13/9mm double-point needles
spacer One set US #7/4.5mm straight needles
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]

spacer 3 stitch markers – all different colors or styles
spacer a couple of yarns of scrap yarn in a contrasting color
spacer 12 x 8 inch piece cream colored felt
spacer Two 10-inch pieces sturdy but bendable wire
spacer Four 10mm black buttons for eyes
spacer Large tapestry needle
spacer Dark brown thread
spacer Oatmeal thread
spacer Off-white thread
spacer Sewing Needle
spacer Fiberfill stuffing

10.5 sts/15 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch with larger needles UNWASHED & UNFELTED

[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]

Wind only 2 skeins of the Dark Brown Cascade 220 (color #7822). You will need the last skein to be in the large “loop” shape that it comes in to cut it for your musk ox hair.

Work two slippers alike.

Slipper body

With larger circular needles, holding yarn doubled, using a cable cast on, cast on 40 stitches. Join for working in the round, being careful not to twist. Place marker to indicate beginning of the row – this is the center back.

Working with yarn doubled, knit first 20 stitches, and place second marker to mark center front. Knit to end of round.

Knit 6 more rounds.

Round 8: Roll over top and pick up one cast-on stitch and knit it together with first stitch on left needle. Pick up second cast on stitch and knit together with second stitch on left needle. Continue, picking up cast on stitches and knitting together until all stitches are used up - this creates the rolled cuff of the slipper.

Round 9: K all sts.
Round 10: K30, k 10 sts with scrap yarn.
Round 11: K10 with scrap yarn. Slip all 20 sts worked with the scrap yarn back to the left needle and knit them again in MC. Knit to end of round.

The scrap yarn will later be removed and those stitches will become the heel.

Continue to knit until piece measures 4.5[7.25, 8.5] inches from scrap yarn.

Next round: Remove stitch marker from beginning of round. K10, pm, k10, slip center front marker, k10, pm. This last marker now marks the beginning of round.

Decrease for toe as follows, starting at the new beginning of the round:
Round 1: K2tog, k to two stitches before first marker, ssk; slip marker, k to two stitches before center front marker, k2tog, slip marker, ssk; k to end of round.
Round 2: Knit.
Round 3: As per round 1 32 stitches remain.
Round 4: Knit.
Round 4: decrease as in round 1. 28 stitches remain.
Continue decreasing every other row, switching to dpns when necessary, until 16 stitches remain.

Use Kitchener stitch to close toe.

Using larger dpns, pick up rows of stitches above and below waste yarn- 40 st. Divide sts so that you've got 10 on each needle. Snip waste yarn and remove to open heel. Attach MC yarn (holding two strands together) and knit as follows:

Round 1: Knit.

Round 2: SSK, knit to end of needle one. Knit to the last two stitches on needle 2, k2tog. SSK, knit to the end of needle three. Knit to last 2 stitches of needle 4, K2tog. 36 stitches remain.

Round 3: Knit.

Round 4: Decrease as in round 2. 32 stitches remain.

Continue decreasing every other round until 16 stitches remain. Use Kitchener stitch to close heel.

Once you have knitted both slippers, felt them. Check slippers carefully during felting to make sure that they do not over-felt. Try on as needed to ensure a good fit.

Head – Work One
Using smaller needles and oatmeal yarn held singly, cast on 45 stitches. Knit stockinette stitch for 30 inches. Bind off. Felt until piece measures 20 inches long by 5.5 inches wide. After felting you may wish to remove extra fuzz with a sweater stone or razor. Ironing your felted piece will also help to achieve a nice smooth look.

Using diagram as a guide, cut two head pieces, two chins and four ears. If pieces aren’t exact, that is fine - it will give your oxen personality.

Assembling head:
Fold head piece in half lengthwise so that the two corners marked “A” touch. Slip stitch seam closed starting at “A” and working toward “B”.

After seam is closed, fold down “B” point to meet “A” and stitch in place-this forms the nose.

Fold triangular ear pieces in half, and stitch to head, using diagram for placement.
Place head piece on top of slipper so that nose overhangs end of slipper by about 1 inch. Back of head will extend all of the way or almost all of the way to the slipper cuff. Stitch back of head to top of slipper near cuff, trimming if necessary. Do not stitch down front or sides of head- you will do this after you add the chin.

Fold chin piece in half so that letter “C” matches letter “C”. Slip stitch seam closed, working from “C” to letter “D”. Stitch chin sides to inside sides of musk ox head. Stuff inside of head with fiberfill to hold shape, and stitch sides to slipper.


Using horn pattern as a guide, cut two horn pieces from cream colored felt, one for each slipper.

Fold each in half lengthwise and stitch seams shut, leaving an opening so that you can turn and stuff piece. Carefully turn piece right-side out. Trim wire piece so that it will fit inside horn, extending from the tip of one side to the tip of the other, and place one piece of wire inside of each of the horn pieces. Stuff and slipstitch closed.

Using diagram for guidance, stitch stuffed horn pieces to top of head using cream colored thread. Once secured, run needle out of musk ox head on one side of horns at center, up over top of horn piece, and back into head on other side. Pull thread tight to divide each stuffed horn piece into two distinct horns. Run thread around horns one or two times for good measure.

Open up remaining skein of yarn and untwist so that yarn is in the shape of a giant loop. Cut loop into quarters, and then take two of the quarters and cut them in half again, so you've got two quarters, and four eighths.

Divide the yarn so that you've got one of the two long quarters and two of the four short eighths for each slipper.

Take each long quarter, remove one third of the yarn and set aside - these long pieces will be the hair on your musk oxen’s backs. Cut the remainder of the long pieces in half, to match the short eighths.

Starting at center front of heel, sew hair to slipper by taking five of the short strands of yarn at a time, and stitching to slipper directly under cuff.

Use the photos and diagram as a guide.

Using only the short hair, work down one side, around the front and along the other side. Then move on to the top, stitching down overlapping hanks of the long hair along the center of the musk ox’s back. Repeat for second slipper. Finally, trim hair around bottom of slippers, ensuring that it is short enough that you will not trip on it while you walk.

Using photos as a guide for placement, stitch eyes in place.

Use your imagination to embellish your new friends. I gave mine flowers and grass, but you can decorate yours however you like!

As a child, Kristin Goedert spent much of her time making stuff, from hats for soft-boiled eggs to sock monkeys, doll clothes to pot holders. Now that she is a grown up (or so they say) she puts her creative talents to good use as a graphic designer and owner of Kristin Goedert Design.

Kristin lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and cats and spends as much of her free time as she can knitting, spinning, and wishing for all the qiviut that she could ever knit.


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