The Panda Owl

The Panda Owl

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Gift of Knitted Gift Giving, Part 1 (Easy Does It, Maybe)

Every year sometime in December (and frequently before any major holiday,) countless knitters are faced with the knitting versus time dilemma. Well-imagined plans of knitting homemade gifts do not come to fruition because knitters forget to account for enough time to complete said knitting before designated gift giving occasion. Such miscalculations have surely resulted in the creation of lame construction paper IOUs with promises that physical items will follow at a later date. Or, worst yet, many knitters ditch the knitted gift notion completely and have to brave the masses at the mall to buy last minute gifts.

I found myself in an all too familiar knitting vs time crisis as a family trip to visit my grandparents rapidly approached. I had decided to make some bed slippers for my grandfather and a kerchief for my grandmother. Today's post will focus on the slippers as I learned an important lesson while working on them. Word to the wise – if you have not knitted a particular pattern before, add more time onto your knitting estimate. Do this even if the pattern looks easy! The reasoning is that untried patterns will produce unpredictable results.

For example, you may not be able to obtain the suggested yarn and struggle using the substituted yarn (happened!). Or you may not be pleased with the finished product and want to tweak the design (happened!).

My first attempt at the slippers created something that looked less like a slipper and more like a coffee bean or maybe a canoe (on the bright side, I got some good ideas for knitted bowls).

Can't you see yourself paddling along a river in one of these? 

I wasn't too keen on the back of the slipper - I thought the heel and sole looked too pointy 

I actually ended up running out of yarn (also an unplanned unpleasantry) so I had to go to another yarn store to restock. As I mentioned earlier, I didn't like how the heel of the original slipper was formed so I added a back to the slipper to give it more body.

Picked up stitches on the back end of the slipper and knitted to form a back. I though this gave the slipper a more polished look.

All these tweaks and changes added to my knitting time which fortunately in my case, I could accommodate in my schedule. The second attempt produced slippers that I will gift.

Not the prettiest footwear in the world, but they will keep toes warm

Stay tuned for Part 2 – the kerchief that was supposed to be a shawl that will be described as a neck warmer when gifted to an 85 year old woman.

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