It has been on my To Do List for quite some time to make some felted wool slippers. They are the perfect solution for cold winters and concrete floors. My 7 yr old daughter was eager to do some making with me, so we decided to create the slippers for her. Stella chose a purple-dyed alpaca roving, adding strands of teal and pink for added flair. Never having made slippers before, I had to guess what the shrinkage of the fibers would be. Unlike the decorative wall hangings I often make, these slippers need to be durable; the fibers have to be felted and fulled for much longer, which means more shrinkage.
We created a form from two layers of thick socks and duct tape that was two sizes larger than Stella’s normal shoe size. Our plan was to create a bootie slipper that we could trim as desired. As you can guess from the photos above, our bootie shrunk down to a mule slipper that barely fit Stella’s foot. These ‘Oops moments’ are always good opportunities to learn about expectations, flexibility, and opportunity. No doubt, we were both disappointed at first. But I reframed the mistake as a new design challenge, and we came up with the solution of adding a heel piece. The result is a slipper that not only fits snuggly, but is unique and boldy colored as well.