No cold feet here

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These are the super-cozy “Toba Slippers,” designed by Jane Richmond. I knit mine in the now-discontinued Knit Picks Full Circle, a bulky weight wool. This was a stash-busting project. Since I didn’t have enough dark brown, I changed colors at the cuff. That worked out fairly well, but knitting it all in one color would have eliminated the need to tame the color-changing row.

I believe that one time, eons ago, I used a Turkish cast-on for a pair of toe-up socks. Richmond’s directions on that cast-on are clear, complete with a video link if a knitter needs it. It worked out very well.

Except for the first round after the cast-on, the directions assume you’re using magic loop instead of double-points. It isn’t hard to figure out what’s up, but there are directions for placement of 4 stitch markers that don’t work for double-points. And some of the directions are in relation to those markers. I just put a pin each place where a marker was meant to indicate a decrease. That worked.

These next slippers are an old favorite: Nola’s Slippers. This free pattern is available through Ravelry and direct from the Seaman’s Church Institute’s Christmas at Sea site.

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This is just such an excellent easy pattern. I often make a few modifications, including lengthening the ribbing section so it can be cuffed back. The pattern calls for using a worsted weight doubled. That works well. But I had some skeins of Jamieson’s Shetland Marl, a bulky weight, and so I didn’t need to double the yarn.

Here’s a close look.

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These are knit flat on circular needles to make it easier to pick up the stitches. The pattern calls for binding off and then sewing a seam along the sole, heel and cuff. I prefer to work a three needle bind-off on the sole. It does add a bit of bulk on the inside seam. So if yours will be worn by tenderfoots, best just to sew the seam.

In case you think the only colors I’ve been knitting lately are earthy ones, these next slippers could not be accused of being earthy-toned.

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Continuing the stash-busting effort, these are Kris Basta’s Better Dorm Boots. Basta has a whole series of Better Dorm Boots. These are the most plain version, with simple ribbing.

Mine are knit in left-over bits of Plymouth Encore. My plan was to make one pair with a contrasting cuff and another pair with a contrasting sole.

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Well. It turned out to be one of those best-laid plans gone adrift things. I even managed to get my half-and-half row on the outside instead of on the inside of the slipper. I was positive I had enough green for those soles.

There is something very satisfying in using up left-overs.

My family will be visiting over the holidays and these will all be added to my “pick-your-knitted gifts” library ladder. This year the ladder is spilling over to just about every flat surface in the living room. There are hats, scarves, hats, mittens, hats, slippers, hats, washcloths and hats to choose from.

Don’t get cold feet

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This is the classic, vintage…let’s face it old pattern: Nola’s Slippers, by Nola Miller. The pattern is published as part of the Seaman’s Church Institute. Since 1898, during the Spanish-American War, volunteers of Seaman’s Church Institute have knitted and crocheted warm garments for mariners who are away from home for the December holidays. They call their program “Christmas at Sea.” Throughout the year, they collect hats, slippers, scarves, and mitts–with patterns published on their site, including Nola’s Slippers. This pair is knit in a yarn called “Canterbury Tweeds,” 100% New Zealand wool, worsted weight, and that’s about all I know about it.

The Seaman’s Institute says most of the mariners are men, so if you’re knitting for them keep that in mind. They discourage pastels. All donations must be knit in washable materials. No pom-poms or tassels (safety hazard). And they remind that mariners’ “work environment can get dirty,” so remember that when selecting materials.

These slippers call for worsted weight, held double.

Here’s another Nola’s pair, knit in Jamieson’s Shetland Marl, a bulky weight. So, no need to double the yarn.

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These slippers will keep feet nice and toasty through the wintry weather, whether on board ship or sitting in front of your fireplace.

Veterans of knitting on the web will remember the camaraderie of the old knitlist. Did you get the daily digest or prefer to have a zillion emails fill your email box daily? It was in the knitlist days that I knit my first pair of Aunt Alm’s Dorm Boots. Amy Detjen was definitely the source and I recall that the pattern that she circulated was indeed a pattern from her Aunt Alm, with a few modifications. My original listserv copy is long-gone. This pair is a slight variation, by Brenda Zuk, with original attribution given to Detjen’s Aunt Alm, who died in 1998. The pattern is available on Zuk’s blog.

Aunt Alm and Zuk came up with a good comfy pair of slippers. Garter stitch soles for a bit of traction. A nice cuff so they don’t slip off. And an excellent spine up the top of the slipper for a bit of style. Mine are knit in long-discontinued Anny Blatt Mini-Sport which, despite its name, is actually a worsted weight.

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