On Friday, I pause and remember a single moment from the past week.
We celebrate St. Nicholas on December 6 with small gifts and treats. The gift from my younger daughter was a real treat – hand-knit bunny PJs just like Ralphie’s in the movie, Christmas Story, right down to the “sappily staring” slippers.
I have an American Girl size doll that my daughter keeps dressed in imaginative costumes.
She looks perfect displayed along with my village-sized Ralphie’s house …
…and Higbee’s Department Store. You can see Ralphie peering into the window, dreaming about his air rifle.
Happy decorating, everyone.
On December 6th, our family celebrates St.Nicholas with the exchange of small gifts, candy and homemade cookies. This year, my two daughters will receive dorm boots/slippers instead of stockings. I found a wonderful pattern on Needle Beetle called Aunt Alm’s Dorm Boots.
Instructions are given for various sizes and I started out making children’s slippers for the Pine Ridge Lakota children in South Dakota. Their Sacred Shawl project which helps young mothers and children in abusive situations, particularly asked for warm slippers for their very cold winters.
I consider them suitable knitting for an advanced beginner and made two more sets for my daughters. I made these with Lion Brand Wool-Ease (80% acrylic, 20% wool) which makes them easy to wash and dry. I tried one on to be sure they were close to the size I wanted.
The ssk stitch (slip, slip, knit) forms the “V” shape on the front of the sock, which I like a lot. See the YouTube link below for a tutorial on this stitch. The pattern is written for double-pointed needles but I work better with circular needles and I found the pattern easy to adapt and the slippers easy to knit.
The difference between learning to knit in this era versus the many times I tried and failed in the past is all of the help that is available on the internet. The free tutorials and patterns are wonderful, especially for a new knitter. I found this pattern for Simple House Slippers on a site called Temple of Knit.
I wanted to share the pattern because these are good for an advance beginner to knit in a short amount of time and make nice gifts. I made three different sizes by changing the size of needle and yarn while using the same pattern – Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear slippers.
The Papa Bear slippers were made with double-stranded thick worsted yarn and #9 needles …
…the Mama Bear slippers were made with double-stranded thin worsted and #9 needles …
…and the Baby Bear slippers (sized for a 4-5 year-old child) were made with single-strand thin worsted and #7 needles.
The pattern mentions a CDD (centered double decrease) stitch which I never encountered while following the pattern. It also mentions an SSK (slip slip knit) stitch which is shown in the video below from YouTube.
Note that the pattern is written for circular needles but can be easily adapted to double-pointed. I’m not good with double-pointed needles, so everything I make is on circulars and the Magic Loop (circulars with a long cable).
I understand that Swedish grandmothers have been making slippers of this type for years. I really enjoyed making them.
Several of my blogging friends have kindly asked if I am OK since my blog posts have been few and far between this year. I’m happy to report that I’m doing pretty well but moving very slowly and not getting too much done. I have spinal stenosis issues which have forced me to give up quilting (except for very small items) and experimental cooking (which I’ve always loved) but I’m doing fine for an octogenarian, I think.
One thing I’ve been able to do comfortably is to continue my newfound hobby of knitting. About 95% of the knitting is for charities and one of my newer ones is the Pine Ridge Children’s group in South Dakota. I found them through Ravelry – http://www.ravelry.com/groups/for-the-children-of-pine-ridge They need and appreciate everything that is warm and comforting which gives me an opportunity to make a variety of clothing. I especially enjoy knitting for babies and preschoolers. These are some of the items I finished in the past couple of weeks which will soon be on their way to a home for mothers and children who have escaped abusive situations.
This vest is the largest size piece of clothing I’ve made so far – will fit a boy age 6-7.
This poncho is for a little girl about 4 or 5 and I hope she likes the doggy buttons.
I have some more projects ready to launder and, of course, a couple of things “on the needles”. I’m grateful that I can be doing something useful that I enjoy.