Wednesday, December 27, 2006

stubborn is as stubborn does*

*title sounds best when said in a Forrest Gump accent

When we last left my felting endeavors, we had a jumbo pair of red fuzzy mary janes. I was optimistic in saying they sort of fit me. In fact, scientific testing proved they fit a mens size 10.5 us and were well suited only for, if you are 13 years old, a running start in the living room, gliding across the rest of the room, through the kitchen and off the step down into the family room without ever lifting your feet. This didn't enhance their giftability to my much smaller footed niece, but gave them a light coating of kitchen-y crumbs.

I couldn't bring myself to cast on another pair. They're, let's face it, a bit of a boring knit. A friend suggested I cut them apart , trim the soles, make seams on the uppers to narrow, and sew them together again. This appealed! I was going to cut them up into flowers or something anyway. Slide-ability fun aside, no one was really going to wear them. As luck would have it, my sister was over for one last night of latkes when I approached surgery and she helped me simplify.
Angled cuts from just forward of the strap crossing section, down to the sole, then pull tight, a sort of felted slipper facelift, overlapping and stitching in decorative X's, using darning needle, sportweight yarn, lots of muscle and thimbles. Pliers would have helped. This was some dense felt, let me tell you.

Once stitched, the toes came up in a pixie-ish way, the heels were well covered and it brought them narrower. All I needed to do, aside from aggressive shaving to remove excess fuzz'n'crumbs, was buttons. I was dreading this, the needle struggle when seaming was painful, until I came across these in the bottom of my sewing box.
Funny how the right tool can cheer you on, isn't it?


I won't claim them as my finest work but they were giftable.
My niece's reaction? My niece is the coolest almost 18 year old. She unwrapped them, exclaiming,
" I've never seen anything like these! I love them! They're sooo fuzzy inside. Look! Cute buttons!"
Then she stood up in them, danced a little jig , slipped and fell gracefully to applause.


HPNY Knits said...

i could not stop laughing! weeeeeeeeee! I love the way you improvised to save the project- after all, every thing we do is a step in our enrichment as knitters. even sliding down the house!

Hollyeqq said...

Awesome - I think they look even better.

And you would be seriously felted too if you had been washed 15 times with Jeans and assorted other kitchen items!

I think I see another pair in your future - you want a pair so you can slide around your house when nobody is home. I know - sounds like fun to me!
Happy Hollydays

Carole said...

You saved them! Hooray!

Mary Lou said...

Great save - and I love the serendipity of the needle discovery. I have stuff that is from my aunt's sewing and knitting box. She died when I was 9 and that was, uh, a while ago. She must have purchased some of the items in the 40's. Teeeeeny snaps and hook and eye tape anyone?

Wool Winder said...

I'm glad there was a happy ending to this felting saga. Great fix. They're wonderful.