So continues the saga of my first felting project... (for part 1, go here)
I am making decent progress on the felted duck slippers. This post documents the development of iteration #2. Sizes and gauge are identical to those of the first felting post. Please forgive the variable lighting in the photos.
I think I've got the basic construction down, now I just have to figure out the shaping & sizing for an adult. The felting process shrinks the length by 25% but the width only 12%, so I'll have to figure out new dimensions for these. The test booties look satisfyingly duck-like, but I suspect they'd be pretty hard to walk in.
1. Fresh off the needles.
In this version, I started working back-and-forth at the point where Duck instructs you to start increasing for the instep stitches. This yields a larger opening than in the original pattern, which is important in this case since the felt will not stretch to fit over the foot. I did not pick up sts around the opening to knit the leg -- I moved this step to after the felting process.
2. Just after felting. Note how in this version, the opening is almost half as long as the foot. It was a lot smaller in the first one I made!
3. Picking up sts around the rim with a crochet hook (this was a HUGE pain. I'll come up with an easier way for the final pattern).
One of the things I'm fussing with here is, I don't want to have a ridge on the inside of the knitted cuff that will rub against the wearer's ankle. This is why you see in the picture above that I pulled loops out of both sides -- I later put the inside loops on one needle and the outside loops on another, and then pulled a loop of working yarn through both the inside & outside loops. This way, the picked-up sts were centered over the rim. But it was a huge pain to get the tension right. There are definitely easier ways to do this, and I am now messing around to find the way I like best.
4. With knitted cuff. The cuff started out with 51 sts, decreased sharply up the instep (dec 2 every row for 6 rows), then a few more rows in pattern before binding off.
5. Comparison to the first iteration (which was knitted whole, and then felted)
More to come...