Introduction: Felted Wool Slippers (crochet or Knit, Then Sew)
I saw these on line on as a DIY project at www.Mommyknows.com These are the crochet version of slippers that were in a craft magazine http://blog.craftzine.com/craftprojects/easy_house_slippers/. There is also a you tube video that really demonstrates how to "assemble" the slippers. It can be tricky the first time. I hate to try to re-invent the wheel so I urge you to watch the video.
These only took me 2 days from start to finish. The next 3 pairs will be FASTER now that I know what I'm doing!
Step 1: Step 1 Supplies
There are very little needed in way of supplies. You first need to decide how many skeins of yarn you will need. Since these will be felted, they will look HUGE when first assembled, but will shrink down to size when washed, and dried.
I wear a Woman's US size 8.5, so I decided to go with the suggested size block for a size 9, which was 20 single crochet stitches across, and 20 rows for each block. I probably could have made it a little smaller, and it still would have been OK.
NOTE: I had VERY little left over from each shein of yarn (the supply picture shows how much was left), and in fact, had I done this in the pattern shown on the video, I would not have had enough of one color. IF you wear a larger shoe than this you WILL need more than 2 skeins
2 skeins of 100% wool yarn (I used Patons Classic Wool 100g/3.5 oz)
Crochet Hook (I used a G) US
Step 2: Step 2 Getting Started
First you need to decide what color pattern you want to use, and what size you're making.
Like I said before I made US size 9 so crocheted each block to have 20 single crochet stitches in each row, and 20 rows. It looks like you would add (or subtract) 1 stitch, and 1 row, for each size you go up (or down). The stitches/rows are the same for the knitting instructions I believe.
Remember these will be HUGE, and odd looking prior to felting!
You will basically make a giant 'L' shape with 3 blocks for the short side and 5 blocks for the long side.
The original pattern used 3 colors, the video used 2, and since I only had 2 colors I decided I would do that BUT I changed the color placement to use the same amount of your for each color (other wise I would have run out of 1 color)
Original colors: 1- 3 -1 for the short side, and 1- 2 -1 - 3 - 2 for the long side
Colors used in the video 1- 2- 1 and 1 - 2 - 1 - 2 - 1 (you'll have two # 1 right in a row)
I did mine this way 1 - 2 - 1 and 2 - 1 - 2 - 1 - 2
I'm not sure how much difference the colors REALLY make, so use your imagination....I'd LOVE to see what you come up with as well.
OK to crochet (I'm making a US size 9)
Starting on the second chain single crochet across (you should have 20 SC stitches)
Chain 1 and turn
Continue until you have 20 rows
Step 3: Step 3 Changing Colors WITHOUT Knots
OK, so now you have your 20 rows, of 20 stitches (IF you are making US size 9) So you need to change to your next color. This is very easy to do without knots to make hard lumps in your felted project.
At the end of your 20th row do NOT fully complete your last stitch.
Pull up the two loops onto your hook and instead of catching, or picking up yarn of the same color, you will pick up the next color, and pull it through the two loops (dropping the first color)
Chain 1 with the new color.
At this point pull SLIGHTLY on the FIRST color of yarn, just to tighten up the stitch .
CUT the first color of yarn leaving a piece/"tail" ABOUT the same length as the "tail" on the new color of yarn. (no more than 2 inches)
Holding the "tails of BOTH colors of yarn lay them on top of previous stitches, and continue SC across. (Once you have the first SC done the two "tails" will stay up on top of the stitches without holding. You will SC 20 stitches across.
Chain 1 and turn
Repeat for 20 rows
Attach the next color in the same way
Step 4: Step 4 Sewing (don't Stress)
Once you have the 3 (three) blocks for the short side, and the 5 (five) blocks for the long side you will need to attach them to make a large piece that looks like a letter 'L'
I hand sewed my pieces together, but you COULD sew them by machine using a LONG, WIDE zig zag stitch, butting the two pieces together using matching thread.
I used yarn threaded onto my large eyed (tapestry) needle, and did a simple overcast stitch, putting the stitches fairly close together. Really you don't have to stress about your stitches because once these are felted the stitches will NEVER show.
Your first block of the long piece will be sewn to the BOTTOM of the last block of the short piece......Look at the picture.
REPEAT ALL OF THE PREVIOUS STEPS FOR THE SECOND SLIPPER
Step 5: Step 5 ASSEMBLY: FOLD
Count up 4 (four) blocks from the last block on the longer piece.
Fold it DIAGONALLY towards the middle. See Pictures. You now have a bit of a letter 'U'
Fold the whole short side in to the middle to match up with the piece you just foled.
Step 6: Step 6 Sew
Thread your Tapestry needle with yarn
HINT: Holding the needle in your dominate hand, and with the other hand loop the yarn over the needle TIGHTLY. Slide the needle out while still holding the yarn tightly, (pinching the yarn to make it thinner) push that pinched loop of yarn through the eye of the tapestry needle enough that you can grab it and pull the yarn through.
Line up the blocks and sew them with the same overcast stitch. Weaving the "tail" into the stitches. Remember NO knots!
Stitch across the top block as well. See Pictures
Step 7: Step 7 Continue Folding and Sewing
Now FLIP the whole piece over.
With the finished point on your left, Fold the NEXT block in half diagonally matching and SEW the unfinished edge of the first block only to the edge of the diagonal block. See Pictures.
You will see what will be the toe, and the flap.
IF I have confused you watch the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKMFEkSKGHg&feature=player_embedded#!
Step 8: Step 8 Complete the Folding and Sewing
You should have an odd piece hanging off of the back (your right side). We need to use that piece, now.
Open up the "slipper" (I'm using that term loosely at this point) and bring the edge of the last piece all the way to the front (toe).
Match up the edges of the second to the last piece, with the spice under it, and sew.
The edge of that last block will be folded in half diagonally leaving the "top" corner open as a "flap" (that you will leave unattached) and you will sew the other edge to the open edge of the "toe" piece.
You will see an odd looking slipper with a point in the front for the toe, and a matching point in the back for the heel (don't worry this will go away with washing and wearing......trust me)
Step 9: Step 9 Felt
NOW is the really fun part!
Put your slippers in your washer with something heavier like a couple old towels, and a pair or two of Jeans. I have an old (never to be worn again) pair of heavy tennis shoes I toss in as well. You want the slippers to really be agitated.
Add only a tiny bit of laundry soap, just for the slippery (surfactant) affect.
Set your machine on the hottest water, and the longest cycle. WAIT
When the cycle is completed look at your slippers. Mine were still too large (actually too wide), so I stretched them out a little in length and repeated the washing step.
Once the second cycle was completed, I dried the slippers (along with everything else that was in the washer).....I LOVE them. The pointy heel is gone, and they have actually continued to conform to my foot as I wear them. They are thick, and soft and WARM