Monday, March 03, 2008

On Friday, I was hit with mukluk fever. I was surfing around, and stumbled across these mukluks. Once, I bought a pair of mukluks at a street vendor for a pollyanna at work. To me, I really thought they were kind of a joke present - I mean, really, they were silly, crazy colored things, but they turned out to be the hot gift - the gift that everyone wanted, the gift that everyone stole instead of gambling with the grab bag. I couldn't steal them back, and my mukluks went home with someone else. I passed the vendor again, and it was always, "eh, I'll pick up a pair next week," until one day, they were gone, and I forgot about them.

Until I saw them on the Kristin Knit a Long and I had to have them. More than that, I had to knit them - NOW! So, I went on Ravelry, and tried to find the pattern. Nothing. I tried to find a pattern for another mukluk, but only bootlike mukluks came up, not slipper-like mukluks. Argh! I googled. Zip. No one had ever knit them? Couldn't be. At one time, they were kitted up by Classic Elite - no one knit them? Huh.

On Saturday, at Rosie's, I flipped through every loose pattern we had - I looked on the shelves, in the back, in the office, under the seat covers - everywhere - and, success! I found them! I had visions of dancing around my living room in my mukluks, burrying my feet under my bedcovers in my mukluks, cooking dinner with my new wok in my mukluks.

And then I read the pattern.

Completely and totally incomprehensible.

Between my Friday internet search frenzy, and my Saturday discovery, I had settled on a compromise pattern - , the Caspian Sea Socks by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts. I Raveled it, and other Gibson-Roberts patterns came up. I tried to find the book, Ethnic Socks and Stockings online, and chuckled when I saw the book listed for $200 on Amazon. I didn't need vendor mukluks for $100 per sock. But wouldn't you know it - Rosie's had a copy on the shelf - not so burried treasure! So I bought a copy, and read it.

And read it.

Not incomprehensible, not at all. The history lesson didn't tickle my fancy quite like mitten courtship rituals, and the detailed explanations of the gazillion different castons, heels, arches, legs, cuffs - really hurt my brain, but I'm definitely going to tackle something in the book - some day. Right now, I think I'll stick to the Caspian Sea Socks, where the instructions are written out line by line, and I can practice many of the techniques needed for a good go at one of the many socks in Ethnic Socks and Stockings, which seem to require a good grasp of Eastern sock construction, because while the charts look doable, the written instructions are more like a recipe than an actual pattern - throw in a Iranian cast-on, use a waste yarn heel - sort of.

Anyway, so I cast on the Caspian Sea Socks right?

Nope, I cast on a tam.

Huh? In my quest for the perfect ethnic slipper/sock at Rosie's on Saturday, Bridget came into the shop, and mentioned her finished Fair Isle Tam. I asked her if she could recommend a good Tam book, and she told me this one. Rosie's had one copy, and I got completely sucked in by the pretty pictures. Huh, wouldn't it be nice to have a tam that matches my mittens? Yes it would!

So, I cast on a tam, here's a blurry picture:

I used the same corrugated rib that's on the mitten, and the body is the pattern that is on the palm. I'm not sure about the wheel yet - I think I'm just going to do something from the book - I'm not sure if the swirlies from the mitten will do well in a decreasing pie wedge, but I may chart it out, and consider it.

And mukluk fever? It's calmed down. Although I did check the vendor outside Anthropology at the corner of 18th and Walnut to see if perhaps she had imported mukluks among her ethnic knitted goodies, but no soap. I'll just have to knit them . . . maybe next.


gale (she shoots sheep shots) said...

So glad you wrote about these. What you call mukluks we used to call Afghani slippersocks, because that's where the ones the street vendors sold came from. They disappeared with the rise of the Taliban, then came back, then gone.... I miss them, a new pair was part of my standard chanukah present every year. I would kill to find a simplified pattern of them, sort of like the EZ mitered mitts in construction but with heels. Good luck with yours!

Bridget said...

Your tam is looking good - I'm glad you are giving it a try! I can't wait to try an adult sized one.

The Caspian Sea Socks are promising, I'll be curious to see how yours turn out.

WandaWoman said...

That cracks me up after all the mukluks fever, to start a fair isle tam. Tee hee! That happens to me sometimes too.

ScrapHappy said...

what is a pollyanna?
I think EZ has a pattern for a slipper slock in one of her books. I find her patterns incomprehensible, but that just might be me. :)