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.