Third Time’s A Charm!

If you think waaaaay back, you might remember a few issues I had while trying to make some felted slippers for myself.

hip and hop, the elderly bunny slippersOf course, these were not just your garden variety felted slippers.  No, I had to make it harder than that.  My goal was to replicate my dearly beloved, but quite elderly, pink furry bunny slippers:  Hip and Hop.

I had a couple of abject failures that turned out to be dog chew toys, rather than slippers.

But today is a different story!

Not to jinx myself or anything, but I believe I am finally over the biggest hurdle on my way to my very own, handmade, furry pink bunny replacement slippers.  Check ’em out!!slippers

Since I’m certain you’ve been pondering this problem since last fall, as I have, I know you will ask:  what finally worked?

Well, of course it was Sandi who ultimately hit upon the correct approach.  The idea she gave me was to knit the slippers from wool (and/or MOHAIR) first, and add the fur yarn later as a surface embellishment, prior to felting.  This way the fur yarn would theoretically not interfere so much with the felting of the slipper body.

Once I had the slippers knitted, I did get started with this new concept, and then I promptly got sick of weaving bits of fur yarn in and out of sts with a tapestry needle.  It was like weaving in ends, but never-ending.  Tons of fun, as you might think.  So, I put the whole thing off for a long time…

… fortuitously, while writing about my Anny Blatt "Jonelle" top the other day, I remembered how I had used a crochet slip st to embellish it with the sparkly metallic eyelash yarn after the fact, instead of knitting it in as the pattern said:  partly because I wanted the eyelash to all be on the outside, and partly because I was freaked out at the idea of trying to knit in yet another yarn.

So I did the same thing over the surface of the slippers:  I used a crochet slip st with the fur yarn, which could be done with a crochet hook and a continuous length of yarn, instead of a billion 2-foot-long pieces and a %#$@&* tapestry needle.

I did have one ridiculous, fleeting concern — which I actually said out loud to DH, while I was deciding whether to crochet the fur onto every row, or only every other row:   "Do you think maybe the slippers will be too furry?"

(Did I really say that?)

Three sessions of crocheting later, the slippers were covered with fur, and I was (gulp) ready to felt.  Or at least, as ready as I was ever gonna be.

It was touch and go there for a while last night, as I anxiously hovered around the washing machine.

I was already thinking, if it doesn’t work this time, I’ll give up.

But voila!  I now have slippers!

Although, as DH says, we don’t know what’s going to happen when Kodi the dog sees me walking around wearing a couple new chew toys.

Due to my previous issues, I decided a while ago that the ears would be a separate issue from the slippers themselves.  I plan to use this online pattern for a Mutant Bunny Hat as a starting point for the ears — no point in reinventing the wheel, after all, and there’s something about this hat that I think is pretty funny, anyway.  The fact that the designer used double-knitting for the ears is a big point in her favor, too.  Excellent use of technique.

Of course, I will need some pink eyes, and white pom-poms for noses and tails.  Pffft, that part’s easy…

  5 comments for “Third Time’s A Charm!

  1. 06/12/2008 at 9:13 AM

    Oh, well done! Yup, the slip stitch crochet is a great idea for the surface embellishment! You need to write up a pattern for these!

  2. 06/12/2008 at 9:51 AM

    Thanks! I used an existing pattern for the slippers themselves — it’s in Felted Knits by Bev Galeskas. (Chosen mainly because the pattern is called MOHAIR ballet slippers.) I am sure just about any existing felted slipper pattern would do, though.

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