Just a Little Bit Foxy

The Jane W. Scott cardigan had to go to the back of the stove while I got back to work, once the yarn I'd been waiting for arrived.  Since the last post, I banged out my last three pairs of slippers for the book.  Contraband Process Photo #1 (don't tell on me for letting you peek):

Just a Little 1.jpg

I'm super proud of these because as the last pattern in my book, they represent the top of a very steep learning curve.  I went from being only a casual slipper knitter at the beginning of this project to an almost-cobbler at the end. 

I've begun to understand the architecture of the foot as it relates to shoes, as opposed to socks.  By which I mean that socks all follow the same basic recipe:  Top, Leg, Heel, Toe.  Or the reverse of that.  And there are variations on the ways to shape each of those parts.  But socks rely on their stretch to fit around feet, and yarn is fantastic at doing that. 

Slippers, on the other hand (foot?), have to behave differently.  They have to support themselves, to a great extent, which means they can't always fall back on their stretch, if at all.  The architecture of the human foot is pretty weird, if you think about it: a flat ovoid at the toes, graduating up to more of a cylinder around the instep, a super-extreme right-angle curve at the heel (which bends, for crying out loud!), and then the cylinder gets bigger in diameter on the way up to the calf.  Making a single piece to fit (and stay on) all that is quite a proposition when what you're knitting is not a sock.  And if the slippers are supposed to look like critters, as do many in my book, the recipe gets even weirder.  Really?  Animals that you can stick your foot inside?  Just another day at the office.  But I think I've mostly achieved it.  Hopefully you'll agree (Contraband Process Photo #2):

"Foxy" from Fun & Fantastical Slippers to Knit, coming soon to a store near you.  My favorite thing about this pair is that there are no seams in the knitting.  The entire shoe, including the instep strap, is made in one piece.  The foxy bits are made separately and sewn on after felting.  But if you look again at process shot #1 above, you'll see:  These are really shoes, to which if you added a sole and an insole, could totally be worn outside.  One day I'm going to try it and see if I'm right.  After I take a restorative break from feet, and the bizarre coverings thereof.

I've also realized that between this and my last book, I've produced 48 projects and patterns in 12 months.  A total of 256 pages.  Which is in addition to my independent projects and teaching.  I'm confident in saying that I've learned a whole lot, in a pretty short time.  I can't wait to share it all with you. 

But first, I'm thinking I'll put my feet up for a bit.