Remember the sock kits I made? Here’s the first one. Something about the rambunctious glory of these leftovers made my fingers tingle, so I just made a start and…
I have been knitting through Zoom events where I’m not taking minutes or some other central role… I admit I am surprised to find that I am watching very little TV in this period.
And the other sock…
These are going to their new happy home tomorrow on the return trip of the person who delivers vegetables from our friends’ organic market garden. They will have some company on their trip… Felted Clogs, from the Knitted Slipper Book By Katie Startzman.
So remember those slipper kits? I made a LOT of slippers. These are Felted Clogs, from the Knitted Slipper Book By Katie Startzman, pre-felting.
And these were not all… These are the Felted Clogs (not yet felted) by Bev Galeskas, may her legacy be a blessing.
So many wools here–handspun alpaca, legacy naturally coloured handspun and millspun left by a friend’s mother when she died. Handspun that had been in a logwood exhaust bath or three. Grey handspun that had been through an indigo vat. All kinds of bits and pieces of handspun in all kinds of blue to purple colours. Leftovers from that vest my mother-out-law made from 4 ply alpaca. Actually there were some more that were vibrant green, from m*th damaged wool that a friend gave me.
Here’s where I confess though, that I forgot to take photos of some parts of the process! Some of these looked so odd that I overdyed them to create a better match.
Here is a random image of one pair on the clothes rack… These next ones hit a dye pot because… well, you can see why!
And there the path ends. I decided to get on and dye and felt these because there are just so many unfinished projects in this house right now it’s becoming an issue for me! And then I waited for them to dry and… one pair went in the post to a friend who feels the cold extremely, together with a random pair of socks that were in the back of a cupboard awaiting darning. Darned up and ready to go, she will receive them and the slippers with glee (I’ve checked). Another pair of slippers have gone to a friend who mentioned she’d always wanted a pair of my slippers–by mail, which could take a while right now. A third pair went to another darling in my life who has already sent a picture of his feet up, looking very green and very snug! He was going to the Farmer’s Markets, so he took the logwood pair and the coloured fleece pair to gift on to friends who are organic farmers. And now I have just one pair left, and I have a thought about them too… but no more pictures!! Now you see them, now you don’t!
These slippers (Felted clogs by Bev Galeskas, may her memory be a blessing) have been waiting around for quite a while. Composed of handspun dyed in all shade of blue, mostly handspun and indigo dyed but some unnatural blues too… I grafted the top to the sole one day while travelling and found I did not have the required third needle. Out came my chopstick! The plastic-avoiding cutlery pouch my fairy-goddess-son made me comes with chopsticks rather than a knife and fork, with backup knitting needles as a further advantage!
Here they are prior to felting with my size 10 feet for comparison.
And here they are after felting and prior to delivery to friends who run
a permaculture farm where slippers I’ve knit are apparently in constant
Warning. This post contains many images created in poor lighting conditions! Apologies in advance.
Oh dear. A much loved and well worn pair of slippers came back to me from a friend for examination. I thought I would have matching yarn but I really didn’t. In the end I went for visible mending of this pair and also decided to knit her a new pair. #Menditmay I thought!
Here they are about to be returned to their owner over breakfast (in May), with big mends in the heels. The inside sole is black so these darns will be less visible when they are being worn, perhaps! I cast on the new pair…
The next step was knitting a new pair. Two pairs for different people, in the end, and two dinners with associated felting (no end to the thrills when you visit us!) With appalling photographs to match. This pair are a rich purple and they are on a blue background, not that it shows.
They went to a new home with a cherished friend who has been feeling the cold terribly. She also scored these hand warmers, knit from the remainder of a ball of Noro sock yarn some time ago and awaiting the right moment. They look better on!
Then, my beloved negotiated handover of a small pile of pre-loved and partially felted socks that will fit my friend better than my beloved at this stage. Some required running repairs.
Some were too felted for anything other than brutal patching. No way to knit a patch in. Can’t find any stitches to pick up! Some of these socks were knit before I really understood the kind of yarn that was suitable. But pairs like this, made from Bendigo Woollen Mills 8 ply alpaca, were such a hit among my friends I made a lot of them anyway.
I’ve since had an email about blue socks being worn at Pilates class and a photo of my friend’s ankle as she heads out to dinner in handspun, handknit socks! Too good. These are the people for whom hand knits should, indeed, be made. And finally, the friend whose slippers I was darning at the top of the post came over and I felted her new slippers to size. She arrived wearing hand knit socks… perfect!
There is no end to the slipper making. I just have to embrace my fate! My brother-out-law let me know he wouldn’t mind another pair a while back, and perhaps he rigged the family Kris Kringle, because I ended up with him as my Kris Kringle. I knew what to do.
I know, I know. There are repeating themes in my knitting life. Socks and slippers. Credit where it is due, these are knit from a new-to-me pattern, the Trim Clogs by Katie Starzman. More or less… since, with no provocation at all, I ignored her yarn suggestions, substituted an Australian alpaca yarn in a different gauge to the one she proposes, held it double instead of single, and changed the needle size. I also knit 5 instead of the required 4 since I had a monumental pattern reading failure. Needless to say, I cursed the pattern a lot and could not understand what the problem was. The short version is that I failed to grasp that two named sizes were being knit in the same identical manner, until I had managed to knit an entire slipper. Once I’d worked it out, it was obvious.
The penny dropped eventually and I think these are rather lovely. I also had a colossal felting surprise–the kind of thing you know can happen, but that I nevertheless did not expect. These slippers all came out of the washing machine one chilly night after the same amount of time in the machine, together. They started out the same size and were knit in different colourways of the same yarn. What’s with that?
There has been a lot of holiday crafting going on round here. But this post marks return to my day job!
I made some Thai style fishing pants. I bought a pair in 2000 as the new century began, and they have finally gone to the worms in our worm farms, the ultimate destination of natural fibres that are worn past the point of repair and reuse around here. I traced a pattern from them and made this pair from a sarong found at the op shop. I assume the originals were cut to maximise the use of fabric from a loom that is a standard-ish size in the region, because the sarong was the perfect amount of fabric, with almost no fabric left over to be wasted or used for other things. Surely this is the goal of all hand weavers, as well as a decent goal for thrifty and green sewers.
I used french seams and then top-sewed them flat, so that I could use only cotton thread and ignore the polyester sucking overlocker. When commercially sewn garments go to the worms, the overlocker thread is usually all that remains. The worm farm offers an education in the biodegradability of garments, and I am increasingly aiming for biodegradable. There is a cotton-polyester t shirt in one of them that has been there since my daughter left home and abandoned it. Over 10 years ago. Polyester will clearly survive the apocalypse, along with cockroaches. Seriously, my everyday garments do not need to live as long as the Gobelin tapestries.
I made a pair of radmila’s slippers from a new book, Knitting from the Center Out by Daniel Yuhas. They are knit from handspun merino roving dyed with Eucalypts. I have to say that I gave up making matching pairs a long time ago and now make siblings rather than twins… further proof lies in the next two images. OK, make that three!
I took up knitting in order to be able to knit socks, and that is what led me to spinning and then dyeing. Sock production has slowed down, but I finally finished a pair of Jaywalkers for a beloved friend. She is a lover of bright colours who has appreciated these as splendidly red while they were still in progress. This yarn was dyed by a fabulous local dyer, Kathy Baschiera.
Remember the post where I was wondering whether a sow’s ear could be turned into a silk purse (actually, whether I could turn the less exciting parts of a polwarth fleece and some low quality alpaca into slippers)? Well, the answer is yes. These are knit using Bev Galeskas’ Felted Clogs pattern and dyed with Landscapes dyes. I hope Bev Galeskas has made millions from her pattern. I sure have made tens upon tens of these, though most are a shade less hairy. Clearly I spun in a fair amount of guard hair, and it won’t felt. Just the same, the recipient of the red pair at the back was very enthusiastic as he turned 40, and the delightful women who will be receiving a parcel today or tomorrow with the front two pairs are great mend and make-do experts who have darned their previous pairs extensively… they live in a very cold place and will enjoy warm feet and hopefully overlook the odd stray guard hair!