I love blogweekends because we can have a rest from books and talk about knitting and things and I have been a woolly cordwainer this week making felted slippers. I know it's not as if I don't have enough to do, but this being the start of a week or two of WhimIsMe after a heavy few weeks at work, well I just saw the pattern as I was doing that fatal thing of browsing on Ravelry, and had to make them.
This is what the finished articles may or may not look like.
In fact the pattern isn't a free one, it has to be ordered from Blue Moon (Felted Kicks) and be advised it won't open in Vista PDF but it will open in Adobe and I'm very happy to pay from something as good as this.
I'm trying new and different with my knitting this year and am consistently amazed at how daunting something can look until you break it down, row by row and then *ping* suddenly it starts to take shape in your hands, and subsequently in your mind, and hats off to Marilyn Kaleikilo for designing these, they really are lovely..hopefully.
I've had to master 3-needle BO which was a new one on me and then each slipper involves knitting two identical pieces for each which then have to be slotted inside each other and knitted together around the upper. This proved to be a fiendish tussle which I only just survived, feeling as if I'd done ten rounds with Henry Cooper when I'd finished, and then there was the I-cord BO to come.
I think you can see this does have the look of a slipper about it but we have a way to go.
Isn't the interknit internet amazing.
I mean how on earth would I have figured out this...
Using backward loop method, CO 3 I-cord stitches. Turn work so yarn is attached to needle in left hand. BO all sole sts with I-cord BO
My thanks to Judy's knitting tips on youtube for the I-cord BO assistance because I think she knew I was sitting there with my eyes tight shut saying 'Can't...can't...can't' and when she held up her needles and in her calm and dulcet tones said
'Now what you are going to do...'
Well funnily enough my anxiety was contained and I immediately could.
It looks a right pig's ear now I've cast it off to be honest with you and I can't wait for the transfomation to occur.
Once I've finished the other one we move to the ruining felting process and I'm in two minds about this.
So all you felting experts... should I try and 'agitate' these by hand in very very hot water or use the machine for ten minutes at a time as the pattern suggests??
Because I'm not sure how you can do this controlled felting in a front-loading machine when the door stays locked because it has water in it, am I being stupid or do I need to go out and find an old twin tub?
Or do I just throw it in with the Lakeland dolly balls that I am assured work like magic, pace around for a while and hope for the best??
Talking of which excitement of the week, it's FibreFest this weekend, Devon's own woolly gathering at Bicton College. I'm going to be meeting the KnitAngel there today and we plan to talk wool and slippers all the day long.