January 29, 2014
I love to make gifts for family and friends, but as others who create know, you want to make sure they're going to love it and use it. Too much time, love and sometimes a significant amount of cash has gone into the making to find out the item never left their closet or dresser drawer. I don't blame them, because it was my taste that picked it not theirs. That's why I rarely do it any more unless I get a hint from them that makes me feel I'll be on the right track.
I get to see this firsthand with my husband. I've made him some gorgeous knitted vests and sweaters that never left our closet. I've learned to have him pick out the pattern from a preselected set and the yarn color, too.
However, one item that was a hit with him from the very beginning was a pair of felted slipper clogs. He laughed at how large they were before felting and looked skeptical enough that I feared they'd end up in the closet, too.
As you can see he wore the heck out of them. They're so disgusting now that even he asked for a new pair.
When I made them the first time I didn't think they'd need the leather sewn on sole so I made them with the bumper in the pattern. However about 3 years in he'd worn through the very thick felted sole so I added the leather. It was kind of awkward to stitch on the bumper.
Fiber Trends Pattern (downloadable)
This time I planned for the leather sole which makes them more attractive in a hoofy comfy way.
Rather than buy new wool I looked through my stash and found the leftover teal I'd used on the first pair and added a darker teal to it on the 20th row. The sole and cuff are a deep charcoal gray that I seemed to have plenty of for some reason.
The wrench in the mix this time was our new washer. Our old washer of 25 years that was a very awesome felter gave up in January so I knew it was not going to be as easy to get them shrunk and felted. I ended up doing a combination of agitation in the washer to letting them tumble in the dryer without heat, then added heat, etc. It definitely took longer, but they do work.
I think I will shrink them a bit more if I can get them back from him any time soon.