When a Project Comes Together

Filed in Just Stitches, Skill Building by on January 7, 2016 2 Comments

I love it when a plan comes together! Even more so when the result is so much better than was originally expected. That happened for me this week.

Leftover Slippers

I wrote several weeks ago about my love of my Felted Slipper Sock pattern. I have also written numerous times about the joy of working with leftover yarns. This week those two came together in a much better way than even I imagined!

When making slipper socks I often have just a bit left over — several yards but not dozens of yards. But my upbringing by Depression-era parents requires that I keep those small amounts. Last month, my current pair of slipper socks started getting holes in the heels. Although I am particularly hard on my slipper socks, I can usually wear a pair for about 2 years before this happens. So I wasn’t surprised when I found the hole – it was about due. Unfortunately, I don’t have a yarn shop close at hand, so getting yarn would be a slightly bigger deal that I was prepared to invest in at the moment.

Then I realized that I probably had enough bits and bobs to construct a pair if I just joined them all together. But I didn’t want big stripes of one color and then the next. I rarely find that look the least bit appealing. However, I know that random lengths that are not too long will usually produce an eye-pleasing result.

So I pulled up my favorite online random number generator and requested 100 numbers I would use to determine the length of each yarn. Because I was going to be traveling the following day, I prepared a ball ahead of time, selecting random colors, cutting the specified length and then using a Russian join to create a continuous ball of yarn.

Next I decided that I would make the purl side of the fabric the right side. The purl fabric breaks up the tendency for the fabric to form large stripes even more. And then I got to knitting. Because the lengths were estimated based on the foot circumference, I knew I would get wide stripes at the heel. So I use the 3-color single row striping technique for the heel flap, just utilizing 3 different balls of leftover yarn.

Yesterday I got the first sock completed (except for the felting) and I am in love! These may turn out to be my favorite pair to date! My goal is to get them finished and felted before Kellie and I leave for TNNA on Friday which is a pretty realistic goal. Then they will be waiting for me upon my return home!

What I realized as I started thinking about writing this post is this project is the perfect example of how you can utilize the information from several different classes to create something wonderful. The Felted Slipper Sock class goes way back, as does my class on working with color and stripes. The Leftover Yarns class is a long time favorite too. And although I have talked about it, this will be the first time felting a leftover yarn project. When I teach the weekend long event in March for Ball and Skein and More on Eliminating Stash Guilt, I will have yet another example of how even “ugly” colors can turn into something fabulous.

The trick, as usual, us just being willing experiment a little bit. Take a tiny risk (they could have truly been ugly), and you might be amazed with the final results!

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