Sunday, 5 August 2012

When making one pair of slippers just wouldn't go right..

I've made quite a lot of pairs of slippers over the past few weeks..  

I've made boot slippers..

Low backed summery coloured slippers..

His n Hers slippers..

And THEN the troublesome slippers :)

UK size 2 
So tiny they looked like they should be for a child.

I'd had a request for a pair of UK size 5s.. I ordered in a new batch of luuuurvly coloured Icelandic wool and set to making them - using the same resist, fibre layout and system of working the felt as I ALWAYS do.  I could not believe it when I couldn't shrink the darned things any smaller than a UK 7!  I even gave them a quick go in the washing machine to try and bring them down a bit - no dice.  They were stubbornly staying 7s.  So I finished them up and listed them as 7s.

Process of elimination.  I'd either layed the fibre thicker than usual (didn't think so though) or the shrinkage rate was different from all the other Icelandic I have used.  Next step was to make a pair using the same resists, but laying the fibre down very thinly.  I ended up with a lovely lightweight pair of size 5s from this..  not what the customer had ordered - but just what I needed for a gift for my mom!  

Next I did the thing that I absolutely hate and detest doing..  I sat down and did maths YUCK!!  And then I gave my lovely hubby the task of doing it too just to check I'd worked everything out right :)  see how generous I am to my man?! ;D

My Icelandic had always shrunk by around 35%.. but the new fibre was only going about 23%.  SO I worked out my new resists, laid out the fibre to the normal thickness on the next pair and voilà they came up just right.. phew!  

Mind you I'd been working to make size 5s all this time and then the lady they were for decided she wanted them for a different person who needed a UK size 2.. so the next challenge was to make the tiniest pair of slippers I've ever made!  

The purple & green boots at the top of the post were felted from fibre that was in the same batch as the colour which gave me trouble.. and they shrunk to the usual rate!  I'm thinking that is must be something odd and specific to that particular batch of fibre.  

I so enjoyed felting the boots.. its been a while since I made any.  These are new colours and I used some gorgeous hand dyed Teeswater curly locks that I brought from Sara.. I love these colours :)  You can't really see the locks on the main photo, so heres a close up..

Tourmaline Teeswater Locks
from Saras Texture Crafts
Right I'm off to feed the fish


Heather Woollove said...

Deborah--You know how much I always LOVE your slippers!! The 'low backed' ones are especially luscious (hahaha), and do I detect a layer of lime green for the sole?!? (Is it leather?) Yummy! XXO-

Kelly said...

I have not tried felting with Icelandic fiber yet. I was hoping to find some when I head out to Asheville in the Fall.

I love all of your slippers! The lowback are my favorite, the color and style both look wonderful.

I'm glad you were able to use all of the ones you made and were able to make new resists that worked with your "wonky" fiber!

FeltersJourney said...

Thank you Heather & Kelly :)

You're absolutely right Heather - my fave lime green leather :) They all have leather soles.

Kelly I love that - wonky fibre - sums it up pretty blooming well!

Hope you do get to try Icelandic - I think you will love it. Felts really easily.. its firm and fibery, not too hairy - and very hardwearing. Fab for slippers and rugs, I've made some lovely solid bags with it too.