Summer Slippers

When my beloved Peter Alexander slippers hit the dust this summer, I decided to try my hand at making my own. My previous attempts at crafted slippers were not at all successful – I’d crocheted some slippers a few years back, which remain mostly unworn due to the pain of the crocheted fabric cutting into my foot, and the less said about my countless failed sewn slippers the better.

Yellow handknitted mary jane slippers.

This time, I stuck with knitting, and chose Ysolda Teague’s Not-So-Tiny Slippers pattern. This is a simple-looking pattern with a clever construction: the i-cord edging is knitted first, with stitches picked up from it then worked in the round to create the slipper. Short rows provide the shaping, and the sole is worked in garter stitch.

There is probably nothing I hate more in knitting than applied i-cord, but the slippers were so cute I gave it a crack. For the most part, it proved worth the effort, though I had a bit of trouble achieving my desired result. The biggest issue was sizing. Despite having large feet (AUS 9-10), the largest size wasย hugeย on me. There was no way that slipper was staying on my foot, so I sized down to the smallest size, and even then, I would have had to pin the sides together at the centre of my foot to get it to stay on.

Yellow handknitted mary jane slippers.

After a bit of thinking, I decided to stick with the smallest size and thread 6mm elastic through the i-cord before seaming it together. Although fiddly, this worked a treat, and now the slippers stay firmly on my feet. The elastic has the added bonus of making it easier to get the slippers on and off, which help a great deal with my mobility problems.

Pattern image of Ysolda Teague's Not-So-Tiny Slippers
What the slippers should look like on – from Ysolda’s Flickr

I’m not sure whether I’d recommend this pattern – having to go down 2 sizesย and make further modifications seems like too much hard work for simple slippers. My gauge was spot-on, as far as I can tell, though I acknowledge in a 3D object like this even the slightest variation in gauge can make huge differences.

Soles of yellow handknitted mary jane slippers.
Some of the crappiness you see here is my bad kitchener stitch, some is the unpicked wraps from the short rows.

The yarn, however, I can definitively reject. It is a Spotlight brand – Moda Vera Elenna, a cotton/acrylic blend. It wasn’t terrible to work with or wear, besides a bit of splittiness that is to be expected in such a blend, but the knots were a killer. I counted 3 joins in one ball. Three!

Yellow handknitted mary jane slippers.

Despite my quibbles, I obviously didn’t hate these slippers too much because I promptly made another pair. They are just what I need for getting about the house in summer.

Author: Siobhan S

20 something, living in country Australia. Spoonie profile: ME/CFS, dysautonomia, anxiety. All about sewing, knitting and food. Unapologetic feminist and disability advocate.

6 thoughts on “Summer Slippers”

  1. Yes, sadly I’ve yet to find a knitted or crocheted slipper pattern that I’ve been happy with the results either in finished looks or practicality. They never really seem to look like the original or they just don’t fit well/fall off. I have a similar size foot to you so maybe I should try these ?(2 sizes down of course! lol)

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    1. I agree that a lot of knitted slipper patterns look really cute but are not practical. One pattern I’ve had success with in the past is the Non-Felted Slipper, though I’d consider them more a winter pattern as they cover the foot. Otherwise, I can see why many knitters stick to the basic seamed garter stitch slipper pattern!

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  2. There is a gorgeous pattern for slippers that I am going to make for my cousin’s two little girls (and probably for myself too) that are known as dragon scale slippers. I’ll let you know my results on those. They look a little bit like elf slippers, but they use a scale-like pattern for the ‘rows’. It looks similar to the Barvarian crochet stitch (which is a PITA to do, but looks absolutely gorgeous), but less complicated.

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