As a Charter Member of Stitch DC's yarn-of-the-month club (the membership was an X-mas gift from my fiance), I received my first yarn at the beginning of this month. The yarn is Tilli Tomas, and I got one ball of Mogul and one ball of Aspen, both in a gorgeous dark navy blue. The Mogul is beaded with clear beads, making it look like a starry knitted night sky. I loved them, but I wasn't sure what I should do with them. Stitch DC included a great pattern for ruffled fingerless gloves, but the problem is, I have a bright red coat with white hat, scarf and gloves that I wear everywhere. Blue gloves would be a little bit too patriotic-looking, especially in DC.
So I scoured the internets for a pattern that would fit the amount of yarn I had. Socks? Hmm, the beads would make it tough to walk around, as they'd dig into my feet, and I didn't have enough Aspen to knit the "feet" of both socks without beads. But then I came across this pattern for ballet slippers from knitty.com, and I fell in love.
I tweaked the pattern a little bit to make mary jane slippers, rather than wrap-up ballets. the toe and bottom of the slipper are knit in Aspen, and I switched to Mogul for the back, strap, and trim. The result are lovely, sparkly slippers that will keep my feet warm despite my hard-to-heat hardwood floors.
The yarn itself is great to knit. I used size 5 dpns for a tight gauge, and I was struck by how evenly the Aspen knits up. Very perfect little rows. The Mogul is a little tougher to get used to. I've never knit with beads before, though I have a few patterns. It just seems like too much work to thread hundreds of beads onto my yarn before I even get to cast on. However, beading one's own yarn does have the advantage of allowing you to place the beads where you want them (i.e. on the outside of the work, in a pattern). I like the random "scattered star" effect of the Aspen on these slippers, but it wouldn't work if you wanted a more orderly beaded look. Also I had to push some beads through the work in order to make them show up on the outside.
And a final note for anyone who wants to try these out--those with larger feet should pay attention to their gauge. These slippers are less stretchy using this yarn than the yarn called for in the original pattern. My size 6 feet just fit. Perfect for me, but not so much for the more well endowed in the shoe department. It was also tough to get the strap where I wanted and still fit my feet into the slipper. So pin the strap first, and try them on to make sure it's a good fit.