Although to be fair, now that I've worn these suckers around our apartment for a couple days, the soles have enough cat hair ground into them to be able to build a whole other cat. So that's pretty dirty.
So these bootie-slippers are from a free pattern I found on ravelry. The hex motif is a real winner, and would definitely be worth using in a blanket or any other crocheted hexagon piece. I mean, you can't go wrong with *both* popcorn stitches *and* cluster stitches! The sole stitch is pretty cool as well. Basically you work single crochet in rows, always working through the back loop of the current row and the unused front loop of the previous row. I didn't quite get this until I started doing it, but the motions of it are completely easy to understand once you're looking at the piece. It makes an incredibly dense, double-thick fabric so it's an absolute dream for a slipper sole, although as a result of this the soles do take a lot longer to make than the tops. The pattern does, however, tell you to make two rectangular soles and then slip stitch your hexagonal tops onto the rectangles, which involves a good deal of tugging and forcing and HEY WAIT A MINUTE my feet aren't rectangular... It would be simple enough to just make oval soles, which I could have figured out on my own I suppose, but I actually picked this project as something that would require little to no attention and could be worked while I was teaching crochet. If I ever make another pair though, they will definitely get oval soles. My soles are scrappy (just like my soul?):
So in addition to sharing this crochet project with you (and breaking up the crocheted square posts a little bit), I wanted to respond to a question that my homegirl Heather asked in the comments on one of my previous posts. She wrote:
I’m curious to know how crocheting and knitting work for together for you. Do you have divided loyalties? Is there one in which you’re more proficient?
Funny thing, since I've been teaching a lot of beginning crochet - and yet still spending a lot of knitting - I've been thinking about this quite a bit. I learned to knit first from a friend, and had been knitting for several years before I tried to teach myself crochet. The trouble was, crochet didn't come easy to me. Looking back on it I really could have benefited from instruction; hell even some youtube videos. This was back in 2002 ... was there even youtube then? I have no idea. Anyway, my point is - I SUCKED. I absolutely blew. I got pissed off and quit, only to return to it a few years later and have it finally make more sense. My theory is that in the meantime I switched from English to continental style knitting, so I got used to controlling tension on yarn with my left hand, so the mechanics just felt more natural to me. I also have kind of a half-baked theory about styles of learning and the way a person's brain works that have to do with how they take to knitting or crochet. To me the construction of crocheted items makes more physical sense. But I do love the process of both crafts, which apparently makes me a bit of an odd ball.
As far as preferences, I have a lot of strong, strange crafting preferences that I recognize as entirely personal and process-related. By that I mean I love a lot of hand crafted items that I see and say, "I will never, ever make that." As far as knitting and crochet are concerned individually, there is a definite division of labor that is related to my bizarre semi-rational feelings about process. Anything small and fiddly (like 90% of baby items) is always crocheted; this eliminates the vast majority of the fiddliness. Adult accessories can go either way. Anything absolutely enormous (blankets) must be crocheted. I've always knit sweaters, but honestly, I'm starting to feel like a bit of a fraud of a crochet teacher for never having crocheted myself an actual garment, so I'm just about to start this awesome pattern. And that brings me to my final bizarre crafting preference: cables. Cables can be crocheted but never knit. I do not like to knit cables. I will do cables without a cable needle when I really, REALLY want the finished item in a particularly crazed way, but only then. So while I would say in general I'm more technically proficient as a knitter (I've been doing it for far longer, after all), I see knitting and crochet as being different types of means that I can apply as I prefer in order to attain the ends I desire. Hope that makes sense.