Saturday, January 8, 2011

New USM Videos - Big, Fat, Warm Slipper Pattern

This is a single-layer, worsted weight footie slipper to make on a bulky machine or a USM.  I did a sew-as-you-go seam, so when it comes off the machine, it's finished except for the ribbing seams.

Once I cooked it up, I knitted it four times.  I wouldn't mind sitting down and knitting another pair, but I really am going to move on.  Come on, Diana, move on...they're like eating the leftover Christmas chocolate, habit-forming.

Maybe I need to do a loose wool pair for felting...

This project was inspired by our having several very cold  nights in a row when I had to wear socks to bed, or else wait a l o n g time for my feet to be warm.

CAUTION:  Always add a non-slip substance to the bottoms of yarn slippers!  I would love it if somebody knitted 20 of them for a nursing home, but please, we don't want to give someone the "gift" of an terrible fall onto a hard floor.  Puff paint works, silicone seal works, and a commenter said that Joann's has a coating for sale that works just great.  Whatever you buy, you just squiggle it on the bottoms, and one container will do a whole bunch of slippers.

Here are some photos.  In the spirit of the USM project, which is aimed at MK newbies, I used readily-available craft store yarns.  The brown variegated ones were made with Lion Brand Tweed.  It is marked as "bulky" but gives the gauge just fine, has a soft hand, very slow color changes, and has a nice, professional look.

The aqua-multi ones are Red Heart worsted yarn, a yarn I hardly ever use unless I want the product to be rather tough.  I think this would be good if you're going to walk around in the slippers, not just wear them for a little warmth.

The rose-multi is Impeccable yarn.  It's a nice choice for these, softer than the rather Red Heart and springier than the Caron Simply Soft on the right.

The lavender Caron Simply soft was actually left-over from the baby blanket video.  Since these slippers require less than three ounces of yarn, I thought I'd see if I could make it and not run out - and I had some left.  The Simply Soft has a super-silky feel, a "hand" that puts me in mind of some silk yarn I used to carry in my yarn shop.  They're shiny, too.  It's not elastic at all.  The slippers come out bigger with it, and although they're very pretty and soft, they're just a bit  limp for my taste.  I should have gone down a whole keyplate size.

There's something tricky about these videos, the short-row method.  Why not practice that technique with scrap yarn before you get all locked-and-loaded to get a slipper done?  I had to do a funny little workaround to deal with my USM's tendency to miss the hook after a needle pulled into hold.  Ironicaly, the second needle that I hand-knit in the video tends to be high after I do it, so I often have  to poke it  down.  Sometimes the carriage plunks into it.  You don't want to tear up that plastic carriage or bend needles by smacking into a high hook, so  knit slowly and if you tap into a needle, reach into the center area of the carriage nose and poke the needle down out of the way.

There are two videos:


  1. Hello Diana, I made a trial slipper after watching your videos yesterday. Love it! This was my first time to make successful short-rows on the USM. Thank you again for developing a technique that makes my life easier! I see many of these slippers in my family's future.
    My grandmonsters prefer that there is at least one pair that they can "skate" across the hardwood floors in, but I will be using the non-slip options too.

  2. Diana you are such a jewel. If only we can get new knitters past the learning process I believe they would love MK & HK as much as we do. It's that they get overwhelmed trying to learn & discouraged & give up.

  3. Hi Diana, look at my work!
    I translated your pattern into Brother 260.
    Please, disregard a small mistake - my grafting went wrong. Love the project. Will make more of them. Thank you very much!
    ~ Iryna

  4. I love this pattern, after watching your videos of the SAYG method, I can finally "see" it clearer. I have made your double lined slippers on the Bond and they came out great. Thank you for all you're doing to help keep this craft alive. I'm very interested in a USM book of yours.

  5. Diana are you using all four weight rods for this project? My general rule of thumb was one weight rod for every 25 sts. I think part of the sizing problem I am having is that you are using more weight than I am.

  6. I only used the cast-on cuff with rods at the beginning as I do the ribbing. As soon as that is done, I remove the rod and use claw weights only. How many rods will make no difference in the foot sizing, since the cuff is off.

    I found the sizing is very different with different yarn. The Tweed was the tightest of my samples and the Simply Soft, the loosest.

  7. The problem then is that I am using the clear keyplates with the wire guide carriage. It runs smaller. I'm using RH worsted and my cuff, with all 4 rods is no where near as loose and long as your is. It is only 1.5" deep. My yarn has been stripped into a basket so it is free flowing.

  8. I do spiral-bound books with DVDs. My books have good color photos, too. This one may have two DVDs. The DVDs contain hands-on video of how to do the steps. The book can be taken to the machine, and you can work from paper, and have a little room to write in notes.

    This seems to be the most popular format. It's a little more trouble for us, but ensures that the person gets everything needed for successful knitting.

  9. Does the toe of the slipper have the same number of stitches short rowed as the heel. I watched the videos several times and can not tell if the toe has the same as the heel. You do not say in the videos.

  10. Thank You.
    I look forward to your book on patterns for the USM.

  11. Can you recommend any good Knitting Machine Dealers in Texas. I live in Aggieland and there is little to no places to find things for Knitting Machines.

  12. There's a retired dealer in Austin who still has some stock, Charlotte Powell. There's a dealer or two in Dallas. There are a fair number of clubs, too, and you are welcome to visit ours in Austin. While I realize it's a drive (our son lives in College Station), we can help you find a machine.

  13. Once again great videos, Diana. I had figured out that method of short-rowing while learning Heidi's "altogether sock" which shares much in common with your slipper. I'd rather poke down the occasional high needle than pick up dropped stitches any day.

  14. Hi Diana,
    Great Tutorial!. Thank you. I've never knitted a sock or slipper on my USM before. After watching your videos, I feel inspired. I'll definitely try knitting them when I get a chance.

    I'm adding your link to my machine knitting patterns page at