Monday, January 3, 2011

Current USM Project - A Worsted Weight Slipper

This is a worsted weight slipper made on the USM.  I had in mind a warm bed sock or house slipper.  If you're going to wear them around the house, you'll want to squiggle some puff paint or silicone seal on the bottoms  to make them non-slip.

These would make wonderful gifts.  They take less than 3 ounces!  You can make them out of odds and ends of worsted (American 4-ply) yarn.  Of course, the better the yarn you use, the better your slippers are.  For the video, I used pink variegated yarn which photographs well, but isn't this Tweed smart?.

These are NOT socks to go into a shoe!  These are thick.  The pictured pair is made from Lion Brand Tweed, which is marked as a bulky.   I don't think it's very bulky at all, since I keep getting worsted gauges with it.   I love the stuff; think it would be wonderful in men's sizes.  My son was eyeing the pink ones last night, declaring them "legit," the current Steven stamp-of-approval.  He already made off with the Lion Brand tweed hat and scarf, which he's using in his chilly old car.   These Tweed ones are much too small for his feet, but I do plan to rechart the pattern in lots of sizes for the book, so I can fix him up with a pair for his manly feet.

Wouldn't these be great to knit for the troops?  How about for the sailors, sleeping in cold bunks below deck? Or, perhaps for a nursing home?  Come on, big-hearted knitters!

I will upload the videos in a few days, with the ladies' medium instructions, probably next weekend.  It's all filmed, but I'm hoping folks will try out the baby blanket first.  The blanket is a great little project with its own interesting techniques to add to your arsenal.  The baby blanket has short-rowing, an unusual edging, Kitchener, and closing the center.

I am planning a USM book, all small, interesting projects with plenty of techniques to learn.  I think I will arrange the projects in order of difficulty.

I haven't thought of a title.  Suggestions?

There's nothing here in my USM projects - the slippers, hats, scarves, mittens, or baby blanket - that you couldn't make on a regular bulky machine.  In fact, they'd be easier on the Japanese bulky with a lot less hand-tooling.

I believe that with space constraints for both DVD and book,  the how-tos must be focused on the USM, though.  The USM is a great way for crafters to begin machine knitting, because of its low price and wide availability.  This is my current outreach to newbies.

It is, however, a quirky device and things must be done differently.  For instance, short-rowing a toe is more difficult on the USM.  I tried a slew of experiments and finally came up with a way to short-row the toes and heels that is absolutely reliable.  I do suggest you practice it a little before you make your slipper socks, though.


  1. Hi, this is Jess from Lion Brand. I wanted to thank you for blogging about your Tweed Stripes slippers. I love the way that the color changes work up, especially in socks.

    Happy knitting!

    Jess H.
    Lion Brand Yarn

  2. I like the idea of knitting these for the troops. Looking forward to the video.

  3. Jess, check out the USM scarf and hat I made and taught with Lion Brand Tweed (and there's a picture of my son wearing them). It's here:

    This is an excellent yarn for men, soft, not itchy, with some very manly color schemes.

  4. I love all your USM videos. They are easy to understand and give great tips. I book would be wonderful. I also have a SR 155 that is so beyond my skills. Have you done any videos on that machine?

  5. Hi Diana,
    My name is Joey C. and I would like to thank you so much for these great instructionals for the USM. Such a great help they are. Also I'd like to let you know that I've personally linked all the USM video's you've made so far to the facebook Bond USM group I'm part of. Here is a Link

    I can't wait for the USM sock pattern videos. I've tried 3 other USM sock patterns with no success here's hoping yours will be better for me. I'm a visual learner and sort of detailed oriented.

  6. I have really enjoyed your videos. I am in the process of attempting the tam. My problem is that I can't find a place to purchase the weights you use. Can you help me find a web site to purchase?

  7. You can find weights on eBay quite often. You can also get them from Bond America (the claw weights) or from many of the knitting machine dealers on the internet. I would try Sandee's Kwik Knit, or Custom Knits & Manufacturing, or the Knit Knack Shop (all in my links list on the blog).

    The triangle weight hangers are a Singer/Studio product and available from many Studio dealers.

  8. On the book.. have you considered making it downloadable in PDF? I personally would prefer it that way.