First off, let me thank the lovely Anne of Knitspot for being part of my blog book tour. You can read her review of my book and an interview she did with me over on her blog post today. It seems that Anne is heading to is a big knitting retreat on the other side of "the hill" in Williamstown that I was not aware of organized by the brilliant Clara of Knitters Review who also has a new book out. (The Hill is the mountain range between here and there commonly referred to as "the Berkshires.") Oh, I am so out of the loop and in my own little world.... Maybe I will get to go one day.
That said, back to my world. I know knitters are starting to think about Christmas gifts and what they can make quickly for all their special people in their lives. Which leads me to the lastest project from Color by Kristin -- The Family of Slipper Socks.
Here's the back-story on this project..... When I was a little girl, my grandmother always made us Christmas presents - handmade nightgowns, crochet vests, lace choker necklaces with embroidered beads. Gram wasn't much of a knitter - in fact if you asked her, she would say she couldn't knit. And she really didn't knit much at all - except for one particular pattern for garter stitch slipper socks. I remember the first year Gram knit me a pair of her pom pom trimmed slipper socks for Christmas in a beautiful maroon color to match my bathrobe. I put them on and didn't take them off.... Every night, I wore them to bed and I credit those slipper socks for my habit of always wearing socks in bed! I loved them to death.
Many years ago, when I was working for TYC, I went on a yarn buying trip to Greece. It was a whirlwind trip full of adventures and misadventures (so much so that it could be an entire chapter in that memoir of mine.... just joking about the memoir). I had the chance to visit produce and bric-a-brac markets and pick up Greek made crafts. At one of the stalls in the antique market, I found 3 pairs of ancient, handspun, moth-eaten slippers.
I snapped them up, brought them back to the States and quickly stashed them in my freezer for safe keeping (so the moths in the US don't get at them). These handknit slippers are one of my favorite things in my textile collection, I must say.
Those Greek Slipper Socks are shown above. Knit at about 9 stitches to the inch out of very tightly handspun wool, I always wonder who made them. The other thing I wonder about it how they survived so long. They really are beautiful little works of knitting art.
For Color By Kristin, I wanted to include an easy version of The Greek Slipper Socks, designed at a friendly gauge of 5 stitches to the inch in my Julia Wool. This project is given in 5 sizes from infant to man's average. Surely you have a loved one who would like a pair of these to snuggle in all winter long! The project begins with garter stitch for half its length - what could be easier! Then it moves on to a little bit of colorwork. I finish the toe with a very easy what I call "mitten shaped tip" that works beautifully on a project like this. I could see adding a giant multi-colored pom pom to a pair of these. For the book project though, I wanted to keep it simple so that it wouldn't be too intimidating for newbie color knitters! Below are 3 of the slipper socks I knit for the book.
And lo and behold when I went to the mailbox the other day, I had a package waiting for me from my friend Therese Inverso. I love Therese's packages - they are always filled with some little textile treasure that she thinks I should add to my collection. In her latest envelope was two pairs of slipper socks. A red and white pair....
And an orange and black pair.
Both of them have little bits of embroidery on them. They seem to be knit of a handspun wool. Therese said her friend Camille knit them for her. Camille is from Iran. Don't you like the center point shaping and the band of colorwork around the upper sole? How lovely. And how lucky am I? Thanks so much Therese!
So you see, the slipper sock thing goes around the world, doesn't it? Make up a pair or two for a Christmas gift if you can fit it in. In fact, I think I'll try to make my little Miss Julia a pair. Poor kid - she's like the cobbler's children with barely a handknit item anymore, now that she is getting bigger.
Enjoy the day! And all of you knitters on the other side of "the hill," have a great time with Clara and crew! As always, don't forget you can order a signed copy of my book from my shop or purchase it at your local yarn store.