Slipper sole tutorial

As mentioned in my last post, I’ve been working on making a pair of slippers for my husband in colours from Fallout, his favourite video game. It’s been a huge undertaking, since I couldn’t find any patterns that were the style he wanted that went up to size 13. The closest I could find was this pattern, which I’ve had to heavily modify. On top of all this, he wanted a hard sole. Geeze, the demands of those who don’t craft and have no idea how complicated the thing that they are asking for is.

Well… I’m proud to say I’m finally done! The pattern to follow soon.

In the meantime, I thought I would share how I made the soles. I also put the tutorial up on Instructables, where you can download it as a pdf.

Supplies:

  • patterned/textured PVC fabric (available at most large fabric stores)
  • craft foam
  • fabric on the thicker side (cotton is suggested, I used an old pair of jeans)
  • cardboard
  • pen
  • quality large scissors (you will be cutting through the PVC)
  • Shoe Goo
  • popsicle stick or other instrument for spreading glue that you are prepared to not get back

Step 1:

Make a template by tracing the outline of the person’s foot using the cardboard and pen. Compare it to the bottom of the actual slipper and make any necessary adjustments. Cut out your finished template and use it to cut out four pieces of craft foam, two pieces of PVC fabric, and two pieces of regular fabric. Pay attention to right vs. left soles as you do this.

Step 2:

Essentially you are making a sandwich of PVC on the bottom (with the PVC side outwards so that it will be the very bottom of the sole, the part that makes contact with the ground), two layers of foam, and then the fabric layer on top. Between each layer is a liberally applied coat of Shoe Goo.

I suppose other glues are possible, but I highly recommend Shoe Goo. It is designed specifically for shoes in that when it dries it is clear, solid and non-tacky, but still has some flexibility. Plus the hold is superior. Nothing is going to get your layers apart. It is not easy to work with however as it sticks to everything in its wet state. This is why I recommend using a popsicle stick to spread it. However I ultimately still ended up using my fingers at some points, so be sure to have a good hand cleaner present. Something like Fast Orange is ideal, but I got by with a dish scrubber and some dish soap.

Step 3:

Give the sole a full 48 hours to dry and cure. That was a lot of glue, after all. Then you can finally add the last layer – the slipper itself! Make sure you give it about 24 hours to dry and cure.

Ta-da!

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4 months of knitting

It’s been awhile I know. I choose to blame several things: post-wedding craziness, the holidays, and some health problems experienced by both my husband and myself.

This post is essentially just going to be a run-down of things I have been working on. It features some great patterns, including one I am writing myself (my first!). I guess that might be another reason for my lack of blogging: knitting addiction. I state where I got each of the patterns. To see which yarn(s) I used, click on the image to see a Ravelry description page.

I’ll start off with the arm knitting trend. Despite my already large stash, I decided to buy some extra bulky yarn and give it a whorl. I used the tutorial here and followed the guidance of Unwind Yarn House in using Mirasol Ushya yarn held double. I’m pretty happy with the look of the result, albeit it’s not as warm as some of my other scarves, and I’m worried that getting a stitch snagged on something might cause the whole thing to be pulled out of shape. We shall see.

Curious to see what arm knitting might possibly look like in progress? Voilà.

PS: I entered this in the Ravellenic Games, which coincides with the Olympics.

I’m also planning on entering a pair of slippers that I’m making for my husband in colours from Fallout, his favourite video game. I started off following this pattern, but had to make so many modifications due to hubby’s extra extra large shoe size that it’s practically its own pattern now. I’m considering publishing it 🙂

Before these I finished Shara Lambeth’s Dentelle Cowl for my mother-in-law. It’s a lovely short cowl, and I really like the finished result. Though I will suggest that if you plan on trying to make your own that you make the foundation chain very loose. The stitch pattern is very stretchy, plus you will be putting many dcs into the foundation chain, so it needs to be able to give a little.

Being at that age where friends and cousins start having kids, I’ve also been doing some baby knits.

This adorbale pair of booties is based on a Saartje de Bruijn pattern. Albeit I used the seamless version by Fleegle instead, because I hate seams. Hate. I had to learn the Turkish cast-on it order to do it. I highly recommend FluffyKnitterDeb’s tutorial, it’s really easy to follow. A little tricky until you get the hang of it, but I’m glad I’ve learned how to do it. It makes beautiful sock toes, bag bottoms, mitten tips, etc.

One of the babies was born in December. She of course required something more warm and snuggly, hence I made her a hat using the Bulky EarFlap Hat pattern from As the Bunny Spins and booties using Simple Soft Baby Booties from Adirondack Mama.

She might not be so happy about wearing it, but I think her parents are glad she’s warm in these -20°C tempertures we’ve been getting.

Then there was my Christmas knitting.

I made a Jayne hat again. This time it was for my middle brother, and I used this pattern, which I think I was happier with.

Here they both are, sporting their hats in true browncoat style 🙂

And now for my pride and joy of the whole lot. The pattern is Fightin’ Words by Annie Watts of Wattsolak Designs. These fingerless mitts were for my youngest brother, who seemed to get a kick out of them.

My first true stranded colourwork. A pretty awesome pattern, and a pretty awesome job, if I do say so myself.

I think I’m smart

Before I get down to business after a bit of an absence, I must first direct your attention to…

Felicia Day, I love you. I can’t believe I just discovered Geek and Sundry/the Flog now. Here is Knit Culture‘s take on the encounter as well.

So, basically this post is dedicated to how smart I think I am. I bought some inexpensive tools recently. Inexpensive tools that have proved to be indispensable (for me anyway).

First off, I wanted one of these.

Yarn holder, yarn lazy susan, I can’t find one unified name for it. Unfortunately, any one of the nice wood ones I had my eye on I couldn’t afford (though FYI, the site that that image links to supplies awesome stuff I don’t really see elsewhere).

Then I found this:

Link to the store here (their English could use some work, I'll admit).

Plastic? I don’t care, as long as it gets the job done. The job being preventing this from happening.

Yarn twisting and curling on itself – my mortal enemy. The physics can be found here.

And it turns out it works quite well. I did away with the silly holder. Didn’t really stay on anyway (though I’ve been promised they’re sending something to fix it).

My second stroke of genius came at the dollar store. I had been lusting after Knit Pick’s Chart Keeper, but a) I’m cheap, and b) the magnets worry me – won’t they hurt the electronics in my purse? Then I saw this:

Just a clear pencil case. I’ve already been using row counters to count repeats, so don’t need the magnets. The case does the job of keeping my charts from getting all crumpled in my bag just fine. The only downside is that this is the other side:

Not really my style.

In other news, I finished my belt for the Ravellenic Games!

I even made the buckle. Because I am a wizard (my ego is getting quite the stoking today, I know).

Cut and fitted 'em myself.

Voilà, my medal 😀

Unfortunately, my TARDIS plushy didn’t get done in time to qualify for the British Cricket event. But it’s done now 🙂

The pattern is by Nyss of Pixelated Mushroom and is available for free on her site.

Desmond investigates:

Almost done, I promise. But first…

Lookit my new Hunter boots! (And check out the sexy super pale leg). Yes that is a crocheted cat toy in the background (and yes, it came with the bed). I’m very excited because not only are they awesome and green, but I can’t wait to show off hand-knit socks in these puppies.

I’ll leave you with this lovely colour of Berroco Vintage Chunky (you can see the threads of purple running throughout more clearly IRL), which I’ll be using for the Simple Lace Shrug from This is Knit was scored by yours truly at 20% off at last week’s grand opening of the new Toronto LYS, Ewe Knit, which has opened up practically next door to my knit night group’s pub of choice. Whether this is awesome or horrifying (to my wallet, anyway) remains to be seen. They also appear to be installing an espresso machine. It’s like they know me…

I got my purchase home, set it down, and then this happened… again :

Cat after my own heart.

TTC Knit-a-long and other antics

Nigh on a month since my last post, oh my. Work gets crazy when school gets out, that’s really my only excuse. That and the beau and I had a vacation. Niagara!

Vineyard inspecting.

On to more on-topic things… July 14 was the annual TTC Knitalong, and my first year attending. It was ridiculously hot for Toronto (42 degrees!) and the Queen streetcar was under construction, which meant more walking, but it was lots of fun regardless.

There are some great photos here. Plus the event made the news!

Behold, my purchases:

The yarns are Berroco Linsey (I have plans for a lace t-shirt) and Jo Sharp DK Wool. Yes, I splurged on a Namaste bag (there was a sale!). The Bette Hochberg books are fantastic and hard to get your hands on, being from the 70s as they are. They can go for a lot online, but I got them for $12 each. I was a very happy girl.

The free swag we got made me even happier. Behold, the final haul:

SCORE!

And that photo doesn’t include the patterns we got in our loot bags as well. Mine included:

Hansel Mittens by Stephannie Roy, the Aberdeen Ave. Hat by Glenna C. and the Signal Hill Scarf by Laura Chau. I believe I will make all of them 😀

I also recently acquired a lot of roving (Craigslist I love you… most of the time).

And naturally this meant I needed a spindle. I found a basic high-whorl for a decent price on eBay. I happened to come from a family in Wyoming who raises their own alpacas, hence I ended up with a kit with more oh-so-soft roving.

I immediately used my birthday gift of a Chapters gift card to order Abby Franquemont’s book Respect the Spindle. If I can’t go to Rhinebeck for her workshop this year (partially since I am now out of funds), it’s the next best thing. I had some credit left over, so I also got Gibson-Roberts’ Spinning in the Old Way 😀 Thanks to magpiecrafter for the great book advice (originally heard of Hochberg through her blog as well).

I somehow managed to find time to make another doll for Heart for Africa. They are now on their way to children affected by AIDS in Swaziland.

Also this past week, I stumbled across this ridiculously cute piece of whimsical online reading, featuring quite a lot of knitting!

And last, but not least, the Ravellenic games starts this week (along with something called the “Olympics,” whatever). Got my projects all picked out. I will be entering the Cable Steeplechase with Tanis Gray’s Cabled Belt from Vogue Knitting Winter 08/09 since I’ve been meaning to make it for a while. I’ll also (am I taking on too much?) be making a TARDIS amigurumi, using Ms. Parke’s lovely design. A) it’s super cute, B) I needed something to enter into the British Cricket event that I actually wanted to make. Team TARDIS will so be besting Team SHERlocked, hands down.