Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Christmas Slippers

These Man's Cabled Slippers were designed by Pat Richards for Vogue Knitting's Winter 1992/1993 issue. I've been using this slipper pattern to make slippers for my father almost since this pattern was published. You can see last year's pair and an explanation as to why these slippers are so important to my father's comfort (he has a severe case of rheumatoid arthritis) on my knitting blog, The Knitting Needle and the Damage Done.

Here's this year's pair. I believe it to be the ninth I have made from this pattern. Over the years I've added a number of modifications. I knit two soles for each slipper and insert an insole between them. This year I used foam insoles rather than the felt insoles I have been using because I couldn't find any felt ones, and can only hope the foam will be as comfortable and will last out the year. I knit the bottom soles from craft yarn as, nasty-feeling as it is, it's the most durable yarn on the market, and use a nicer-feeling yarn for the upper soles and upper. I run thread elastic around the heel as that helps the slippers stay on much better. This year I used a needle a half-size smaller than what I have been using as my mother told me to make the slippers a little smaller because the slippers become too big after they stretch out. The green yarn here was some of a small lot of yarn I picked up at Value Village for three dollars a few years back. It's Infitex "Stop Cumbre", which is an acrylic/wool/mohair blend, was made in Spain, and judging from the graphics and font on the ball band, was probably spun in the seventies. It's not in the Ravelry database, at any rate. I came across it last January when I spent part of New Year's Day tidying and reorganizing my stash, and ear marked it for my father's slippers. Besides being the right weight, it's quite good quality and pleasant to work with, it should feel good to wear, and green is by far my father's favourite colour. I have enough left it to make his next two pairs of slippers.

I didn't have quite enough gray craft yarn left to knit the soles, so I pieced it out with a little of the green. I never worry about having to cobble together my father's slippers with different colour yarns as I ordinarily would with anything else I make as they'll be worn to shreds and wind up in the garbage in a year's time. In this case I thought the piecing actually rather improved the appearance of the slippers from the top front view, and it won't make a difference to durability as it's the heels that always wear out first. So that's part of my father's Christmas present taken care of. Now to purchase the biggest container of chocolate rosebuds I can find.

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