Monday, October 07, 2013

Design Inspiration: Sunday Morning Slippers

Sunday Morning Slippers came from my desire to improve an earlier design, my Short-Row Felted Slippers.

Boomer doesn't care about slippers.

Those first slippers were actually what encouraged me to write knitting patterns. They were only the second knit pattern I put on Ravelry, and they are still the most popular pattern I've ever written. (Part of their popularity is that they are free. A free pattern simply gets downloaded a lot more than most paid ones.)

I also learned a lot from comments and questions I got from people who made the slippers. Is there any way to make the back collapse less? How do I make knitting them a little less awkward? 

Instead of starting with the top of the slipper, I started right at the back. This simplified the construction and made most of the knitting more straightforward. Less time juggling stitches from one needle to the next helped a lot. I called them "Sunday Morning" because I knit a pair in a few hours at my Sunday morning knitting group.

I made the very back of the slipper a triangle instead of a rectangle, because I noticed that most shoes taper a little there, and it seemed it would help keep the sides from flattening out. I added notes to the pattern and video to help show a few of the more unusual techniques. 

Since I knit the first pair (and second, and third) from my own handspun yarn, I needed some ideas of commercial yarns people could use. A group of test knitters gave me great notes for improving the pattern and used their own yarns to suit them. They all used at least two strands of yarn held together to get to the yarn thickness needed for gauge and one knitter used 5 strands of Aran-weight yarn as one on a US 15 needle to make a men’s size 11 slipper!

The original pattern was designed to fit a woman with small-to-medium-sized feet. Knitters have expanded that a bit with their yarn and needle choices. That's one of the great things about Ravelry. You don't have to reinvent the wheel all of the time.

I love slippers and I'm always looking for new ways to try different techniques and shapes. In fact, I'm working on a new design right now. I just hope people like them and find them useful. 

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