A while ago, a friend gave me the leather from her collapsed sofa, and then, a few weeks ago, another friend showed me her daughter’s cute wool and leather booties from Norway and said she’d like a pair in “aubergine” with a matching hat. Well, Lily, I’m your woman.
I didn’t have a pattern but managed to design and make a pretty cute pair of baby slippers. The soles are made from the salvaged sofa leather (shiny side in) and the sole is lined on the inside with thick felt upcycled from a felted sweater. The sweater was originally hand knit by a “friend of a friend” for her small son. By the time I received the sweater it was thick and felted already but another spin in the washing machine made it even thicker.
I had to buy a Draper hole punch to make holes on the leather – any excuse to buy some new “kit” – it worked really well. I crocheted round the sole and then worked my way up in double crochet (single crochet US). On the cuff I made two rounds in treble crochet (double US) to make some holes for the ties. I chained a couple of ties. The olive yarn is Alafos Lopi 100% wool from Iceland and the purple is Twilley’s Freedom yarn – also 100% wool. I already had both yarns in my stash left over from making my husband some slippers (olive) and my friend a knitted bowl (purple).
So, these booties are not 100% upcycled but they are 100% natural and nothing new was manufactured to make them. I now need to make the hat – Lily has requested that the hat be like an aubergine with a roll brim and leaves on top – watch this space. If you’d like a similar pair of baby/toddler booties I can custom make a pair for £25.
I was so chuffed with the baby pair I decided to whip up a big pair for myself – as a sample – in case any discerning grown-ups want me to make them a pair. For mine, the yarn was all purchased from charity shops (thrift stores) over the years and is either 100% wool or a wool blend. Again, no pattern – I’m a bit like a musician who can bang out a tune without the music, they can hear it in their head, and I can see in 3D and my hands and brain can magically sculpt balls of yarn into functional art. If you’d like a similar one-of-a-kind pair, just ask and a gorgeous pair could be yours for £38.
If I knew how to write up crochet patterns in an understandable way, I would, but alas my skills are more “arty” than technical; but, hopefully this post will inspire you to have a go yourself, freestyle, it’s much more satisfying. Just make sure you make both slippers at the same time, bit by bit, so you get them both the same – also, draw around your foot and try them on as you go. Let me know how you get on! And, I’ll let you into a secret, 18 months ago I had no clue how to crochet – just a desire to learn and access to you-tube!