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.
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.