Blog Tour: Knit a Dozen Plus Slippers

Sunday, September 26, 2010
Today I'm the stop for designer Amy Polcyn, on "tour" for her new book from Annie's Attic, Knit a Dozen Plus Slippers.  My pattern for today is the Ruggedly Warm Slippers, which happen to be the cover photo!  I successfully knit a pair for my husband, but have failed to get him to model them (he's shy), so you'll just have to wait to see my version.  For now, enjoy my short interview with Amy!

There are so many different styles of slipper in this book - where did you get your inspiration for the Ruggedly Warm Slippers in particular?  How does this slipper differ from the others?
The inspiration for the Ruggedly Warm Slippers came from trying to think of something that would work for both men and women. I wanted it to be simple to knit and FAST. I fell in love with the yarn, Berroco Sundae, last year at TNNA and had the fact that I needed to do something with it soon stuck in the back of my head. A couple months later, while swatching for the book, I decided I needed to bust out my sample skein! Several of the designs in the book use a similar "architecture", if you will-- basically casting on, working some variety of heel, working straight for the foot, working the toe (usually same technique as the heel), and then the Thing That Makes it Different. In this case, it's garter welt treatment around the top edges, followed by a bit of twisted rib on the instep. Also, it's totally possible to interchange details between these similar designs-- for instance, if you wanted the look of the Ruggedly Warm Slippers for a child, make the Ballerina Slippers, then instead of working the I-cord details, work a garter trim and twisted rib instep. Of course, unless you want to do a bit of math, you'd have to stick with the yarn weight of the base pattern.

What is it about designing socks and footwear that you find most fun?
I love designing for feet for a couple reasons, but mainly because the result is portable, usually quick-to-knit projects. I also love giving knitted gifts, so small projects are a must for that (unless one person is lucky enough to receive all of your attention!) Also, I love wearing handknit slippers and socks, so it's fun for me to come up with ideas that will please me as well.

What do you particularly like about the Ruggedly Warm Slippers?
I was very happy with how these turned out. The way the yarn looks knit in the garter and twisted rib pattern just looks yummy to me (also, it might have something to do with the fact the yarn is called "Sundae"). The best part was my husband said he'd actually wear them, which is pretty huge since he's super picky about clothes.

I find that naming patterns is sometimes the hardest part of writing. How do you come up with naming ideas?
ME TOO!! I always feel like whatever name I come up with is dumb, so I tend to stick with basic descriptive names. I'm fortunate that in many cases (including this one) my charming editors jazzed up a few of the names for me.

There are already several projects for these slippers (the Ruggedly Warm Slippers) on Ravelry. Do you like to watch patterns get knit up, or are you already working on the next project so don't look back at previous ones? (Or some combo of these?)
Well, I probably should be focusing on new things (and believe me, I've got plenty going at the moment) but I still get a ridiculous thrill seeing my designs get favorited, queued, or finished on Ravelry. I'd be lying if I said I stalked it, but I'd also be lying if I said it didn't matter to me.  :)

Next up, Rachel Erin!  I worked with her on several of her patterns that have come out lately, and look forward to seeing what she's got to say!

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All content in this blog, including patterns and photos, is the intellectual property of Katherine Vaughan. All rights under US Copyright Law are reserved. Teachers, please direct your students to download/print out their own copies of patterns used in class. You are, of course, welcome to use items knit from any pattern for charity or sale, with the statement "design by Katherine Vaughan" appreciated.