These things are awesome!!! I’ve eyed them forever and have had the pattern for quite some time for fear of never having felted before. I couldn’t bare the thought of hours of knitting eaten up or distorted in the washer. It’s definitely one of those projects that you get out more than you put in!
The knitting was simple enough. I didn’t make many modifications to the pattern on these. I used Kfb (bar increase) for the garter stitched sole. I just had to keep a diligent eye on the stitch counts making sure I always matched up.
When it was time to join the upper in the round I crossed my first and last stitches before joining. I don’t typically do this, but it helped close the gap, added reinforcement at the heel and didn’t show after the felting process was complete.
I also skipped the step of picking up stitches with a second circular needle for the “cuff”. I, instead, picked up the back bar of the stitch from the first knit round, placed it on my left needle then knitted both PU stitch and next stitch on the left needle together before binding off. If you are using a contrasting color for the cuff, make sure the stitch you pick up from the first round is the same color as you’re knitting the cuff with. If not, the cuff sits a little funky and you’ll have purls of the other color around the inner portion of the cuff.
I knit the sole as written.
It makes you really nervous when, after finished, you end up with these loose, floppy cocoon looking pieces of mess that bare little resemblance to the finished projects you see here.
This was my first time felting, so I followed the included instructions to the letter. I filled my top loading machine with hot water on a low level and added 2 pairs of jeans, wool wash, and the slipppers inside of a pillow case. I allowed the machine to agitate for approximately 10 minutes and checked them, straightened them out and repeated the process twice more. After the third washing for the purple ones and the fourth washing for the orange ones, I rinsed them with cold water in the sink. I squeezed out as much water as I could and wrapped them in a towel to get out excess moisture. I stuffed them with plastic grocery bags, and molded them to the shape I wanted. They took approximately 36-48 hours to dry. The wool I used felted well without showing distinct stitches and didn’t fuzz much at all. It was like magic and SO easy I can’t believe I put it off for so long!
A few people have emailed me asking about the embellishments so I’ve included that info below including instructions for the Latvian braided band.
I’m horrible at embroidery, so don’t look too closely if you do hand embroidery! It looks kinda crappy! I’m in desperate need of a class! I used different remnants of sock yarns in fingering weight merino for all the colors except for the lavender which is mercerized cotton DMC floss. The lavender is done in french knots, the leaves are done with an upside down lazy daisy stitch, the vines are done with a back stitch, the orange rosebuds were done with a feathering stitch and the red flowers are done with colonial knots.
Latvian braided band
For the band I casted on 100 stitches with the red, merino, sock yarn and a US 2 DPN using the long tail CO. (These are a woman’s medium, but depending on the size you knit and the size your slipper ends up being after felting, you may need to cast on more or less stitches in an equal number--a number divisible by four will make it easy.)
Distribute stitches evenly over four DPN needles and join in the round.
-Knit 1 round in MC.
-Purl 1 round in MC.
-(K1 in MC, K1 in CC) repeat until you reach the end of the round.
-Work 1 round of purl making sure that you purl the MC stitches with the MC yarn and purl the CC stitches with the CC yarn. Make certain that you always grab the working yarn from underneath the other color in this round. Your two working yarns should twist up-badly.
-Next, purl 1 additional round just as before except for pulling the working yarn OVER the yarn color used on the previous stitch. After this round, your working yarns should be all untwisted if you are purling and twisting/untwisting the colors correctly.
-Cut CC yarn (leaving a tail to weave later) and knit one round in red.
-Next, purl one round in red.
-Cast off in knit on the right side leaving approximately 1 yard of a tail to sew band together AND sew band under cuff.
After weaving in your ends, take the band and fold it in half lengthwise with wrong sides facing each other. Using a running stitch or whipstitch, sew cast on edge to cast off edge all the way around. You should now have a circular tube. Using a large embroidery needle and the MC fingering wt. merino, secure the band to the upper just below the cuff with a blind stitch. That’s it!
Please feel free to pm me with any questions!