After finishing the brown socks I completed over the summer, I needed another knitting project for fall. After browsing through patterns I had flagged as favorites, I decided to make Slipper Socks by Veronica Van that were designed for bulky yarn. The pattern is for a basic cuff down heel flap sock adapted for thicker yarn, with a short cuff like a sneaker sock. I found a ball of single ply wool yarn that looked like the right thickness in a bag of miscellaneous yarn that had already been rolled into a ball and did not have a label. I did not know how many yards there were but it looked like enough (note to self…do not make assumptions like this). I got started on the project and the first sock was completed quickly due to the thick yarn.
Meanwhile as I made progress on the slippers, we were preparing for yet another trip. The slippers project would be coming on the trip. After the last couple of years of minimal travel due to the pandemic, this year I went on more than the average number of vacations.
I finished the first slipper quickly and got started on the second one. But OH NO there was not going to be enough yarn to finish the second sock! This was typical that a project I thought was going to be easy and quick turns into a bigger more time consuming learning experience.
I found some brown yarn that would work to supplement the yarn I was already using, and ripped back the slipper that was already done. I would figure out how to incorporate the brown yarn into each sock while traveling.
After being home for only a week after our road trip to the southeast, we flew to the Bay Area of California for Thanksgiving. We stayed with Wayne’s sister and husband, Yvonne and Gayle, who live in Alameda, an island connected to Oakland by a bridge. We were able to do some sight seeing, and spend time with our young adult daughter Britta, who recently settled in Oakland after years of nomadic living consisting of various adventures and learning experiences.
I was planning on giving these socks to Britta, so I wanted to finish them before we left California. She wants to experiment with adding a leather bottom, but if that does not ever happen she can wear them as is.
Our first outing in California was taking the BART Bay Ferry from Alameda over to San Francisco. At $2.75 each way for seniors, this was a bargain. We walked along the waterfront from one end where the Ferry dropped us off to the other end where the touristy areas and Ghiradelli Square are located. I was craving a Ghiradelli Mocha but when we finally got all the way there, the lines were long and the beverages were overpriced, so I gave up that idea. We considered walking back to the ferry via Chinatown, but it was getting dark and we were running out of time. We have been there before, so it was not the highest priority this time.
The next day we went on a long day outing to the north with Britta and her boyfriend Isaac. It happened that we were going right by a place Britta had heard about that sells leather scraps by the pound. Britta has been making cool things out of leather, so we stopped there and she bought a big bag of leather pieces for cheap. Maybe some leather from that haul will end up on the bottom of the slippers.
The next stop was a tie dye shop that we heard about from Wayne’s other sister Marlene, called Cali Kind Clothing Co. The son of Marlene’s friend is a graphic artist working for this business. It was a fun place, and naturally we had to buy some things.
The next stop was the Charles Schultz Museum in Santa Rosa. Charles Schultz grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, and also lived in Minneapolis after his marriage. We have another convoluted connection in that the brother of my aunt’s late husband, Jim Sasseville, worked as a cartoonist with Charles Schultz. The Peanuts cartoons were a little before Britta and Isaac’s time, but we all found the place interesting.
After we were done at the Charles Schultz Museum we drove west towards the coast where we wanted to find the filming location for Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” at Bodega Bay. We saw the school building in the movie off of the road but kept going. After that it was getting dark and it was so foggy we could not see anything, so we found a place to eat dinner and then headed back to drop Britta and Isaac off in Oakland.
Other activities with Britta on this trip included seeing the two businesses where she has part time jobs (a small gym with a smoothie bar and spin cycle classes, and a fancy spa), going for a walk around Lake Merritt in Oakland, going to a Dim Sum restaurant she and Isaac like (a new experience for us), and going out to eat at a ramen place (not your cheap ramen noodles from the grocery store).
In Alameda we enjoyed the mild weather by going on a hike to Pinnacles National Park with Wayne’s sister and brother-in-law, and a couple of bike rides and some walks. One evening we walked to a Pizza restaurant for dinner. Yvonne hosted a wonderful Thanksgiving meal for their family including their two young adult children who were home for the week, the two of us, and Britta and Isaac
The neighborhood in Alameda where Wayne’s sister lives has a lot of trees and traditional looking houses with nice landscaping. Alameda has a downtown with restaurants and shops and a cool old restored movie theater that is walking distance from their house.
During down times at my sister-in-laws house I worked on the slippers. There are multiple ways I could have incorporated the brown yarn into the pattern. The brown yarn was thick and think which was not ideal, so it made sense to minimize any problems related to this factor by alternating the two yarns as I knitted the foot. Instead of changing colors exactly every row, I knitted four extra stitches before changing yarns to avoid a jog effect at the yarn transition point. The result was a kind of exaggerated thick and thin look.
When I got towards the toe of the second sock, I was not sure if there was going to be enough of the original color, so I knitted part of it with brown.
They turned out to be funky one of a kind slippers, and I was pretty sure my daughter would like them! It was nice of my sister-in-law to have rugs that matched the colors of the slippers.
This fall we had an amazing extended fall color experience that included Minnesota, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, Virginia, and finally California. The next photo was taken in Alameda in late November!
The last evening there I gave Britta the completed slippers, and we had a bon fire. It was winter in Minnesota when we got back home, so this respite of weather in the 60’s was great.