Monday, February 06, 2012


One of my recurring knitting projects is slippers. They make good gifts, and I like to have at least one new pair for myself each year. I have one pattern that I make again and again, even though I like to try others to see how they compare.

Three years ago I made this pair of slippers for myself. Nothing fancy – one strand of acrylic worsted weight, combined with a couple strands of fine mohair coned yarn. After a few washings they became nice, sturdy slippers.
Now, after two years of wear, I noticed that the soles were just about to wear out into holes, and this time, rather than just toss them and make another pair, I decided to try and do something about it.

This particular slipper design has a nicely defined line of stitches running along each side of the foot. I found some leftover wool/acrylic yarn in a dark gray, and cast on 15 stitches, which by eyeballing it, looked like the right amount. By knitting back and forth in plain garter stitch, and slipping the edge stitches, I ended up with a piece long enough to stitch in place. I did a few decreases at the top where the toe shaping was, whip stitched the patch to the slipper, and voila – slippers restored!
The patch will provide an extra layer of cushioning as well as cover up the thin spots. I suppose eventually it will wear out as well, and maybe by that time, I’ll be ready to toss this pair.

So what did this action save? It saved a pair of slippers from the landfill (they were acrylic – couldn’t burn or compost them). It saved time – a couple of hours knitting and stitching, versus a couple of days making a whole new pair. It saved materials, although, for someone wanting to use up stash, this wasn’t so important. And the small amount of yarn for the patches came from a sweater project that someone else gave me, that I was unraveling, so I guess it saved money by not having to buy yarn.

Besides getting a rejuvenated pair of slippers, I also gained the knowledge that this kind of repair was not only possible, it was easy, and there was no need to “over-think” it (which I had done in the past, until I made my own head swim and gave up without trying). And there’s something about this kind of small accomplishment that gives a sense of confidence. If I can mend slippers, I can do anything!

My world needs more of that – how about yours?

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