2020 – The Year of the Slipper

From the desk of KnitFreedom Knitting Expert Mary Claire Phillips...

Mary Claire hand knit slippersI don’t know about y’all, but 2020 for me has been the year of the slipper. Now that I spend so much time at home, slippers are the perfect way to putter about the house.

Even when I’m stuck in the house, I still get to slip on something handmade and special.

Prior to this knit-a-long, I’d been doing some colorwork slippers in the round. However, I was jerryrigging my own pairs from mitten charts and barebones knitting patterns.

When Liat told me she was going to start a Felted Slipper class that involved seaming instead of knitting in the round, I was intrigued.

Mary Claires Totoro slippersI didn’t realize it before, but I looked back at my Ravelry projects and I haven’t finished a seamed project since I started logging my projects in 2018.

So when Liat asked if I wanted to cast on with everyone when we kick off October 31st, I had to say yes!

I love setting intentions for my projects, and this KAL is no different.

Here’s what I’m looking forward to learning with everyone as we knit these slippers together:

  • How to get a smooth seam
  • Felting without a washing machine
  • Getting to know new woolly yarns and the sheep behind them

Stash Diving - Discovering Yarn in Your Own Stash

When it comes to choosing the right yarn, I am all about stash diving!

Given my obsession with felted slippers this year, I had a hefty selection to choose from. However, since most of these were left over from knitting I wasn’t sure if I would have enough for this Knit-A-Long.

If you’re like me and stash diving, here’s a helpful guide on how to figure out how much yarn you have. To do this math you will need -

  • A gram scale (you can find them at yarn shops, baking supplies stores, or just by googling)
  • Yarn you either know is 100% non-superwash wool/alpaca, or yarn you still have the ball tag for which you can confirm the fiber content

Yarn on scaleI had an extra ball of Harrisville Designs FLYWheel in the color Penstock. The combination of black with red, blue, and yellow gives me joy every time I see it.

I’ve already used this ball for another project, so I wanted to see how many yards I have remaining.

One skein of FLYWheel has 170 yards and weighs 50 grams. Now if you want to solve for just this 21 gram ball of yarn, you can do a simple fraction of (170/50) times 21 which equals 71.4 yards. If it helps to see the math written out, here is my handwritten process for you to follow:

How to calculate yards per gram of yarn

If you have multiple skeins of the same yarn, you may prefer to calculate the yards per gram (my first step above) which may be useful for several balls of yarn.

Not going to lie to you KnitFreedom readers, I was so ready to cast on my FLYWheel slippers. I love the color variation in every strand, and I already know I like how they feel on my feet. But then I went to work…

Brusca yarn by RetrosarioJust this past week the yarn shop I work at received a huge shipment of yarn from Retrosario in Portugal. I highly recommend checking them out if you’re natural wools.

While shelving it, I fell in love with the brightly colored, yet still sheepy yarn.

I read a bit more about the milk & wool producing Saloia sheep this wool comes from, and knew immediately this was the perfect project for it.

Needless to say, I came home with more yarn.

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I’m so excited to start knitting on my slippers, what about y’all?

How is your yarn selection going? Will you be treating yourself to new yarn or stash diving from old favorites?

Let me know in the comments! You’ll be hearing from me sparingly as I’ll be spending this week road tripping through nature, distantly visiting sheep farms, and celebrating my birthday alongside my partner.

Oh, and keep your eyes peeled! On Friday, October 13th, our Felted Slippers class and FREE knitalong will be available for signups!

Until next time!

By Mary Claire Phillips - KnitFreedom Knitting Expert
Mary Claire is KnitFreedom's resident Knitting Expert. She answers all students' knitting questions and finds extra time to write educational blog posts for KnitFreedom. She loves knitting Fair-Isle sweaters.

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Related Course: Easy Norwegian Felted Slippers

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Perfect for beginners and fun for advanced knitters, in this 11-video step-by-step course you'll learn to count rows on Garter stitch with complete confidence, pick up and knit, seam with Mattress stitch, and more.

17 thoughts on “2020 – The Year of the Slipper”

  1. I have a couple of Patons Classic Wool Worsted Yarn in my stash. All three are Light Gray Marl. So, at first, I planned to make my Felted Slippers one color.
    Yesterday I had occasion to visit Michael’s. Their sale for all yarns was “buy one and get on at 50%. In spite of having plenty of wool fot this project, I ended up buying six skeins of Patons Classic Wool in almost every color stocked:
    Aran, dark gray mix, heath heather, bright red, dark gray marl, and black. The placement of colors is no way decided; except I would really like the toes be brighter colors: so likely red and either black or aran.
    My biggest problem is deciding what sizw squares/diamonds to make. Working on 1st trial swatch: I cast on 20 sts.

    20201113 095514

    1. I love the idea of red-toed slippers – that sounds darling! Michaels & JoAnns are some of my favorite stores to find good deals in. If you haven’t downloaded their coupon apps, I highly recommend it :)

      If you’re having trouble choosing a size, I recommend putting your attention on the “To Fit a
      Foot: 4 (5, 6.5, 8.5, 10 ) inch” part of the final measurements. Since these are slippers, you don’t have to worry about negative ease as much as you normally do with a sock.

  2. I have had this pattern for a while now. Excited to join the KAL but November 2020 Friday is the 13th and Monday is the 16th. Which day does it start? I work both of those days so I will have to remember to check in in the evening.

    1. Elias - KnitFreedom Customer Happiness

      Hi Jeannette,

      Thanks for your question and sorry for my late reply!
      The knitalong starts when you sign up! The first date you can sign up is today Friday the 13th and the last day to sign up is the 16th. You’ll start receiving the knitalong emails as soon as you sign up for the class.

      If you’d like more information about the knitalong you can click here.

      Happy knitting,
      Elias

  3. Just received my Walkabout 100 % wool yarn in Robins Egg, Crocus, and Ivory today from ImagiKnit that I am going to use for the slipper knit along. The yarn came in what looks like little pull out skeins so wondering if I should wind them into a ball. I thought I requested that the yarn be wound into balls when I placed my order so don’t know if it was an error or maybe they don’t wind into balls. Looking forward to this class.

    1. Mary Claire Phillips - KnitFreedom Knitting Expert

      So excited you received your yarn Peggy! From my experience, online yarn providers either offer winding for a fee or don’t offer it at all as it can be time and labor intensive. With everyone spending more time knitting, they’re likely bonkers busy getting all those orders out!

      Since Walkabout yarn comes in skeins, and not hanks, it’s not essential that you wind them into yarn cakes. However, if that’s more your style – by all means go for it :)

  4. I just received my yarns! Had to buy as none of my yarn supplies are unpacked yet from a recent move. Thanks for the yarn ideas and discount at ImagiKnit. I’m so looking forward to this project. Hope to master the seams (sewing not my strength) and also to learning how to felt by hand. Plus, it feels like magic knitting a rectangle with a couple of squares sticking out and folding into a slipper; fun!

    1. Mary Claire Phillips - KnitFreedom Knitting Expert

      That’s wonderful Marla! Excited to see what goodies you got at ImagiKnit. I’m in the same boat as you – I’m also excited to improve my seaming & felting :)

  5. You say “non-super wash wool”?? I’m making all one color and I bought already- don’t see anything on label re “ non-super wash “- hope it works because I’m not buying more! 😣
    See pic.

    image

    1. Forgot back side- when I bought it said DK weight but st/in look smaller?! Oh well! I’ll give to some kid if not fit me! 💕

      image 1

      1. Hi Julie, yep, this is DK yarn! 22 sts/inch is DK weight and you will be fine. The only concern is that it is not 100% wool, so I’m not sure how well it will felt.

        “Non-superwash” wool is wool that has not been treated to make it machine washable.
        If it is machine-washable (and therefore will not felt), the label will read “100% superwash merino,” or something like that.

        I am a little concerned that because your yarn is 70% wool, 30% soybean, it may not felt very well. You could do a swatch and test! Do you have a washing machine where you could knit a little square and throw it in on hot and see if it felts?

        Liat

  6. I’m gonna check and see what I have tucked away for my slippers, thank you for showing how to calculate how many grams per yard. I’ve would have just kinda guessed! And most likely, came up short. I’ll be signing up:)

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