Ballerina Slippers

Sometime in February or March, I pulled out a pattern book for someone. Of course, I saw the ballerina slippers, and knew someone else who would LOVE a pair. The book is

    Knit a Dozen Plus Slippers

designed by Amy Polcyn.

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The pattern is very simple, consisting of a 20 stitch cast on, origami toe and heel, with slipped stitches on the ends. All stockinet. Unless, the princess you are making them for has a wide foot and tiny heel.

I used Bernat Baby Sport yarn. It isn’t as durable as wool, but mom can throw them in the washing machine.

I knit up the original by hand, up to the finishing touches. I then put it on the princess’s foot to check fit. Her foot came out of the top, and no I-cord would cover that up! So… Back to the drawing board. Then, I hand knit a custom slipper. Just one. You can see where I marked my increases. But I was aggravated, and forgot to write down which rows I increased, and which stitches I increased in. Making a duplicate was a headache. (Should I say I was busy and/or lazy)?

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I had made one slipper (not shown) to get gauge on my Brother KX-390. Just in case I wanted to knit up spares. In a snit, I sat down and did the math, with a picture of her foot in front of me.

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1. You have to take into account that your slippers have sides. In the picture above, I have Princess’s foot. The straight lines across have the measurements. Each one with about half an inch extension for the sides. Stitch counts are on the right side, marked at one inch intervals. Row count is also on the right side.

2. In between the one inch sections, I’ve marked the number of increases.

3. As I knit on the machine, I wrote which rows and how many stitches I increased. Those are at the bottom right.

4. I did do a ‘just before the toe’ decrease, to ensure a snug fit, and create a rounded toe.

I knit both slippers at the same time on the machine, to ensure they were the same. Now, I have a graphic pattern, should I decide to make them again.

I did the I-cording around the slippers by hand. I didn’t like how my I-corded laces looked, so I frogged it out, and put the slippers back on the machine. And yes, those are little pink heart beads, knitted into the I-cord, with the help of a tiny crochet hook.

I rather like the look of the finished product, but we won’t know for sure, until Princess puts them on. Either I, or her grandmother may put some felt on the bottoms. Not sure yet, but I would recommend it.

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Sometimes, working off a graphic picture is easier than trying to keep it all in your head. I may make a second set, to improve on some of the issues that I don’t like. I’m not happy with the bind off. I used a double e-wrap cast on. A crochet cast on was great for the hand knit version, but not the machine. The edge of the the actual slipper, pre I-cord doesn’t look like I want it to.

My biggest issue with the slipper was the pattern. It was a three size, fit all, with the only difference being the distance between heel and toe. Yes, the yarn will stretch, but not that far. A four year old will have slimmer feet than a six year old. It is very much a sock type issue. There are formulas for socks. I may take one and compare the results and adjustments.

The main thing that the slippers are done! I learned a valuable lesson- either write as you hand knit, or do both at the same time. Double knitting allows for you to make two of something at the same time. I just haven’t gotten proficient at holding two strands yet (among other things).

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