Last Minute Travel Slippers

It started in May. I had a week to go before my road trip to Maryland Sheep & Wool, and the itch set in. The itch to make something for this trip. I can make something in a week, surely. It’s not like I have anything else to do. (I had a lot else to do.) I know: I’ll make some slippers! My beloved old moccasins are looking pretty beat up, and they take up a fair bit of room in the suitcase, and I bet I can whip out a pair of ballet-ish slippers that look nice and pack small and will keep my bare feet off the hotel carpet.

Now, this is not my first last-minute-travel-project rodeo, and though I was tempted to also spin the yarn for these things, I knew that that way lay madness. Besides, that’s much of the point of a stash, surely: to have exactly the right yarn when inspiration strikes, just waiting for you to pull it out and get knitting. So I did. I found some worsted weight from Imperial Yarn in a heathery bottle green, and off I went.*

Last Minute Travel Slippers in progress

The entire project took me two daysdays in which I must have done other things, surely, though it’s all a blur nowand I was so pleased with the result, I posted them to Instagram. A couple of people asked for a pattern, and I’d taken decent notes, so I went in search of an appropriate, currently available yarn. (That’s the problem with designing from deep stash: the inevitable hazard of discontinued yarn.) I wanted something woolen-spun (for lightness and cushiness) but durable (because you’d be walking on it) without being too crunchy (so it’s comfortable on bare skin) in a good range of colours (so there’s something for everyone) in worsted weight (for a nice balance between fast knitting and a not-too-bulky result). Harrisville Highland fit the bill nicely, and I like what that company’s about, so I bought a skein in Woodsmoke and got knitting.

Though the sample itself only took a couple of days, my summer filled up with other work, so it took a while to get the pattern ready for its public. In the meantime, the prototype got some serious road testing.

Last Minute Travel Slippers at the lake
Watching the sunrise at West Point Lake.

I particularly like how small they roll up for packing.

Last Minute Travel Slippers rolled for packing
That purse doesn’t even hold an iPad.

Finally, just yesterday, the pattern was ready to go, and now you can have a pair of these babies, too. The original project name seemed fitting enough, so I stuck with it: the Last Minute Travel Slippers pattern is now available on Ravelry, complete with gorgeous photos by Gale Zucker and an illustrated tutorial for Judy’s Magic Cast On (my go-to toe-up cast on), plus my German Short Row tutorial for the little bit of shaping that keeps the heel on your foot.

LMTS collage web
Gale Zucker and her magic camera do it again. Modelled by Josephine Ankarah.

With just under a week to go ’til New York Sheep & Wool (a.k.a. Rhinebeck), I think the timing worked out nicely: early enough for last-minute-travel-project people like me, and just the thing for a single skein of that farm yarn that we wool people can’t resist.

*Sadly, that yarn is no longer available. Though the label says Columbia, the put up was 220 yds/201m to 4 oz/113g, rather than the current 170 yds/155.5m, and the colour—Pine Tree—doesn’t appear to be there now.

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