Monday, 14 January 2008

Slippers and mittens

I've been threatening to knit the MM a pair of slippers for the last few months, probably ever since I came across the Fibertrends clog pattern. Typically, the same day that I finally ordered a copy of it, someone from the AY forum posted a link to these equally cute felted slippers: Fireside Footies. Of course, I couldn't wait for the clog pattern to arrive so I fished around in the stash and cast them on straight away.

They knit up extremely quickly once you get the hang of the pattern. It looked really straightforward initially but for some reason I couldn't make the numbers work for the heel turn. I must have knitted it and unpicked it three or four times before I fudged it to get where I needed to be. I also posted to the AY knitting forum to check t wasn't just me. Luckily Fiona, one of the resident sock gurus came to the rescue to confirm that actually, the pattern was unclear and that from the comments after the pattern, the writer seemed to intend it to be a square heel. Fiona's explanation is so clear that I'm just going to post it here.

Turn Heel
R1: S1 P16 P2tog P1
R2: S1 K11 K2tog K1 -
at this point there are 14 sts in the middle section which is a big clue! - and 4 each side still to be decreased awayTurn
R3: S1 P to
2st before the break (the last turn) P2tog, P1 Turn
R4: S1 K to
2st before the break (the last turn) K2tog, K1 - there are still 14 sts in the middle section, and 3 each side
work rows 3 & 4 for
6 more rows (until no st remain to be worked) (14 st should remain)

Hey presto, two square square heels later and we have a pair of slippers ready for felting. I thought that I'd just point out at this stage that the decreases for the toes need to be completed twice for each round, you'll see what I mean if you knit them.

They look rather stumpy don't they? He does have pretty big feet for his age so I'm hoping that when they felt they're going to shrink small enough as it was a pattern written for adults. If not, mum'll end up with an extra pair of slippers as hers are tiny.

I'm beginning to realise that it's usually a mistake to allow the MM to have too much input into the colour choice of the things I knit for him. Luckily the bulk of the slipper was going to be knitted in blue as that was what was available but I offered to put a coloured stripe around the top for a bit of interest and guess what he chose.... pink! I had to laugh but then he's still a bit young to understand that pink isn't generally a colour choice for boys.

I don't know whether it's just me being picky but if I had written a pattern and realised that people were having problems with it, I'd want to amend it to make it clear. Maybe it's my inner perfectionist trying to make itself heard again but I actually find it really frustrating that other people don't feel the need. Obviously I could just write all my own patterns and I do dabble with that and invariably I amend things as I go along but why reinvent the wheel? If you come across a really nice pattern, why not knit it? Anyhow, minor rant over.

Righty ho, what next. Mittens. I finally managed to get a reasonable picture of my aran mittens. No matter what I did, I couldn't quite do the colour justice as it is actually a much deeper red than the scarlet in the photo. They have a pretty diamond cable up both sides and are finished off at the top with a twisted rib to match the cuff. My fingers only just poke out at the top so they're quite toasty for fingerless mitts. These are actually the second pair of these I've knitted as I made a pair for my sister last winter in cream - in fact, the same time as these were started originally. Hers actually match my aran beanie.


Kristina said...

thank you so much for this help on that heel. i'd ripped it out, after i tried to fudge it, wondering what the heck she was talking about, 14 sts. now i know what to do. never saw it done this way before. thanks!

Anonymous said...

ditto thanks on the heel help. I was about to go nuts trying to work it out but when there are errors in a pattern and one isn't an expert sock knitter, it is very difficult. I do hope however that when I felt mine that they are more human-foot-shaped than elephant-foot-shaped. We shall see.