could not resist this.
could not resist this.
I sit beside the fire and think
Of all that I have seen
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been
Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair
It has been a beautiful summer here and I find it is much easier facing the cold mornings and evenings now, having had some warm summer weather between winters! Over the last few years here, our winters have more or less run straight into the next autumn without a summer in between!
Our mornings here have been looking very much like this,
and the evenings have just been beautiful,
today we have cloud – back to normal then!
The chilly mornings have had my thoughts turn to warmer garments, as I know the whole knitting community is, and I have been swatching in some cushy wool / alpaca yarn.
Something textural with just a little colour I thought, and after a while came up with two interesting but slightly unusual stitch pattern combinations that compliment each other well.
I changed the colour to something a little more seasonal and let it take shape as I went on.
Working bottom up, I am nearly up to the point where I need to knit a couple of sleeves to join with the body. I have put in a rather large front pocket with plenty of room to warm your hands in and have a nice idea for the collar too. I hoped to be further on than I am but have also been tempted by this yarn that I found at my local LYS that is just calling out for some more attention.
It is a lovely tweed yarn, 97% British wool (spun in Yorkshire) with 3% viscose which I assume is the tweed neps. This yarn has very little spring to it but has a beautiful crisp handle that I find irresistible. I couldn’t resist buying one ball in each colour just to try them all out and keep thinking that they may look good all together in one garment, but that may change.
I blame the autumn weather, you just want to be able to knit everything at once.
I picked a whole host of wild blackberry’s and made one of my favourite desserts, blackberry and pear crumble.
I am still working on the final recipe for the topping. I am intolerant to oats, even gluten free ones, so have been looking for a good alternative for my usual gluten crumble. I’ve tried all the usual suspects such as quinoa flakes, which I like, but we here are partial to coconut and this latest version has dessicated coconut along with some chopped nuts to give it extra crunch. The coconut toasts beautifully but I think I need to increase the fat content a little as this was quite crumbly and I also like my topping to ‘stick’ together a little. Fussy eh?
I am also working on the final draft of the Hathor pattern while the test knitters finish theirs and hope to have it ready to publish soon. The colours they have chosen are just beautiful and are up on the pattern page if you are a Ravelry member.
when you’re having fun…. or whatever is happening really..
I can’t believe that it has been over eighteen months since I shut down my blog and left just the pattern pages standing.
A great deal has happened since then. I’ve been else where, being someone else and doing other things. Not exactly in a spy/clandestine way you understand, just not being quite myself or doing my usual things; it sure felt as if I was someone else for a while.
Unfortunately, I’ve also been unwell for the last year. More about that later, but suffice to say that my cooking has taken another turn. I used to post gluten and dairy free recipes here. Now I cook without even more; corn, soya, yeast, oats and sometimes eggs and fruit to name a few. It gets interesting and I am having fun (if you can call it that) exploring the vast array of new blogs and books out there dedicated to the subject.
But, I have never stopped knitting, (gasp in horror at the thought) I’ve been designing too, so I’ve kept my hand in.
Hopefully now though I am able to come back and bore you all with my activities. I don’t expect that I will re-instate the original pages that I removed, a new start with a fresh look is called for I think, but for those of you that remember what the original blog consisted of I expect this will look similar. For those who don’t (and why would you in all honesty) I drivel on about knitting and other crafts such as spinning with a generous sprinkling of gardening and cooking thrown in for good measure. With a fair wind behind me I also hope to be posting some reviews on various knitting and cookery books and reviewing allergy friendly and not so friendly recipes. I shall also be putting some new patterns up and discussing design ideas for others too.
So, an exciting time ahead. Hope you will enjoy it as much as I will…it’s nice to be back!
Duffers – revisited The new version of the felted slipper pattern is now done and up.
From its small beginnings, just three sizes over two pages, the pattern has now grown into an absolute monster running to 16 pages. Don’t worry though, you should never have to print them all out, not unless you want to.
The pattern now covers sizes
UK: 2, 3, 5, 6-7, 8, 10 ½
US: 3, 5½, 7½, 9½, 10½, 13
EUR: 33, 35.5, 38, 39-40, 43, 45
I give these sizes as a guide only. As I said in my last post re. the Little Duffers, finding exact shoe sizes and foot lengths on the net was difficult. It is better for a more accurate size guide to go by the finished foot lengths. These are:
INCHES: 8½, 9, 9½, 10, 10½ & 11
CM: 23, 23.5, 24, 25.5, 26.5 & 28
Each of these sizes can be knitted in Standard, Wide and Extra Wide width fittings.
Each width fitting adds approx. 1″ to the circumference of the slipper. The smallest three sizes start at a foot circumference of about 8-8 1/2″ so the wide version comes in at 9-9 1/2″ and the extra wide at 10-10 1/2. Similarly the largest three sizes have foot circumferences which start at about 9 1/2-10″ so the wide is 10 1/2-11″ and the extra wide 11 1/2 – 12″. These sizes do of course depend on how hard you felt the slippers and your yarn, but with the slippers felted to the correct length these are about the sizes you should expect to be getting.
Just to add to the mix, on top of all those sizes, the pattern now covers knitting the slippers flat and then seaming or knitting them seamlessly. The seamless version uses Judy Becker’s magic cast on which means you don’t even have to seam the bottom when you are finished. You can Judy’s article covering her fantastic method on Knitty here. I don’t cover it in the pattern, there just isn’t room to put anything more in, but if you don’t want to use this method, you can still knit the slippers in the round. Just cast on with a long tail cast on and join for knitting in the round as you would with, say, a top down sock and sew up the bottom seam when you’ve finished knitting.
The pattern consists of written patterns covering different sets of sizes ( there are two sets, the smallest three and the largest three sizes), different widths and methods of knitting. Each of these patterns has a page of its own with blank spaces where the number of stitches etc. should be. All figures for the different patterns are in chart form and there are two charts. The pattern page for your chosen size, width and method will tell you which chart you need the figures from.
To make up your pattern all you need to do is print the one pattern page that shows your size, width and method of knitting. Then take the numbers from the appropriate chart and fill in the blank spaces you are then ready to start knitting.
The pattern is so huge and along with the Little Duffers covers every size you should need from 4″ to 11″ in half inch increments.
It is now available from Ravelry for £ 3.75
It feels like an age since I came by here to put together a proper post. Life has taken me through more twists and turns, ups and downs this year than I would have ever thought could be packed into such a short space of time, which is why I haven’t been around much. But all that aside, finally, I’ve finished working on the children’s sizes of the Duffer pattern.
Sizing the Duffers down to children’s sizes ended up being more involved than just a quick change of yarn or stitch count. There was a scale issue that I hadn’t considered when I first started, mainly due to my wish to have seven sizes. The baby sizes were one thing but once I started to add length I found that I also needed to add width. Simple? Not so on a three-dimensional item. The way that the Duffers are engineered means that adding stitches on the bottom adds length and width issues you may not want in other areas and vise-versa.
Still, after what has turned out to be in excess of 100 hours work and more single miniature slippers than I can shake a stick at, (I still have no idea what I’m going to do with them all!) I think I’ve finally got to a point where I am happy to call it a pattern.
The Little Duffers pattern consists of seven pages. Four of them contain written patterns, one a chart and the other two have general information. As someone who uses a lot of ink and paper, I’m aware that this is quite a lot to print out so I have put each part of the pattern onto a page of its’ own. This way you should only have to print out those parts of the pattern that you need at any one time.
As I said, there are seven sizes of Little Duffers. Starting at a finished foot length of just 4″ (10 cm) they go up in 1/2″ ( approx. 1 cm) increments to 7 1/2″ (19 cm). As a guide this covers shoe sizes UK 0 to 10 1/2, US 1/2 to 11 and EUR 15 to 28 1/2.
It was very difficult to get exact conversions between shoe sizes and foot length. The information on the net, wonderful as it is, was conflicting to say the least. I settled on an average in the end but please use the shoe sizes given as a guide only referring, if you can, to the finished foot length to determine the size you need to make.
The pattern calls for a worsted weight or heavy DK weight yarn, 100m to 50g. This time I chose to knit my samples using Cascade 220 yarn. Mainly because it is easily available, felts well and comes in a myriad of colours. You can use anything that pleases you, as long as it felts and gives you a gauge of 4 sts per inch pre felting. You will only need small amounts for these children’s slippers. The smallest sizes require only 20g – 40g of yarn per pair and the largest only 50g – 60g per pair. Remember, all yarns are different and felt at different rates so proceed with caution if using a yarn you have not felted with before and are unsure as to how it will felt. Once I actually managed to get what should have been an 11 inch slipper to felt to just 8 inches, in one wash.
I almost have the adult version written up too. It will be a few more days or so yet, but I am at last happy with the larger wider sizes that I’ve been working on. They will be 1″ wider than the standard fit, making them suitable for men, and ladies who like a little more room in their slipper. Just for fun, here’s a photo of the smallest Little Duffer and the largest Duffer to give you an idea of the size range we are now looking at.
Joking aside, there are a couple of notes regarding sizing that I’d just like to outline here. The opening on the Little Duffers varies by only a few stitches each time the size goes up, but, it does make quite a difference to the opening. The smallest pair has quite a small opening deliberately to keep them on little feet. Cast these off loosely. Similarly, with the largest children’s size the opening is as I originally intended them to be, a sort of ballet shoe design. This may not suit everyone so, if it doesn’t suit you, feel free to add an extra row to bring the opening closer.
Finally, a big thank you to MidlandSpinner on Ravelry who gave her unquestioning support and technical help just when I needed it. Thank you.
I hope you like the Little Duffers.
I’ve had a lot of emails regarding pulling the pattern and, I’m afraid a great deal of confusion after pulling the pattern on Ravelry. Because of this, I’ve put the original pattern into my Ravelry store earlier that expected. It’s now available to download for £1.
A link direct to the pattern download is in the sidebar to the right above the scarf pattern. As I just mentioned the scarf pattern, I would just like to thank all the people who have purchased it.
I’m still hard at work writing up the new patterns and will post a note here as soon as they are up.
This is the basic pattern with three basic sizes. For the larger, expanded pattern with many more sizes and wider width fittings, see the Duffers – revisited pattern (link on the side bar).
This pattern is now available for download at a cost of £ 1.00 through Ravelry. There is a direct link from my pattern page (the link to which is above the header) or from the bar on the left. The children’s version is now available for £ 3.50, also from Ravelry or my pattern page.
Gratefull thanks to Sarah for the name suggestion, without which I would still be calling them ‘no name felted slippers’ or some such thing.
As I said, I have knitted about six of these as the patten now stands. Part of me would not be happy until I had knitted about ten pairs at least. If you do knit a pair and notice any errors please let me know.
Yarn: Lana Grossa Feltro 50m/50g OR: Any pure untreated wool that will felt. If you want to use a DK weight yarn (100m / 50 g) hold the yarn double throughout.
You will need about 150m (300m DK) for the single colour slippers and 100m each colour (200m each DK) for the two colour ones.
Needles: Size 8mm (or size to get you to the correct tension) straight or circular needles, the slippers are worked flat and then sewn.
Tension: In stocking stitch your knitting should measure 3 sts / 1” and 4 rows / 1”. Use the size of needle which gets you closest to this measurement.
To fit sizes: Approx. UK3, UK 5, UK 7 (US4 ½, US6 1/2, US8 ½) For the smallest size read the figures as given, the larger sizes are in parentheses. If only one figure is given this refers to all sizes. (If you need size larger please see below in the comments for instructions)
Size before felting: Length Approx. 27cm (29 cm, 31 cm) Height Approx: 13cm at front & 11.5 cm at back.