The Yarn Harlot referred to thrummed mittens a couple of weeks ago, and I had no idea what they were. Google to the rescue- it is a technique where a piece of unspun wool is tucked into stitches to make the inside of mittens, or anything, extra warm and fluffy. It was pioneered in Labrador, where they need the warmth, apparently.
I wondered about slippers- I had made a pair for myself, and a still-unfinished pair for the girl, using the French Press pattern http://frenchpressknits.blogspot.com/2009/10/happy-slipper-day.html These are knit in pieces, sewn together then felted. Felting is when you take wool items and wash them- the moisture, heat and agitation of the washing machine makes the fibers grab on to each other. It shrinks by around 25 percent, usually, but it is an inexact science. The pattern is well written, but I was disappointed in the ones I made. My French Press slippers are comfy, and they fit, but they are kind of lumpish. The girl’s came out too wide, and I will eventually cut them, and re-sew them. My mind rebels at it- because even after cutting them up, it is probable that they will look lumpish.
So my idea with the thrummed slippers was to have them basically be a sock pattern that fit me, then as I wore them, the um, moisture and heat and agitation from my feet themselves, would felt the fleece inside.
My first attempt was too big- a hobbit might like them, but ,well…I ripped it out, carefully saving the bits of twisted wool in a ziplock, and invented a slipper pattern that is very ballet shoe-like. I started at the toe, and thought, what would happen if you went back and forth on the sole? for every row I did on the toe, I would do 3 on the sole. I tried it, and it worked pretty well. Then I had to duplicate it on slipper number 2.
Elizabeth Zimmerman, patron saint of knitting, invented the term “Unventing” for when you create a way of doing something, then find out later that someone else had created it before you. I am sure someone else has designed this pattern, and maybe better than this, but I am really pleased and proud with how these have come out.
This also forces me to find out how to make a perma link, or something, so I can offer this on the sidebar as a free pattern. Before I can do that, though, it needs a name- cute, catchy, memorable, not nasty… please offer any suggestions in the comments.
Can’t resist a special order…making another pair helps get the pattern dialed in,also. Writing knitting patterns is surprisingly hard.