Saturday, 21 July 2012

I've Been Knitting... Felted Slippers...

My daughter in Sydney knitted me a  pair of these slippers. They are so unusual I had to have a go... And try them out... But who would I make them for.
Well a friend offered to be the recipient, so we bought 4 balls of felting wool...
Colours of his choice... And I got started.
I haven't knitted very much for a long time...
But squares of garter stitch... Well that's not difficult.

As you can see... the nearly finished article looks less like a slipper than anything you can imagine... But...

Turn into a slipper it did...
Very oversize and enormous...
But that's how it's meant to be!
During the puzzle of how to sew them up I renamed them...
The Origami Slippers.
I had to refer to the pattern several times.
It comes from a web site called Ravelry.
Look here for the pattern and lots more.

You can see how big they are... These were made to fit size 10.

But that was about to change...
They had to be felted.
My daughter, when she made mine, did this in the washing machine...
But I don't have one of those!
So it had to be done by hand.
I heated up a pot of water... the instructions said to 60 degrees.
And in went the slippers.
I had the expectation that they would get such a shock from the hot water they would felt immediately...
But no... absolutely nothing happened... what was the problem?
I 'Googled' felting and discovered that in these 'modern' days it is done either in a washing machine or dryer.
Well,  as I live 'off-grid' in my house bus the felting had to be done by hand.
This, I discovered is a whole different matter.

I added some soap, kept the water reasonably hot and discovered friction is what does the felting.
The picture here is after nearly two hours of reasonable agitation...
We took turns!
I also discovered... Watching a clip on U Tube... that the stitches soften and go quite floppy and soft before they start to close up.
The process was fascinating... Watching the slipper turn from a huge sloppy article to being tight thick and felted.
The last half hour they needed close watching as the process seemed to speed  up and it's easy to overfelt and make them too small.
Can't reverse this... So need to be careful.
I took them out of the water several times to check them.

Here they are wet but pulled into shape. One was smaller than the other so needed a little more stirring.
At the end my friend put them wet on his feet and we pulled and shaped them.
He wore them wet for half an hour then we put them to dry.
They took two days to dry outside in the wind then by the fire at night.

Here is the finished slipper. Shaping them while wet made definite left and right foot shapes.
They are very thick, very snug...
My friend loves them.
I have already been asked for the pattern...
So have a look on Ravelry.
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  1. Your friend is very lucky...
    Do you want another friend?