Felted Oops…

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.


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