Piranha slippers

When I made the fluffy bunny slippers from Debbie Stoller’s Happy Hooker for myself last year, my husband already dropped the not so subtle hint that he would like a pair of slippers as well. Not fluffy, not bunnies, but the basic slippers. So I thought I would drop the bunny ears and just maze a simple face on them. Nothing fancy, just a simple pair. Wouldn’t that go fast? Sure, I needed to make them a bit bigger, but still.

But while I was working on them, my husband started tweaking them. Or, more accurate, he started asking alterations and left the tweaking to me. It was a bit like having a crochet coach. So every time I was nearly finished, some other question came up, something like “Can you make them higher around the ankles?” “Can they get a big fin, like a shark?” “Can you stuff the fin?” “Can you make some teeth as well?” “Are they finished yet, I’d really like to wear them now.”

Piranha slippers

I must say, I may have sighed with every question. I may even have cursed now and then, who knows? But in the end I must admit it paid to follow his input. I love these guys! Although they do look more like a piranha than like a shark to me.

What I liked
I experimented with crochet shaping, and I really liked that.

Rough patches
I think there might be a mistake in the original. I know I had some trouble getting the right amount of stitches for the bottom sole the last time I made them, but then I thought it was just me. This time I encountered them again, so maybe it wasn’t my fault at all! I forgot to write down how I solved it, though. Sorry about that!

What I altered

To get my husband the slippers he wanted, I did the following:

  • I enlarged the slipper by adding a few rounds to every part.
  • I made the slippers taller around the ankles. They’re still a bit too loose though, so that plan didn’t really work out as it was supposed to.
  • I swapped the ears and cute face for a more “malicious” looking piranha. 

Piranha slippers

Pattern
To enlarge the pattern so they would fit my husband, I added about 3 rounds to every part. To get the stitch count right, just follow the logic of the pattern. Not hard at all!

As for the rest of the alterations, this is the first time that I’ve written out a crochet pattern. Should you encounter any mistakes and/or things that are not clear, please let me know, so I can correct the pattern. Thanks!

Fin (make 2 per slipper)

  • Hook: 5,5 mm / I
  • Yarn: Phildar Impact 3 1/2, jeans (same as slippers)
Ch11
Row 1: sc2tog in 2nd and 3rd ch from hook, sc in remaining 8 sts. Ch1 and turn. (9)
Row 2: sc in next 9 sts. Ch1 and turn. (9)
Row 3: sc3tog, sc in next 6 sts. Ch1 and turn. (7)
Row 4: sc in next 7 sts. Ch1 and turn. (7)
Row 5: sc3tog, sc in next 4 sts. Ch 1 and turn. (5)
Row 6: sc in next 5 sts. Ch 1 and turn. (5)
Row 7: sc3tog, BO.
Finishing: sew the two parts together, leaving an opening at the bottom. Fill it with stuffing, then sew it on to the top of the slipper.

Note: I realize that on one side of the fin, the wrong side will be showing on the outside, but this is the way I did it.

Eyes

  • Hook: 3,5 mm / E
  • Yarn: Phildar Impact 3 1/2, white (scraps)
White background (make 2 per slipper):
Ch4
Rnd 1: 2 sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next st, 2 sc in next st, rotate so as to work through back loops, 2sc in 1st loop, sc in next back loop, 2sc in last back loop, sl st to join (10)
Rnd 2: ch 1, 2 sc in 1st st, sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next 2 sts, sc in next 3sts, 2 sc in next st, sl st to join (14)
Rnd 3: ch 1, sc in 1st st, 2 sc in next st, sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st, sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st, sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st, sc in next st, sl st to join (17)
Bind off
Black pupil (make 2 per slipper)

  • Hook: 3,5 mm / E
  • Yarn: Phildar Lambswool, black (scraps)

Ch2
Rnd 1: 3 sc in 2nd ch from hook, sl st to join (3)
Rnd 2: ch1, 2 sc in each st, sl st to join (6)
Rnd 3: ch 1, [2 sc in st, sc in st] 3 times (9)
Bind off

Teeth

  • Hook: 3,5 mm / E
  • Yarn: Phildar Impact 3 1/2, white (scraps)

Ch2
Rnd 1: 3 sc in 2nd ch from hook, sl st to join (3)
Rnd 2: ch1, 2 sc in each st, sl st to join (6)
Rnd 3: ch1, sc in each st, sl st to join (6)
Rnd 4: ch1, [2 sc in st, sc in st] 3 times, sl st to join (9)
Rnd 5: ch1, sc in each st, sl st to join (9)
Rnd 6: ch1, [2sc in st, sc in next 2 st] 3 times, sl st to join (12)
Rnd 7: ch1, sc in each st, sl st to join (12)
Bind off

Piranha slippers

So now they are ready to be worn! Poor bunny slippers, they never stood a chance!

Piranha slippers

Lucha libre balaclava

Last Sunday, my friend Reinout celebrated his birthday. As a present, he wanted to have a balaclava. Given the low temperatures and snow we had here lately, that wasn’t so bad an idea. So I got out my knitting needles, took out Debbie Stoller’s Son of Stitch ‘n Bitch and started working the Lucha Libre balaclava.

What I liked about it
This one is a fast knit. I only started it at the beginning of December, and I got along quite fast.

It’s also a great way to practice your intarsia technique. Or should I call it intangledsia?

Lucha libre

Now, I know this looks like some kind of nightmare, but in fact, it’s not that bad. If you are knitting intarsia, you do not drag your yarn along behind the work. Instead, you use a new strand of yarn every time you change colour. So in fact, it’s a bit like a puzzle. Of course, while knitting, these strands get a little tangled, as shown in the picture. But untangling it all is a bit of a puzzle as well, and, to be honest, I don’t mind it all that much. Weaving the untangled ends in is a bit more tiresome, though.

Rough patches

As I said, I wasn’t too wild about weaving the ends in. All in all, it took me a few hours to do so. I guess you just need to put your mind to it. Brace yourself for the fact that you won’t be knitting that night, but you’ll be weaving. And all in all, the end result wouldn’t look as nice as it does when you leave all the ends just dangling about.

Lucha libre balaclava

I was also a bit surprised that this mask was knit flat, and not in the round. Since you have a center back seam, it seemed so obvious and less tedious to do it in the round. But then I just read today that it’s not that simple to do intarsia in the round. Since you leave your coloured ends dangling and then pick them up again on the next row, it’s important that you knit back and forth. If you do it in the round, your yarn will always be on the other end of your colour patch. Not that handy. So flat it is.

I’m quite happy with the result. It’s nice and warm, and it looks a lot more friendly than your average balaclava. If the person wearing it is laughing, that is. If not, it actually looks quite scary.

So I gave the balaclava to Reinout last Sunday. The best day, since it had been snowing again. We immediately went out to test it.

Lucha libre balaclava

It passed the sleighing and snowball fight test. Not only did it keep Reinout’s head warm, but his nose and ears as well. And no children started crying or screaming when he went by. All that’s still left to do is the cycling test: does the wind cut through it, or not? Let’s hope it doesn’t.

Come on let’s stitch and bitch again

There’s a new Debbie Stoller book out, woot! This one is called Stitch ‘n Bitch Superstar Knitting: Go Beyond the Basics.

  More tutorials, more patterns. And thanks to my very own Superstar Husband and his pre-order amazon list, it’s already mine! That’s why I married him folks 🙂

My copy arrived yesterday. So I was kind of unavailable for conversation yesterday evening, I needed to focus focus focus. It contains 41 new patterns, and I want to knit at least 35 of them. And try out all the new techniques that are described. And, of course, the biggest challenge of all, try to create my very own patterns. Thank you Debbie, you made my day once again!

And now I need to find the time to get started on all those projects… All suggestions are welcome!

Son of Stitch ‘n Bitch

This is just in! Debbie Stoller’s Son of Stitch ‘n Bitch is finally in my possession! She promises 45 projects to knit and crochet for men, and I want to make nearly all of them. Coming to this theatre soon!

Some more posts about recent projects will be coming soon as well. At the moment, I kind of have a bottleneck situation going on. I’ve been working on several things and slowly finishing them all. I also have some drafts for posts and tutorials lying around that I wrote on the train, but they still need some tweaking before they are ready for the big wide world web. I hope I’ll find some time soon!