Since I work at home, my slippers are my work shoes. I wear them all day, (almost) every day. So, I wear them out faster than the average person; I make and buy a lot of slippers!
|Felted Slippers by Marcy Petrini|
I have a few pairs that I really like, and there are some things they have in common. They have thick soles, are tightly felted, and have non-slip bottoms. (True confession: one pair is leather with fleece innards, so they're not felted, obviously, but they fit the other criteria.)
These favorites are a mix of hand-knitted and store-bought, and one more attribute they share is that all of them are made with high-quality wool or leather.
Because I'm a slipper connoisseur, I thought I'd share some tips about knitting my favorite footwear!
If you're knitting slippers that you're going to felt, make the soles extra thick. Double the yarn, or if the pattern already calls for doubled yarn, add a single strand to make three strands total.
You can also knit two soles and whip stitch them together before felting, but make sure each sole is somewhat thin—you don't want to make them so thick they become ankle-busters! That bit of extra sole will make your slippers last longer; it's so sad when your heel finally wears its way through the sole!
I make my slippers a little larger than my size and I felt the heck out of them. After they reach maximum feltness, I put them on while they're still damp and let them mold to my feet.
I know—it sounds icky, and it is a little bit. But it's worth it. I put on a thin pair of socks and put my feet in bread-type plastic bags before I slip on the damp slippers, and a space heater under my desk helps my feet stay warm during this process.
Use good-quality yarn for your slippers. They'll last a lot longer if you do. My favorite felting yarn for slippers is Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted or Bulky, and Cascade 220 (not superwash, which won't felt).
I do make some non-felted slippers occasionally. Since non-felted slippers don't last me as long as felted slippers do, I tend to use less expensive, but still good-quality yarn. I made Lisa Shroyer's Easy Peasy Slippers out of Plymouth Encore, doubled. I made them a little longer to account for the doubled yarn. The doubled yarn made them fit a little tighter, too, which I liked.
My sister is the proud owner of these now, and I didn't take a photo before I gave them away. They're not photo-worthy anymore because she's worn them so much!
Add a leather sole (available at your local yarn shop) to your slippers, or do a little DIY project to make your slippers non-skid.
There are lots of ways to do this, but my favorite is to add DAP (a plumber's caulk) to the bottoms of my slippers. I just squeeze some all over the bottom and spread it out evenly with a putty knife. I let it dry for about 24 hours (sticky side up!), and then they're ready to wear.
I've heard of other methods of skid-proofing that use puff paint that you can get at the craft store. A product called Plasti-Dip is also recommended on some knitting blogs, but I've never tried it. All of the bloggers say to use it in a well-ventilated area, so there's that to consider.
And so ends my tips for hand-made slippers. I hope you can put some of these to use.
We have a fabulous collection of slipper patterns for you, of course! You're sure to find at least one of them tickles your fancy; probably more than one. This collection includes the Easy Peasy Slippers and another of my favorites, the Friday Slippers. I love the style of those, and I think I have some of the yarn in my stash. I might just whip up a pair of Friday Slippers to start off the new year.
Get your Knitted Slipper Collection now, and treat yourself to a new pair of slips!