Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Free quick slipper pattern

Mrs Fisher's Slippers

I call these Mrs Fisher's slippers because I knitted a very similar pair when I was in grade four during an extra-curricular craft class, which really means that this is simply my own variation of an easy slipper pattern that's been around for a very long time indeed. My teacher (Mrs F) was an infinitely patient, bespectacled lady who obviously could knit with her eyes closed and I was NOT a very skilled knitter at the time. I suspect she got a little tired of me asking her over and over to explain how to purl, heh. So I feel really accomplished when I can knit these up in a couple of hours.. See what I did, Mrs F?

This project works with most worsted weight yarn, doubled (eg. knit with two strands held together). I use between size 4.5 to 6 needles, depending on the weight of the yarn (you can use bulkier, you'll just get a bigger slipper). Play around with sizing by varying size of needles as well as number of cast-on stitches. These are knit flat, by the way, so it's a great pattern for new knitters.

This pattern is very adaptable and simple and it's a good way to use up scrap yarn. I tend to use acrylic for these, since knit slippers do wear out fairly fast and acrylic is cheaper and often softer than wool (which can also shrink and/or felt if you forget and throw them in the wash) however, feel free to use whatever kind of yarn you like so long as it's stretchy (I do not recommend cotton, for example).

Embellishing your slippers with pom poms, bobbles, buttons, bells or leather laces (or even soles, which would help with the wearing-out problem come to think of it) is highly recommended.

These are roughly sized for small women's, medium women's (small men's). If you want to adapt this for children's sizes, simply start with fewer cast on stitches (eg. 24 would be a medium child's size). These slippers stretch so don't worry about making them a bit smaller than your foot. I'm a big fan of tracing someone's foot to use as a measurement guide, or, if you can't do that, steal one of their socks and measure against that; it'll be more accurate than guessing.

Pattern instructions:

Cast on 28 (32)stitches.

Work In Garter Stitch for 5 inches.

After reaching the 5 inch mark, start ribbing (K2, P2).

Continue in ribbing until piece measures one inch less than length of your foot.

Last row: *K2 tog; repeat form * across row, 14 (16, 18) st remaining.

Repeat K2 tog for one more row, 7 (8, 9) st remaining.

Finishing: Cut yarn leaving a long tail. Thread yarn needle with the yarn end and pass through the stitches on the knitting needle. Pull stitches up tightly and fasten yarn end securely. Using cast off tail sew up the slipper until you get to the end of the ribbing. Secure end. Using cast on tail sew up heel seam, be sure to leave opening for foot. Don't forget to make two.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Giftmas is coming.. and I have a lot of WIPs to get through!

With the holidays zooming up fast, I start to get a bit frantic and, I admit, I abandon my lofty autumn intentions to knit elaborate little things for loved ones. Right now, I'm going to knit EASY little things for loved ones.. er, quickly!

I have a few WIPs.. some simple slippers that I'm going to post the pattern for next week, a quick hat (because it got freakin' cold here for some reason -- obviously moving to the West Coast was not enough to get me away from the snow, argh) and a lovely teal wool sweater (see pic). None of these are done, yet, of course.. but I'm going to Vancouver this weekend and guess what I'll be doing on the ferry?

Monday, November 22, 2010

scrap strata crocheted scarf

I love using up scraps with my crochet hook.  While I view knitting as a process of slowly unfolding a fabric creation out of a single strand of yarn, I feel like crocheting is more like sculpting:  a process where I can build on what I've already constructed in many different shapes and directions.  Both processes are organic and flowing, but they engage different parts of my brain.

Anyway, philosophy aside, I do love using up odd bits with my crochet hook because I never know how it's going to turn out.  In this case, I simply cast on a long chain of one colour and crocheted in random fashion, sometimes using single, sometimes double, and sometimes a slip stitch, to create the effect of uneven layers of colour.

To finish, I added some double crochet flaps knit the other direction on both ends, and a long fringe for added bohemian-ish-ness.  This is not a scarf for the flair-wary!  (Incidentally, it goes smashingly with the fair isle warmers in my previous post).  I guess this was sort-of a free pattern (or a loose, Zimmerman-esque how-to).

fair isle warmers: knitting evolution

I knit these up a while ago, at one of the first stitch & bitches a friend of mine hosted. I constructed them sort of randomly, using up scraps of colourful yarn and knitting flat with straight needles (I think I'd vaguely considered making a small bag.. ). After I'd knit what was almost an arm's length of colourful fair isle, I realized what gorgeous warmers they'd make. Unfortunately, they weren't quite wide enough to go around my arm.. what to do?

The solution (as is often the case with me) was to turn to my crochet hook to bridge the gap, and the result was a black, rather gothy-lacy looking underside to the warmers which I adjusted to fit the curve of my arm. Simple, scrappy, and a good example of adaptability!

Fluffygothy Improvisation Sweater

Yes, it's spring (see the hydrangeas?) and yes, I'm knitting a black sweater, with stripes of fuzz. What of it? I'm a rebel.