I have an ongoing love affair with slippers. I love the cozy warmth on feet that seem perpetually cold. My feet slip into them constantly from mid-October through mid-April. Such use results in a lot of abuse; they rarely last more than a season or two before there are holes in the soles or worn places on the sides and they are begging to be replaced. So it shouldn't have been a surprise that patterns for knitted slippers would catch my eye.
What a delight to find that they abound these days! When I first picked up a pair of knitting needles it seems like there was just one kind that could be knit for men, women, and children alike. They featured a garter stitch body with a few inches of ribbing at the top; two single-stitch strips of stockinette stitch (try saying that five times fast, lol!) made them fold naturally in thirds to fit around a foot. They were easy and fast, and my siblings and I made them by the closetful.
It was only a matter of time before I would have the urge to knit a pair when I came back to the hobby decades later. Deciding to make a pair for my husband in his favorite football team's colors, I tried in vain to find the pattern that I knew I had kept even after casting the needles aside, a handwritten memory from my youth. Thankfully Pinterest came to the rescue once more; the only issue was adjusting the pattern for size. I simply guessed on the stitch count. Later, while gathering dirty socks for the load of laundry I was starting, I just “happened” to catch a glimpse of some bluegreen wool in the back corner of my husband's closet. Instantly I knew what it was! I was still knitting in the days I started dating him; I had forgotten that I had made him a pair of these very slippers 37 long years ago! And he still had them!!!
The trouble with knitted slippers is that they don't last. Unless a sole of leather or suede is attached to the bottom, the yarn wears through after constant contact with carpet and other flooring. I could see why he didn't wear them anymore; the slipper I found sported a big hole, the yarn unraveling around it. But the fact that he kept them anyway touched my heart (and explains why we have a clutter problem in this house!); I was thrilled all over again to be making him a new pair. And the best thing about finding this treasure was that I could easily count the stitches to see if I was making them the right size!
Nowadays there are an abundance of interesting patterns with which to decorate one's feet in knitted warmth! I fell in love with one such pattern I discovered at my favorite yarn shop; it was another instance of falling in love first with a certain kind of yarn and then wondering what I could possibly make with it; the store owner had wisely placed a finished slipper underneath the bin and offered the pattern for free! I bit on the bait, bought my yarn and made the first on a long football-filled afternoon with the family. The pattern was quick, fun, and taught me some new techniques – what's not to love?! I knit the other a day or so later and then discovered that the way the variegated yarn had worked up made one slipper look mostly gray and the other blue! The happy solution was to make another set the same way, then match the blues and the grays; I doubled the fun and got two pairs instead of one!
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor...”
(Ecclesiastes 4:9 NKJV)