Saturday, June 2, 2012

Building a Slipper Pattern

I wanted a slipper pattern for our upcoming knit-in for soldiers, who say they like warm slippers best of any of the knits they've received, and I thought about it for a week or more before I started to knit.  I didn't how to get what I wanted:
  • It had to be lined and warm. 
  • It had to work with any machine, bulky, mid-gauge, or standard. 
  • It had to be fairly fast to knit.
  • I wanted to be able to teach it to our beginners fairly easily. 
  • It needs to suit either a man or a woman. 
  • I didn't want to require  ribber for this, since we have to lug everything to the church where we meet for the knit-in, and since not everybody has a ribber or likes to use a ribber.
Then Pat Tittizer sent me two slipper patterns by email for ideas.  There is the good old lined, short-rowed and gathered one, which I hadn't made in years, I tried out in purple and put on the blog with the question about who developed the pattern.  You can get that pattern in several places on the Web, it turns out, and I'm not going to republish it.

I didn't like the lumpy gathers, but it certainly is fast, warm, and easy.  You can cover them with a pom pom or crocheted trim, but that's very feminine-looking.  I reviewed all my past slipper patterns.  Over the years, I have created two mocassins, several sock-like ones, a doubled bulky one that has been on this blog, a felted one, one for the CSM, and several ribber ones.  A bunch of my old slipper patterns are here on this blog, in various places! (If you are curious, do a search for "slipper" in the search box above "Diana Natters On" in the header of the blog.)  The best warm slipper, unless everyone purchases felting wool, is the doubled one, and it's a lot of sewing.  You have to sew a decent mattress stitch for it to look great.
Then I had an idea for a no-sew, lined slipper that is finished as it comes off the machine.  I started by cutting up and taping bits of paper to work out the geometry, then knitted the unlined maroon sample.  It's okay, but I had to crochet the toe together.  Next, I knitted the variegated one on the bulky, but I thought the front of the foot looked a little messy, and I wanted it to come up higher on the foot.

I was getting close to what I wanted with the peach one, but the gauge was too loose.  I am still surprised at how much the LK150's gauge changes from one number to the next.

The winner is the pink one!  It looks neat-as-a-pin on the top of the foot, there is virtually no finishing (just ends to hide), and I decided it's worth recharting in all the different machine gauges.  Now this week, before club meets, I'll be working out the math for the sizes and knitting samples.


  1. Looks like you have a winner Diana!


  2. Diane they look awesome, sounds like you have a winner. Just wondering if you are going to put up the pattern here on your blog after you get them all worked out? I love doing things for different charities and this would be perfect!

  3. Very nice slippers, Diana! So much better than the ones with the -for me- unattractive gathering on the top. And so good as you say there is nearly no finishing!

    Kind greetings

  4. Smart! I really like this idea! Synnøve

  5. They're great, Diana; look forward to making some of these.

  6. A lady after my own heart. I make no bones about it, the less I have to sew the better as in my troop cap pattern you filmed. Look forward to your seamless slipper!

  7. Hi Diana, are you going to do a video on this one??


  9. Geometry??!! Show off!! ;-) Joking of course.

    The slipper you designed is perfect. I am going to make several pairs of them when you get them charted. Don't forget the mid-gauge while charting them.

    BTW:I believe that the gathered slipper was in a book called 'keep you feet warm' & might have been done by Yvonne Rhodes, but I could be wrong. I have that book & looked for it but couldn't find it. When I made that slipper for a man I usually ran a cord through the gathered section & tied it on top.

  10. Fantastic - can't wait until the pattern is available. Simply love it and they look so warm soft. A truly diana-project.
    Andrea from CH

  11. I like em all. The variegated one would be nice for those with foot edema or who have wide/large feet. Will you be putting winning pattern up?

    Nice work, thank you for the inspiration and all you do for those of us who need a leader.


  12. Now that is a great slipper patten! Looks very stylish, doubled for warmth and comfort. Really doesn't get any better than this. Looking forward to the pattern - let me know when it goes on sale and I'm all ready to order. Marg

  13. I've not been too happy with the various MK options either. Started with the 7 and 14 minute slippers; hated the gathers and they seemed too wide for the length. Tried the "romeo"/moccasin style which was better. Liked how your double one goes up higher, but found the grafting on the toe area annoying. I like the felted clogs by KrisKrafter, but even with doing a two colour fair isle on the sole, they still wear out quickly (and it's too tedious to do the fair isle on the LK 150). Your new slippers look great! My only concern would be that they can't be just slipped on--but that also makes them safer as I'm often slipping out of my clog style ones. I'm hoping you post/sell the pattern--the MK group I'm in makes slippers to donate to the hospital.

  14. I like these!
    Do you have an idea when the pattern will be available? - I'd like to do a pair for the ravelympics!