Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Velvety Valentine

I have a Valentine!!!!

Aren't they lovely?? :oD

I swear the rain gods are against me! Every time I wanted to take decent pics of the last few of my projects it has been dark, gloomy, and wet!! I press on! :op

I was still able to manage to squeak out some good shots since the sun tried to peak out at the last minute.

Last year around Valentines I made a pair of felted clogs in red & chocolate that I have thoroughly worn and stretched out!
Well this year my knitting group Charlotte Purls is doing a Felted Clog KAL, but I didn't want to make the same slippers again.
Because I have been lusting over these since last fall
So I decided to start up a tradition and make a pair of slippers every year around Valentine's Day for myself!! :o)

~ Project Details ~

Pattern: Malabrigo Loafers by CocoKnits

This is a very well written pattern! I really loved how it appears to be complicated, but is very simple to execute.

Size: Small, Size 6-8

I personally wear a 7.5 US shoe size

When not wearing the loafers they look like I have little "Oompa Loompa" feet wearing a size 4 Haha! :op

But they do conform to my feet when I put them on!

Time: This project is quick and can be done over a weekend......now ask me if I really did that?!? Haha ;op

But once I truly buckled down (= not getting sidetracked) I did the majority of the slippers within a day and a half!

To keep me on target and motivated I concocted a Malabrigo Loafer KAL on Ravelry ;op

So glad I did because I learned a lot of great tips from doing that!

Thanks to Cocoknits herself who chimed in!! YAH!
And Telmah who was our guinea pig knitter in being the first one done with her loafers!

Appreciate all the tips ladies!!

Go see some more awesome loafers on the KAL!

Needles: I broke-in my new set of Harmony needles with this project! YAH!!

And I must say "Boy! Those tips are pointy!!" My fingertips are still tender with all the 'SSKs' and 'K2tog' I did repeatedly! Haha! ;op

I used US6 & US8 needles on 47" cables as I magic looped the entire upper slipper section! Luv'd that!
Yarn: 2 skeins, Malabrigo - worsted weight (double yarned) in my favorite mmmmmalabrigo colorway Velvet Grape. Ooooooh just velvety!!! MmmmmmhhhAlmost a full ball is leftover to make something else! But you still need 2 skeins. Especially if you knit 2 at 1 time.
The color did "bleed" a little while I was knitting these on my creme pajamas...hope that comes out.
Cost: Yarn (2 hanks) - $22, Suede Slipper Bottoms - $10

What I learned: A different way to do short rows! Cocoknits has a great Short Row Pictorial and because it was so easy to follow I decided to go with it!

A different twist from your typical wrap & turns, and glad I did it! Be sure to check it out!
I will say doing those short rows towards the end were killing me on the ML (lots of quick pulling and tugging)! Haha! ;op

There was also a small discussion on the Ravelry KAL whether to pick up on the bumps or under the bars.
First off, y'all know I can't stand to "pick up" anything! However, it is a necessary evil...sigh.

It was pointed out that if you pick up under the bar the bumps would be hidden on the inside giving more of a smooth slipper look.
If you decide to pick up the bumps the loafer would indeed look more like a shoe leaving the bumps on the outside.

I decided that picking up in the bumps would actually be easier! Mainly for counting reasons and knitting ease ;op Haha! However, I do like the more "shoe sole" look so it worked out for the best! :o) Just a quick FYI for those who may want to do these loafers and want to decide to bump or not to bump! ;op

It was also my first time sewing sole bottoms onto slippers.
I have heard about putting puff glue at the bottoms of slippers or even seen others make their own soles with the suede materials. But I decided to take the easy way out and thought it would just be efficient to buy the F.iber T.rend soles (already comes pre-cut/holes and thread). I used a very small darning needle to thread the yarn and it was fine. They just shed like the dickens when placing them on!
But as Doreen told me it doesn't matter since they will be worn on the floor! ;op Thank goodness I don't have to fear busting my butt in the kitchen now!! :oD

CocoKnits doled out another great tip on an easier way to place soles on the bottoms, of course after I already sewed my own!! ;op But thought I would share what she said here for your reference (and mine for later):
"It’s called the back-stitch for you sewing types. Here goes…
Knot the thread and secure it to the outside of sole in a spot where it will be hidden by the suede sole (so it doesn’t irritate the bottom of your heel on the inside of the loafer). Now go through the knitted fabric and come up through the first hole of the sole. Now go straight down through the first hole BEHIND the one you came up, then angle the needle and come up two holes ahead. Keep repeating this sequence from and you won’t ever have to mess with pulling the yarn up into the inside of the loafer…makes life much easier;-) "

Did you get all that?!? It is clear as mud for me. I SO need a pictorial for next time! Haha! ;op But it may help you! :o)

Modifications: The pattern was written perfectly! Step by step. I cannot express enough how great this pattern was designed!
The only true modifications I made was switching up on my needle sizes.

I wanted my slippers to fit really snug, as I knew they would stretch out over time. So I went down to a US6 on the 'uppers' (originally calls for US8).

I know I knit a bit loose so that is why I went down 2 needles.

The soles I actually did on US8, and I did a very loose bind off with the US8 as well.

The only other thing I would say I did differently is that I knitted the soles 2-on-1 needle...but I did twice as many soles!!Once I started working on the loafers I realized I didn't want them that thin at the bottom. And Cocoknits recommended that I could knit another sole and just make inserts, or get the lambs wool insoles.

So I made my own! And they are double cushy now! :o)
I truly consider these an enhancement!

Just to let you know I knitted the insoles on US6 to keep them slightly smaller than the regular soles that were done on US8.
The regular outside soles I stopped at row 69, rather than row 70, not wanting them to be any longer (again anticipating stretching down the road) and that was a big Oops! Because when it was time to "pick up" I was one row short of the required number, so I had to fudge with my stitches by picking up an extra bump/bar to accomodate.

There is an option to knit embellishments (acorns, puffs or penny loafer panel), and I debated about which one I would add, but finally decided that I like them right now without any of the extras.

Who knows! The wind may blow different and I will put something on them later...we will see! :o)

Verdict:
I know you already heard me say this is a great knit a thousand time....but one more time wouldn't hurt right?!? :o)
They are cute as a button, but the irony is I probably won't knit them again anytime soon for truly no particular reason.
When I do, it will definitely be for me again! Haha!
I would more than likely do contrasting colors next time and definitely an embellishment.

For now, I will wear them around the house, as they truly are soft bottom slippers (kinda of like extra thick socks - which I do wear with them) to just prop up your feet in while knitting. They are definitely meant for the "inside" while wearing PJs!
By the way, I got my first Valentine card earlier this week in the mail!
Myriam was such a sweetheart and sent me one!! Thank U so much for being so thoughtful and from the heart! I love especially made cards that are just for me!! It will probably be my only one today! ;op

Remember Jesus loves U! :o)

39 Comments:

  1. J.P. said...
    They turned out beautifully! Great job! I hope they are as comfy as they look!
    tiennie said...
    Those are so awesome! Happy Valentine's Day to you!
    Adrienne said...
    Girl look at you! Sewing and stuff!!! Happy valentines day!!! :-)
    turtlegirl76 said...
    Ooooh they look so comfortable! And a beautiful color! I love the addition of the insole and the suede bottoms. Very cool!
    del said...
    Cute! And a great idea to knit yourself a pair each Valentine's Day. Thanks for all the notes & info about the pattern.
    Wendy said...
    Fabulous slippers! They are soooo you!
    Emily said...
    Yay! They turned out great. (They do look a little familiar...) And you made it by your deadline!
    Cas... said...
    Very nice slippers! You did a terrific job! I am also impressed by your write up too. Very thorough.

    It' nice to have others that can help you with your hobby. Kudos to all the ladies that provided valuable information. They are wonderful!


    Keep up the good work!
    kim said...
    Oh, those are so great! I've been waiting to see some finished ones. Happy Valentine's Day!
    Macoco said...
    Those are some great slippers! Very cool that you sewed on some bottoms as well!
    Carmell said...
    girl no you didn't make some insoles!!! thats cute. those are nice slippers. i need to find children slippers... but i doubt my kids wear then!!!
    Jeanine said...
    How did you know my shoe size???? I can't wait to get them in the mail? Wait... You didn't send them yet???? LOL

    They LOOK sooooo comfy and purty too.
    Mick said...
    I love them! I will definitely give that pattern a try. So cute! Happy Valentine's Day :)
    MrsPurls said...
    I love those slippers! The extra insole is a great idea! I think I have the perfect gift now for my two sisters!!
    Don said...
    Um, can you make those slippers in a size 14?

    I'm just playing with you.

    I am sure that won't be the only card you receive today.





    Happy Valentines Day, Stacey.
    Lashell said...
    You slippers look so comfy. For me they would be a huge step up from my socks to stay home in. lololol. Happy V-day.
    chanknits said...
    OOoh!! Love 'em. Might have to order more malabrigo for a pair for me! I wonder how bulky malabrigo would work?
    KelInCal said...
    Great slippers! The color is so yummy, too. You put so much work into them - I'm impressed.

    Happy Valentine's Day!
    Sheila said...
    I so need a pair of those... I'm actually wearing flip flops with socks around the house...lol. You did a fabulous job and thanks for the links and info.
    cpurl17 said...
    Those are adorable!!

    I'm afraid that if I made a pair, the amount of cat hair I'd pick up would creep me out!
    Robin said...
    Happy V-Day! I love those loafers - I wasn't familiar with that pattern so thanks for letting me know about it! They turned out great!
    Nik said...
    Those shoes are nice. My feet are ALWAYS cold, so those look like the antidote.
    gold said...
    Great gift to yourself!!I am loving them slippers!!Happy Valentines day!!
    Karine said...
    I love your slippers! I wish I could wear them but you know, cat hair...
    Pajnstl said...
    Very cute!
    Happy V-Day Chic!
    Octopus Knits said...
    Those slippers look so comfy, and what a lovely color! All the photos are great : )
    Michelle said...
    OMG those are sooo cute!! I love them and they are in my fave color of MMMalibrigo!! Great details!!

    Happy Valentine's day!
    Liz said...
    Wow, I love your little velvety valentines, they are soooo cute! And they look very professional with the soles and all, I bet you love getting into them when you come in!

    Sounds like you leaned alot from the pattern. Great idea to make a kal so to share tips.

    Hope your pjs recover ok...!
    Emily said...
    Those are fabulous! Love 'em. Happy belated V-Day. :)
    KimT said...
    very cool!
    Mizrepresent said...
    I am just so amazed at how GREAT you are! I mean, really!
    Aura said...
    Hi Stacey - Excellent post and so full of great information about your beautiful slippers. You did great!! but can't understand why you won't knit them again..He he...there's so many patterns to try out...so I perfectly understand. I had fun knitting the Fiber Trends clog pattern so I purchased the child's size to make them for my grandson. They are irresistible. Have not started. Malabrigo is one of my favorite yarns...Your tutorial is very helpful - Thanks.
    diddlinaknits said...
    They look great:) what a great present to yourself :) and i love that you made insoles for them!!!
    Hope you had a wonderful day and happy to be able to brighten your day with a card :)
    tina said...
    They are beyond adorable!!! Too cute for words and an excellent gift for yourself!!!

    Thanks as always for such a thorough and helpful review!!!!
    WandaWoman said...
    I really like those slippers. They are so cute. And you have tiny feet!
    shelia said...
    Those are beautiful. I've been looking for a hobby, since writing is my day job and after viewing your blog, I might look into knitting. It seems difficult so I'll have to start with something small.
    Batty said...
    So cute! When it rains, make fuzzy slippers. Great way to feel a lot happier about having to stay inside.
    Virtuous said...
    @ Sheila - thanks for the visit!
    Definitely consider picking up knitting! It releaves so much stress! :o)

    www.knittinghelp.com has some GREAT videos for you to get started!!
    StarSpry said...
    They look wonderful! And sound so comfy :)

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