If you’re relatively new to knitting, you’ll love this simple felting project, based on a classic Norwegian design.
Below are dummy-proof instructions on how to turn this:
This is a felting project, which means that after you do the knitting and folding/sewing, you will wash the slipper in hot water and shrink it down to about 50-75% of its size.
You will be knitting an “L” that is six squares long and three squares across. Start by choosing your colors and make a note of them on a piece of paper.
Use standard worsted-weight wool, size 10 (6mm) needles. You must use wool that shrinks – ask at the shop to be sure you don’t use pre-shrunk wool.
For a small child’s slipper, try 14 knit stitches across. For an older child, 16 stitches. For an adult, 18-20.
The number of rows may not match the number of stitches, since some people knit more tightly than others. You should try to keep your patches as square as possible, but this is a very forgiving project, so don’t worry if you make mistakes (they probably won’t show after the felting).
After you knit the row of six squares, bind off. To knit the short part of the L, insert a needle into the stitches on one side of the end square (a thinner needle is sometimes easier). Make sure the number of stitches you pick up matches the number of stitches you have been using across. For example, if you started with 20 stitches, be sure to pick up 20 stitches on the needle.
Using that inserted needle to start your row, knit two squares and bind off.
Now is the time to weave in your ends with an upholstery needle or similar. Again, you don’t have to do a perfect job with this, but here is how I like to do it:
When you’re done tidying up your loose ends, it’s time to start folding and sewing (see key below). Note that you will make the folds in alphabetical order.
Here is the first fold:
For the sewing, you can use either of the adjoining colors.
The sewing should be snug and reasonably even, but don’t worry about trying to make it perfect. The seams won’t show when you’re done. However, after sewing each section, you should be weaving in the ends. Don’t tie knots – they could create lumps in the final product.
In this step, you will be knitting across a line that is three squares long:
Once you have completed step “e” you should be able to figure out how to sew the last fold:
When you have finished, turn the slipper inside-out. Note that it will look floppy… and enormous.
Now throw the slippers into a hot-water wash (the hotter the better) with a pair of jeans. Don’t use a towel, or anything that could create lint.
If the slippers are still a bit floppy, you can stuff some balled-up newspaper into them so they’ll hold their shape while drying. If the slippers are still too big after washing and drying, you can wash them again for more shrinkage. I’ve been told that you can put them briefly into the dryer, checking them frequently, but I haven’t tried that.
These slippers are super-warm and comfy, and are likely to be worn a lot. If desired, to prevent the big toe from wearing a hole in the bottom over time, you can line the slippers with a fleece sole insert.