Non-Felted Slippers by Yuko Nakamura

I got to Maine this summer by air. Typically we drive together but since I had to work, I had to fly. SO … I could only bring a suitcase and a carry-on bag and I needed to bring my yarn which meant that I didn’t have any slippers to wear when I got here.

What the yarn was going to be ...

What the yarn was going to be …

Luckily, I had the cowl (partly knitted picture above) that I had finished and found a (glaring) mistake as I was blocking it. The yarn was bulky and just what I needed for this pattern. And since I’ll never WEAR a bulky cowl in Florida, and I WILL wear slippers in Maine, what better use to put the yarn to?

Starting Non-Felted Slippers by Yuko Nakamura

Starting Non-Felted Slippers by Yuko Nakamura

This pattern, Non-Felted Slippers by Yuko Nakamura, caught my eye somewhere (perhaps on Ravelry). I thought the slippers looked comfy and I liked the idea that they didn’t need to be felted. When I found out it was with bulky yarn, so much the better because they’ll also be a quick knit!

My gauge was 8 sts = 2 inches and what the pattern said was 13 sts = 10cm. So, I had a few more stitches than the pattern called for. But I thought that would be OK since I have bigger than “medium” size feet. Unfortunately, I was “off” again … I would not make a good banker … and the first pair of slippers would stretch to fit me but they were stretched too far. So that pair will go to my little mentee who has a birthday coming up quickly. And on the second pair, I decided to add a few more stitches (a little more than an inch worth) to make the second pair fit me a bit better.

Sole: I cast on 56 stitches (using a US 9 16″ circular needle as called for in the pattern.) I knit the first row and the the second row I split up as follows: K35, P11, K35. I followed the directions and simply added a couple of stitches to each of the designer’s number. At the end of for 12, I had 81 stitches. Since I was using a single color of yarn, I didn’t cut my yarn and kept on knitting.

Instep: Starting on my 81 stitches, I knit the first row and then start my toe decreases. So, row 2 will be: P35, PM, P11, PM, P35. The decreasing begins with row 3 (you’ll be decreasing 8 stitches every other row and purling all of the even rows). Row 3: K28, SSK twice, K3tog, K11, sl1, K2tog, psso, K2tog twice, K28. Again, I followed the designer’s steps with a couple of stitches added in each section and when I got to row 28: P27, P2tog, P15, I was ready to be on Easy Street (and I was!) with the two rows of knitting all stitches and a bind off knit wise.

IMG_1619IMG_1621I seamed these babies up and they are ready to wear (for the first time) tomorrow morning. I can hardly wait.

Now, back to my brother’s birthday socks – his birthday was only five or six weeks ago! 😉

Gone knitting.

Casting On!

I’m casting on another new project. I probably shouldn’t be doing it, but I am. So there! 🙂

I saw a wonderful cowl pattern on the internet and just HAD to know what it was. Wouldn’t you know it was a Purl Soho/Purl Bee pattern (I’ve never seen a project that I didn’t like from that site!) called the Fluted Cowl (FREE pattern! Click here.)

It calls for 300 yards of a bulky weight wool. So, into my (beautifully organized) stash I went to see if I had what I needed and, sure enough, there it was. Sitting there looking back at me. Begging me to take it out of the bin and knit with it after all these years. Well, not really, but it sounds good doesn’t it?

Years and years ago I bought Some Jo Sharp Silkroad Ultra in a colorway called “Seafoam”. Five skeins of it. Why five? Because there were only five left and I really liked the color and the hand of the yarn. It was also at least 50% off because the shop was closing.

I’ve made an executive decision to use a US #13 needle because I don’t have the size that the pattern asks for. And since it’s a cowl not a sweater, the gauge isn’t as much a strict rule as a guideline. The cowl will be a bit smaller than the one in the pattern but that’s ok.

First cast on effort (yes, first means that I have had more than one!) was using a long tail cast on. I usually use this method and generally it works if I plan for approximately an inch of yarn per stitch. So, since the pattern asks for 196 stitches, I gave it three generous “wing spans” and then some figuring that my wing span is about 5.5 feet (I counted 60 stitches). Wrong. I got 169 stitches on my needles.

So, on round two, I decided to do a more “sure thing” cast on and used the knitted cast on. If you’ve never done it, it’s really simple.

Start with a slip knot on your left hand needle. Knit into the stitch (just like normal knitting) on the left-hand needle knit-wise.

IMG_0946

Insert the right-hand needle knit-wise

Now you can go ahead and wrap the yarn around the back needle and pull it through the “old” stitch. (Good grief, my hands and fingernails look awful! That’s what I get for trying a gel manicure with no intentions to continue to have them done!)

IMG_0949

Wrap the yarn around the needle and pull through to create the new stitch

Pull the stitch through the old stitch and you have one new stitch on your right-hand needle.

IMG_0952

Here’s your new stitch! You’re almost there!

Now, slip the new stitch from the right- to the left-hand needle and tighten the stitch down. Important note: when you’re slipping the stitch to the left-hand needle, twist your right-hand needle a quarter turn clockwise … make sure your two needle points are facing the same direction and then you’ll be passing the stitch the right way. Don’t just pass the stitch from right to left with the needles pointing opposite ways. I know it’s a bit confusing, but if you try it, you’ll see what I mean!

IMG_0953

Now just slip the new stitch back onto the left-hand needle and tighten it up.

Knitted Cast On

Voila! You’ve added one stitch. Now insert your right-hand needle into the new stitch on the left-hand needle knit-wise … and off you go!

You’ve cast on one new stitch. Now just start over again from the first step and repeat for as many stitches as you need for your project.

This way, you’re adding stitches with your working yarn rather than using the tail for your new stitches. This way you won’t get to 169 stitches and have three inches of yarn left for a tail (and nearly 30 stitches short of what is required!)

A new cast on method for you. I now need to go cast on another 190 stitches!

Gone knitting!