Thursday, February 18, 2010

the long cold days, crochet, and clutter-busting

So. i look out my window this morning just as the sun is coming up (no, i'm not up at this time by choice). I see... not much. Looking again, i see.. fog? Oh, lovely.
I check the weather network online and see....yup. Fog. Ice fog, to be specific. and -15C to boot. whee...

and this is warm, and 'mild' for this time of year.

for those of you who might not live in such northern climes, this is a picture of part of my back yard, taken yesterday. see those two short pillars on the right side? those are the top of a 3-foot tall childrens 'castle' slide toy. yeah. lots of snow.
(the thing in the middle is a tripod for our living history group, used for cooking)
those drifts in the background against the brush are 5-6 feet tall.
that blown in path is just that.... a path towards our wood pile.

yay winter.

to keep myself from going insane, i've been spending lots of time with my hook and yarn


trying out a tapestry crochet un-pattern. .this is the beginning of a bowl/container of some sort. as you can see, i'm using two colors of worsted weight cotton, and a super-bulky acrylic hidden inside to provide bulk and stiffness.

this is the beginning of a tea towel pattern i'm trying. i like the way the fans look in the pattern.
and this

is a super-warm fast and easy pair of slippers.
the pattern is heavily adapted from a toddler slipper pattern. The original pattern is here.  It makes a great kids slipper, but when i made a pair adapted for myself, i found it too 'ridgy' using double crochet. Here is the pattern i ended up making that is more comfortable, and nice and stretchy to boot!

simple slippers
materials: acrylic worsted weight yarn (i used red heart  super saver)
              4mm crochet hook

note on gauge: i didn't test gauge for this pattern, but i tend to crochet close to most pattern gauge, so if you tend to crochet loosely or tightly, you may have to adjust your hook.

sizing: this pattern is designed to fit an average size 9 mens, or size 11 women's foot. (that'd be me)
i included one possible adjustment if you have very large/wide feet. this pattern was tested on four adults, ranging from size 8-10 mens, and fit all of them without adapting.

stitches used: 
ch - chain
hdc - half double crochet
ss - slip stitch
hdc2tog - hdc two together
st - stitch

working in rounds:
round 1: ch3. ss into first stitch to form a loop. ch2, then hdc 9 into the loop, joining with ss to 2nd ch of ch-2.
round 2: ch2. turn. hdc in same stitch. 2hdc in next stitch, 1hdc in next, *(2hdc in next hdc) twice, 1hdc in next hdc. repeat from * once, then 2hdc in last hdc, ss to join.
round 3: ch2, turn. 1hdc in each of next 3 st. (2hdc in next hdc) twice. 1hdc in each of next 6 hdc. (2hdc in next hdc) twice. 1hdc in next 3hdc, join.
round4: ch2, turn.  1hdc in next 4hdc. (2hdc in next hdc) twice. 1hdc in next 8hdc, (2hdc in next hdc) twice. 1hdc in next 4hdc. join.
round 5: ch2, turn. 1hdc in next 5hdc. (2hdc in next hdc) twice. 1hdc in next 10hdc, (2hdc in next hdc) twice. 1hdc in next 5 hdc. join.
round 6: ch2, turn. 1hdc in next 6hdc. (2hdc in next hdc) twice. 1hdc in next 12 hdc. (2hdc in next hdc) twice. 1hdc in next 5hdc. join
(( bonus round for big feet: ch2, turn. 1hdc in next 7hdc. (2hdc in next hdc) twice. 1hdc in next 14 hdc. (2hdc in next hdc) twice. 1hdc in next 6hdc. join ))
round 7-18:  ch2, turn. 1hdc in each hdc around. join.

the joining point will be the top center of the slipper. 
from this point, work in ROWS, not rounds.

row 19-28: ch2, turn. 1hdc in each hdc across.
row 29: ch2, turn. hdc in next 13hdc. hdc2tog in next hdc. hdc in next hdc. hdc2tog in next st. hdc in next 14 hdc.
row 30:  ch2, turn. hdc in next 12hdc. hdc2tog. hdc in next hdc. hdc2tog. hdc in next 13 hdc. fasten off, leaving long tail for sewing.

finishing:  fold the last row in half, creating the heel. stitch along this to close up the heel. weave in ends.

decorating:  if you are so inclined, feel free to decorate with flowers, ankle pom-poms, or any other frou-frou bits you desire. i left mine plain as i like to be able to slip on my clogs while still wearing them.

this pattern was written down as i made it, but hasn't been tested by a separate set of eyes. if you find errors, or have problems, please let me know!

and in the on-going war against clutter and grime: clutter and grime are still winning. they have more warriors. However, i am waging battle with clutter by thinning the herd on my over-flowing bookshelves, and trying to re-organize them at least a touch. so far about 50 books have hit the bag. i actually have almost ALL my books on shelves now! crazy. Now to get those bags to a thrift shop..... that might be the tough bit.

for all my fellow winter-persevering folk, i raise a mug of hot chocolate to you, and hope you all keep warm.

And remember to bundle up, it's cold outside.


  1. I find it funny and amusing that every culture has a special name for these type of crocheted slippers...they really must have been important back in the old days. Ukrainians called them "cupchees", germans "zuckens" and mennonites...something else that I forget. Its funny because everyone I know has a pair, made by a grandmother or other similar figure, and loves them to death!

  2. well, all the ones i've encountered from my family tree have been made with that horribly scratchy phentex 'slipper yarn', and i can't say i liked them one little bit :)