When I was in Louisiana visiting my brother and sister-in-law (I really would rather call her my sister but then that would be confusing), I was asked to help with a knitting project. Kathy had tried to knit a pair of slip-on felted slippers for my brother and kept having a problem. With the cooler weather coming soon (all of us in the south can’t wait for cooler weather in the fall and we’re typically the last to get it!) she didn’t feel like she had the energy or inclination to attempt to learn it and so I picked up her yarn and needles and attacked the project.
I have to say, it was a very odd construction method but the finished slippers looked fantastic! The pattern is one that I’ve seen a million times but had never knitted before. It’s Fiber Trends Felt Clogs (designed by Bev Galeskas). It was knitted in a worsted weight wool (I can’t remember what brand it was) doubled throughout the pattern. Kathy had chosen black for the sole and a charcoal gray for the top of the clog. *If you’re a new knitter, this pattern is do-able BUT do not use black! It’s so hard to see the stitches! I’d suggest using two very contrast-y colors! At least the first time!
If you are careful to follow the pattern instructions as they are written, you’ll have a really lovely and warm pair of slippers after felting!
Felting tips –
Put the slippers into a zippered pillow case so that little bits of wool don’t gum up your washing machine. I say this from experience, folks! I’ve paid the repair man to come to fix my machine TWICE!
Washer setting should be hot water cycle. You can add extra hot water by boiling it on your stovetop and adding to the washer. The hotter the water, the quicker the felting will happen. That said, WATCH your slippers carefully … check every ten minutes! It would be very sad if you felted the slippers too much and they’re now too small! You can always felt slippers a bit more to make them smaller but you can’t make them bigger.
Put 3 or 4 pairs of old blue jeans into the washer with your slippers to help them felt better (more evenly and more quickly).
You can use rubber gloves to fish for the slippers in the hot water when you’re checking.
I would also suggest that you wring the slippers instead of letting them go through a spin cycle because sometimes felted garments keep their creases caused by spinning! I like to roll my wet wool items in a towel and step on them to get out the extra water. Then shape with my hands and sit on another towel to dry. If you’re lucky to live in a cool, dry, sunny place, put your wet slippers outside in the sun!
I did knit the double sole for my big brother’s slippers and Kathy is going to add a leather sole, too so that Rick can go outside with his slippers. They turned out really well and I am so happy that I could help my family stay warm this winter!
I am looking forward to knitting these again! I have so much great yarn in my stash that will felt well … maybe Christmas gifts?