Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Magical Mocassins from the World Knits Collection

Available on Ravelry here

Number 5 from the World Knits Collection - Magical Mocassins

The idea for these slipper socks came are twofold. When I was a little girl, my grandma would knit us slipper socks to wear in bed to keep our feet warm. They were the classic pattern - with a garter stitch back worked halfway through and then a 2 x 2 rib worked to the toe. My grandma didn't consider herself a knitter (she was an amazing crocheter and quilter) but she could make these for us. I loved them. 

In the late 1980's/early 1990's when desktop publishing was becoming a thing, I was invited to South Dakota by Elaine, David and Alexis - the owners of XRX/Knitters Magazine/ the Stitches shows. They volunteered to teach me how to use a desktop publishing program called QuarkXPress so that I could publish Classic Elite's patterns myself. This was incredibly generous of them. They were one of the leaders and early adaptors of QuarkXpress and they felt so passionate about the technology that they wanted everyone to know how to do it. My colleague Cathy and I went on a whirlwind trip -- so much to learn in a short time. My head spun every night from the shortcuts I needed to know and all that I was ingesting. In the evenings, we ate very well and shared stories. Elaine showed me her collection of Greek knit textiles which included some colorful slipper socks made out of scratchy handspun wool. (An aside: later I went out to Sioux Falls again and they taught me how to use Adobe Illustrator - the computer program that I still use to draw my textile designs and charts. What generous friends! I miss seeing them.)  

A couple years later, Pat Chew and I travelled to Greece after visiting the (Koln) Germany Handarbeit show to visit a cotton spinning mill in Athens. We wanted to strike up a business arrangement with them to purchase yarn. Alexis volunteered to be our interpreter. He met us in Greece and we had a crazy 3 day trip up and down the coast, staying at his friends' houses (he was born in Greece). When Pat and I travelled, we liked to stop at flea markets. We both loved to find old things to bring home and she was a great bargainer - even when she didn't know the language. I was determined to find some Greek slipper socks for my collection. 

I found an antique stall and found several pairs of very old handknit, handspun wool slipper socks. Below you can see one of them. 

They could not be worn as they had holes and were very fragile. I bought them anyway and they are one of my favorite things in my textile collection. I keep them stored away and only bring them out to look at them once in a while. 

The Magical Mocassins are a combination of my grandma's slipper socks and the ones I saw in Greece. They begin with simple garter stitch in colorful stripes. Then the stitches are moved to double pointed needles and worked in the round in a Fair Isle stranded pattern. There is a simple spiral toe shaping. 

They are a very quick project and are sized in 5 sizes for babies to adults. There are also instructions to add a border around the opening to make a bootie. For babies, you can add an eyelet so a drawstring can be threaded through so it won't fall off. There is also an elf-en toe version. The Magical Mocassins are a nice project to make multiples of to have on hand for gifts - especially the baby version. They don't take long and are so colorful and fun to knit and give. I hope you might give them a try some day. 

Available on Ravelry here

If you want to keep your patterns in your Ravelry library, make sure you order through the Kristin Nicholas Ravelry store (not my website). 

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