archive for November 14th, 2005
it’s turned icy cold tonight, and just in time we have new slippers. not sure whether madam’s are as warm as mine which are ridiculously warm, if they weren’t open-backed they’d be too hot
using a pattern designed to fit her feet and a cardboard resist as per previous links. it really is a straightforward process, start to finish (including drying overnight) in 12 hours. i haven’t included the time it took me to unravel 1 1/2 oz pencil roving (oh for a :rolleyes: smiley when i really need one). my fault – i said that if i got pink fluff in my delivery i’d make her slippers from it, forgetting if it did arrive it wouldn’t be in easily-feltable form.
i’ve got a load of process shots that i might upload if the fancy takes me, i just followed the directions and it worked a treat. it was merino so felted no problem. i had to do a fair bit of tweaking to get the foot to sit flat, as i thought i might looking at the pattern. stuffing with newspaper helped a lot, but slowed down the drying.
thanks to excellent advice received on glitter i had puff paint at the ready to slip-proof the soles. i could do with a lot more practice with the puff paint i trimmed down the original design which had flappy bits round the ankle. i didn’t like how they turned out and madam couldn’t manage to get them on on her own. the extra meant i had enough to leave a tag on the back to help get them on and i much prefer the more minimal look. i ran up a quick batch of fine candy-cane pink and white yarn to finish the edges.
only one slight hitch – she won’t wear them but won’t explain why, they fit perfectly and my guess is they really are just too hot.
i tried a different approach for mine, cutting and sewing from a sheet of felt. i liked the idea of making double sided felt, especially since i had some herdwick that should make durable but not very comfy slippers. so i thought i’d back it with a softer fibre, dyed, cos nothing that goes on my feet would stay white for long. i chose bfl in the hope that it would felt when i wanted and not in the dye bath. dye was my standard vinegar/food dye combo, worked a treat.
i had to stop the fulling process sooner than i wanted because the long hairy fibres of the herdwick were starting to migrate through the bfl, defeating the object of having a soft fluffy lining. so the felt wasn’t as sturdy as i would have liked. at the last minute i decided to double up the sole layer and didn’t have enough to cut duplicates without piecing, hence the joining you can see on the right “insole”, thought i’d go for brazen rather than subtle. it’s stitched with a thread i spun from the bfl (slightly thicker than i’d used on the pink ones, the thickest i could get through the needle).
i made up a pattern based on drawing round my feet and allowing extra room on the top piece. they’re not very snug fitting as i wanted room to wear with socks. i tested the pattern by stapling the paper pattern pieces together and trying them on, and they’re just as i wanted. i finished the raw edges with more blanket stitched bfl thread. perhaps next time i’d make more of an effort to match them up re: how the grain runs – i can’t say it bothers me at all, but i’d spot it straight away if i hadn’t made them.
next time i’d definitely make a thicker felt, more layers to begin with. you can see how thin and patchy the bfl is, and i’m not sure how much life i’ll get from the soles, even doubled. i decided not to puff the bottoms since our floors aren’t all that slippy and there isn’t enough room to get up skid-worthy speed. overall i’m really really pleased with these, for a rough and ready and very quick prototype (start to finish, dyeing spinning and all in less than 12 hours, which included cooking and eating a roast dinner ). i love the hairiness and i still can’t believe how ridiculously warm they are.
this was supposed to be a basket to store yarn, but i severely underestimated how far my yardage would get me. this is all 95 yards of handpsun #7 transformed into a thing 12″ by 5″ by a paltry 2″ high. i gained a little extra height with the picots which are totally out of keeping with the yarn and the rectangular shape, but i actually quite like it. i’m using it to (try to) keep my keys, cards and other essentials together.
i made it up as i went along, starting with a long spiral, squaring it out by increasing just at the corners and not along the ends. i realised i’d have to change to rows when i got to the sides as the spirals make for a single-sided fabric, fine for the base, but not the sides. on the first side row i worked into the back loops only, which makes for a nicely defined corner.
it’s worked with a small hook for the wpi (4mm iirc) and the fabric is pretty tight, it’d stand up a bit more if the picots didn’t make it wider along the top row. i’m pretty pleased i’ve got a (semi) functional item out of what was all along a colour experiment. i can’t believe how all the colour repeats happened to fall together though.