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Collaborative Design: Funky Little Hightops January 22, 2009

Posted by merp in FOs, Knitting.


These were designed by my 5-year-old nephew, with some improvisatory twists by me.  (Ravlink)

T. had outgrown the slippers I made him last year (alas) and wanted me to make him another pair.  At Christmastime, I showed him my bag of worsted scraps and asked him what color(s) he wanted.  I was, of course, expecting an answer like “purple and yellow” or “green and white.”  No.

After some careful thought, he picked out four colors and carefully explained: “I wanted it to be yellow on the top and have this purple on the bottom and green at the back.  And on the sides, I want stripes with these two colors.” I wasn’t sure I got it, so I had him explain again.  He repeated exactly the same design back.  Then, just so I wouldn’t get messed up (and, I admit it, to make sure he wasn’t being random about it, but had a consistent vision), I asked him to draw it on a piece of paper.  He drew exactly what he’d just described.

All right, then.


This would be my opportunity to learn intarsia, apparently.

I started with my Grandma’s standard slipper (not yet imagining a hightop), but diverged pretty wildly from there.  T. had actually picked a very sensible yarn for the sole of the slipper – Mission Falls 1824 Cotton, which is thick and kind of nubbly – the sturdiest and least slippery of the four.  That was intarsia-ed (?) down the center of the slipper, knit flat.

Once I got to the yellow section, I realized that it would not be wide enough for the ball of his foot.  No matter.  I knit it flat to the end and finished off the toe, then picked up stitches along one side of the opening and garter-stitched toward the center, throwing in some short rows for shaping, since I was filling in a V-shape.

What if there were shoelaces? I thought.  That would be cute.  So I cast off a few stitches and then cast them back on again in the next row to make a slit down the center, garter-stitching and short-rowing over to the other side and seaming it up.


Now, how are these going to stay on his ankles?  Ribbing!  And more intarsia, since I had to pick up yellow on one side of the ankle, pick up around the back in green and then in yellow again.  The ankles were done in 1×1 rib.

Finally, I added the laces (the Mission 1824 Cotton again) and realized that they’d have to be laced right around the ankle and tied in back to stay snug (the ribbing didn’t cut it).  Well, it works.

T.’s first garment design.

He called me the other night to ask when he’d be old enough to learn to knit himself, so he can make gifts for all of his friends!

And, in other news:


Pattern: Pismo Hat, by Marnie MacLean (modified for gauge, but not well), with stripes in the fibonacci sequence added.

Yarn: Jojoland Melody Superwash, in two different subtley striped blues, 1/2 ball of each

Needles: #2 dpns (would have been easier if I could’ve found my #2 circulars)

Time to complete: About a week of dedicated knitting (i.e., no other projects)

For: Dad

Satisfaction: Well, it’s a great hat, and I adore the colors, but I fear it is too small.  Here it is on Mr. Merp’s head, gradually slipping off, pointily:


Dad’s head is at least as big, if  not bigger.  So, hm.  I asked him to mail it back if it didn’t fit and I’d make a bigger one and wear this one.



1. Curly Sue - January 23, 2009

Teach that kid to knit! I bet they have tiny knitting supplies for kids, like miniature cellos and violins and guitars.

2. Mom - January 23, 2009

You so cleverly transformed T’s imagined slippers into reality! I can’t wait to see the real things — only 15 miles from here, so it won’t be long.

Your grandma would, again, be so impressed!

3. Aim - January 26, 2009

That’s a cute pattern. Fun story!

4. Grandma slippers: I take up the torch. Needle. « merp - November 14, 2009

[…] 2009: Funky Little Hightops and Halmoni’s slippers (ravelry […]

5. vml - February 18, 2010

So now that T has inherited the Math Hat (as we call it) he has been wearing it constantly. Although the tiger hat is obviously A MILLION GAJILLION TIMES COOLER, this one is comfier. It’s so lightweight he forgets he’s wearing it, but it still keeps him warm. In fact, I think he accidentally wore it to bed tonight; I found it next to the bed.
Oh, and I mentioned in my other reply that he grew out of these awesome high tops. He did express interest in designing another pair, if you’re up for it…

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