This wonderful loom knitting pattern for felted slippers by Anne Bipes has been keeping my family’s tootsies warm and snuggly for 2 years now! They’ve been loved and worn and slipped across wooden floors…
As you can see, we have a bit of a problem.
We have a heel blow-out…
My hubby has been cajoling and yes, whining just a bit lately, because I have been promising to do something to fix these babies, and just haven’t gotten around to it in a very timely manner… so sorry Sweetie!
I eventually had to hide them, because he just kept wearing the daylights out of them and I knew if I didn’t act quick, there wouldn’t be anything left to fix, lol!
Well… finally I had the chance to do something about it.
I figured that I could make a new sole for them… an extra thick felted version that would not only fix the holes, but would add extra cushy-ness as well as long lasting durability!
Guess what? It worked! Would you like to know how I did it? Yes…? Okay… you twisted my arm just enough that I can still type, so here goes…………………..
*NOTE: You must use 100% Felting Wool in order to be able to transform these things into thick, durable pads.
I figured out about how large I needed to create the soles by measuring where I wanted the soles to be added to the slipper, both across and from toe to heel. I added about 3.5-4 inches to that measurement all around. **Remember that when you felt loom knitted items, shrinkage will occur more in width than in length. As you will see below, I ended up trimming some from the length, which is really okay, because then it became a true custom fit.
I held 2 strands of Worsted Weight 100% Felting Wool as one and cast onto 10 peg pairs, centered in the loom, using the double stockinette cast on method. (Please click here to see the Winter Whimsy project, which details this cast on!)
For the next several rows, I increased one peg pair each row, alternating ends for each row’s increase. (So, first I would increase one peg pair on the left side of the loom, then the next row, I would increase one peg pair on the right side of the loom.)
I did this until I had 18 peg pairs filled.
I then proceeded to knit in Double Stockinette until my piece measured 13.5″ (1.5″ short of the total I needed, which was 15″) .
Then I decreased one peg pair each row, alternating ends each time, just as the increases were made, until I was back to 10 peg pairs.
I bound off each stitch in line using the Basic Bind Off.
Then the fun begins! It’s time to get a little wet and felt those bottoms!
**See the photos at the left to compare the amount of shrinkage you can expect from the original knitted pads.
I threw mine into the washing machine on HOT cycle, with 2 tablespoons of laundry soap and 2 pairs of jeans for agitation. I ended up having to repeat the cycle before the water drained from the washer 2 times, for a total of about 30 minutes agitation. Then I just let the washer finish the washing cycle. All washers and different types of wool will tend to felt a little differently, so make sure to watch your wool items very carefully as they felt…just continue, or stop, the process until you feel that your soles are the right size and have been sufficiently melded together into a tight, thick pad.
When they’re done to your liking, just air dry. You can also work with them while they’re still a bit damp, as they will mold better to the new shape you will be making them into.
Now it’s time to fit them to your slippers! You may trim as the picture above is detailing, both for a more rounded edge and for a better fit all around. Don’t worry! If you have felted these babies enough that you can’t see the stitches anymore, those fibers are so tangled together, it won’t matter one bit to trim into them. ;) Just make sure to leave enough around the edges to be able to have the soles come up just a bit around the slipper.
Next it’s time to secure your new soles in place. After pinning, I securely blanket stitched mine in place, using 2 strands of the same wool yarn and a very sturdy needle.
To Blanket Stitch, you will first take your needle down through all thickness of both the slipper and the sole, in about half inch stitches. (*see pic)
Then just pull the stitch snug to the sole and slipper. (*see pic) Continue all around the sole until it is securely stitched in place!
Then, happily re-gift your felted slippers to their very thankful recipient and enjoy their happy face as they slide their tootsies back into their long lost wooly comfort…
which to their surprise has been made new and even better than before, with all that extra squishy goodness to ease their tired feet!
Stay tuned for what you can do with those left over little clips of felt you trimmed from your slipper soles…waste not, want not, I always say!