Friday, March 6, 2015

Knitting Icelandic




I have made a half dozen attempts, thus far, this winter in thrifting or making winter slippers. Unfortunately, I have not discovered the right foot warmer and I'm hoping (hoping!) these funny slippers will be just the ticket. This is no superfluous crafting project. We live on wood heat and we definitely don't get up to stoke the fire these days so our cabin is considerably chilly in the mornings, especially the floor. Without slippers this past few week my toes have been numb for approximately two hours each morning. I really, really need these to work…

This pattern comes from Icelandic Handknits by Helene Magnusson with dozens of traditional, folk projects for mostly outerwear that are really beautifully crafted. Many of the patterns call for loosely spun wool. I had to think about what that meant for a few moments while considering what store-bought yarn I could use from my stash and then found a skein of some of my first hand-spun. Very loosely spun (I had no idea what I was doing at the time) and very thick and knobby (total beginner). Perfect slipper yarn. This came from Salvador, our feisty ram lamb, who was meant to be a wether, but somehow ended up with one massive testicle (our first attempt at banding an animal). We found this out one day when the ewes were in estrus and Salvador was wildly running about the pasture trying to hump every girl in sight. 

So here is his grand, fleecy contribution, a pair of slippers for me, a pair for a friend, and (not shown) a pair of socks for Shaun made a couple years ago. These slippers knit up so fast- an hour at most for each one if you can focus without a two year old climbing all over your lap asking to build block towers and eat snacks. Next come the knitted wool inserts, another pattern from the book, that will give them ever more warmth and durability.