Have you ever heard that joke? I remember being really confused when attending a folk camp and someone was talking about their local pub, the King’s Head, being closed down. But, they said, there was another pub called the King’s Arms down the road that they were going to transfer to. ‘So it’s a case of ‘the king’s dead, long live the king!” he shouted out to rapturous applause. Apparently it’s down to the continuous nature of the monarchy- as soon as one King dies, another is created instantaneously. The people announcing the death of one monarch would immediately proclaim the new one in the same breath. I imagine this was reassuring to people who wanted the stability and reassurance that a smooth succession would bring in times when the monarchy held absolute power, and that is also how I feel about my slippers. They are totally necessary to the daily functioning of my life, and reassuring to someone such as me who has the same body temperature as a particularly chilly lizard.
So, when one pair of slippers begins to decline, it’s time to make a new pair.
These gorgeous fox slippers have served me well, and lasted about three years. That does include a change of soles though- as you can see in the above photo with the slightly less felted patch of stockinette over my toes. Also one eye and ear is going wonky, but hey, it gave them character!
The pattern is ‘Step Softly’ by Birch Hollow Cottage, made with aran yarn. I used Drops Peru which felted nicely, except for the white colourway which I suppose was too heavily dyed to felt as well as the orange. The pattern itself made a very wide style of slipper that I didn’t really like, so I ended up cutting slits out of the sides and sewing them up to make a more fitted style. However this is totally down to personal preference, and a more experienced knitter would probably be able to alter the pattern if they wanted a thinner foot. This was my first introduction to felting from a knitted product so I had no idea how to do this at the time!
Looking at Birch Hollow Cottage on Ravelry I see that these kind of cute, wildlife-inspired designs are definitely her thing, so have a look at the other patterns if you are the kind of knitter that appeals to! (I definitely am).
As for me, I am working on the birth of a new pair of slippers to ensure a smooth transition when my foxes finally retire.