When most people find out I knit, their first response is to ask me to make them something. Normally this isn’t too bad, but one thing a lot of people ask for, that is harder than it looks, is slippers. When I was still a beginner, I had so many requests for slippers it was actually comical; they usually try to think of something that would not be too difficult. I think people picture a sweater in their mind with a label saying ‘difficult’ under it and then try to imagine what the opposite of a sweater is.; somehow this lands at slippers.
A scarf would be considered easy, a hat or a cowl would also be considered quite easy, but slippers are not. Depending on your pattern, slippers can be very difficult or simply intimidating. I think one reason I have never fallen in love with slippers is I have never found a pattern that I really like. Most of them require you to seam them up the top, and if you don’t do that correctly there is a visible seam or you get an elf toe effect because the decrease was too fast. There are a lot of different construction techniques out there that look better than this, but I have not found one that resonates with me yet.
My mishap has to do with a pair of slippers I attempted as a Christmas gift when I first started knitting. My mom had hinted that she would really like a pair of slippers and I eventually decided to make her some. I knew I had not found a really good slipper pattern yet, so I trolled through Ravelry trying to find one I liked. I eventually settled on a pattern that is worked flat and seamed up the top of the foot. Next I had to find the yarn, I went all over the place looking for something rather specific. I wanted something relatively thick so I could knit it up really fast, but I also wanted it to look good. Eventually I found a thick red/black yarn that was perfect. I promptly purchased it and went home to cast on. I knit up the first slipper with no issues then started working on the second one. This being my first year as a knitter, I didn’t realize how much time I would need in order to finish it! I ended up working on it during the drive to my parents place for Christmas. We were headed up on Christmas Eve and we left before dark, but it started getting dark about an hour into the drive. I really wanted to finish these mittens, so I kept knitting on them in the dark. I was counting my rows and decreases, so everything would end up the same.
This was probably a collision of bad things looking for a place to happen because when I had finished the second slipper, it was not the same at all. It was approximately two inches shorter than the first one. If the first slipper was supposed to fit a size 8 foot, this one was for a size 5. I am usually not too bad with things like this, I check and double check or I will at least notice that slipper B does not look the same as slipper B. Not this night.
There was obviously some form of Grinch Witchcraft involved, because it obviously could not have been the fact that I was knitting rushed and in the dark. Not at all… This is where my Christmas Knitting Rule stemmed from. I rarely knit things for people as Christmas Gifts. It is very VERY rare that I do this because generally I don’t enjoy it as much. As a result, I will knit things year round for people or just because the colour made me think of them. Not for Christmas though.