Knitblogging, part II - Slipper Socks.

When I was in the 11th grade my class went on a canoe trip in Algonquin Park. Because it was autumn, cooling down, and likely to rain, my mother loaned me a pair of heavy wool socks. Wool, she said, was essential for this sort of trip, because it retained its ability to insulate even when wet. These socks, she said, would keep my feet warm even if I fell out of the canoe (although she made no promises about the rest of my body). So I wore the socks, night and day, for the full three (or was it four?) days of the trip. I loved them. True to my mother's word, these socks stayed warm even when drenched. We won't discuss what they smelled like by the time we got back to Toronto. I loved the socks so much that when I moved to Montreal a year and a half later, I asked my mother if I could take them with me. She had two pairs, and so was happy to let me have one. I kept wearing these socks. I wore them in the house, in place of slippers; I wore them inside my oxblood, steel-toed Doc Martins (which are very sexy, but don't insulate very well, and are too big for me besides). I wore them inside my hikers during winter, because I'm too cheap and lazy to buy proper winter boots. I wore these socks all the freaking time. I figured they were heavy wool, they could take it. Well, they are heavy wool, and they did take a lot, but eventually they started to lose their battle with friction. The bottoms started to go at the heel, and then at the ball, and eventually they made very poor slippers, because they let my bare heel come into full contact with the cold wood floor. I wasn't ready to throw them out (they still did a good job of keeping my feet warm under the blankets on particularly cold nights), but I was forced to admit that I was going to need a new pair.

I waffled. Being cheap and lazy, and hating shopping in general, I wasn't inclined to buy a new pair. Then, a little over a year ago, I took up knitting again in earnest, and that reinforced my desire not to buy a new pair. After all, I could knit a pair! But I didn't. Every sock pattern I looked at was either intended for a much lighter yarn, or waayy too complicated, or both. I got increasingly frustrated with the situation, but then my aunt got me a pair of fleece slipper socks for christmas, and that held my frustration in check for a while. But only for a while. The fleece socks, while nice, couldn't hold a candle to the look and feel of socks made from real, heavy, good quality wool.

Finally it happened. I had finished the Rogue. I was casting around for a new project. My confidence in my knitting skill was high. I had some spare, good, heavy wool yarn on hand. And I came across this pattern. At first I wasn't sure, but once I looked at the pattern and realised how trivial it would be to get rid of the godawful moon-and-stars design I was sold. I did it. It took about a week. I am now the proud owner of an incredibly comfy pair of slipper socks, pictured below:

Here's a detail shot of the heel. The picture links to some notes on the construction.

The slipper socks were made from Knitting Pure and Simple's free pattern, on 3.75mm Brittany birch needles, with Cascade Yarns's Ecological Wool, shade 8061 which just happens to be almost the same colour as the original wool socks my mother gave me all those years ago.

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