Back in January or February, Mindy of the Original Hanami (my sister in law), sent me a picture of a pair of slippers she had seen and wondered if I could make a pair for her other nephew. (Not Caleb, but her sister's son and since I don't have permission to use his name on the Internets, we'll call him Luigi. Just a side note, I think there should be more Luigi's in the world - it's a fun name to say, so if you're pregnant or know someone who is, think about it.) Luigi is younger than Caleb and therefore his feet are smaller, so Mindy got his shoe size and we decided to go up a size so he could grow into them. (If you've never knitted for kids, they do this annoying growing thing and if you don't go up at least one size from where they are when you cast on, by the time you bind off, they're too big to wear whatever you knit for them.) Here is the original picture she took - the orange ones were the shape we were going for.
So I did a brief run through of the felted slipper patterns in Ravelry and didn't find anything that seemed just right and/or came in the right size. Naturally, I decided to procrastinate and see if elves would make the slippers for me. In April I decided to buy yarn for the slippers, but since the procrastinating thing was going so well, I thought I'd keep doing that for a bit. In May I did another felted slipper pattern search, found a couple that could be modified into something that might work (felting does weird, unpredictable things to knits - I don't understand it well enough to really start from scratch and write my own pattern), and procrastinated again. Then I asked the Pattern Detectives
group on Ravelry for help and gave them the picture Mindy had taken. Within an hour, I had three or four options - they all needed some modifications, but they were closer than I had gotten by myself.
I started working on knitting the first slipper, but I could tell that things weren't right, so I frogged it and procrastinated some more. Finally, since Luigi's birthday was coming up, I had to get moving so I made what seemed like good modifications to the pattern I was using and knit up the slippers. Here they are unfelted.
When I did my felting for Christmas gifts, I went over to Mom and Dad's and used their traditional washing machine. I have a High Efficiency Top Loader and wasn't sure if it would felt. I decided to give Luigi's slippers a try in the HE machine and see how they did. I set it for a Heavy Duty wash with hot water, cold rinse, put the slippers in the pillow protecter to keep the fuzzies from attacking the washer, tossed in my dedicated to felting tennis balls and crossed my fingers. They did start felting, but after 3 cycles through on the HE machine, they still fit me. Realizing that I might have made myself a pair of jester slippers, I went over to Mom and Dad's, tossed everything in their good, old Kenmore and let it go to town. In an hour, they had felted down to a reasonable size and were ready to dry. I added some felted wool balls to the points and here they are, ready to give to Mindy so she can give them to Luigi! Happy birthday Luigi!