If you look at the weather channel it is always promising Montreal will be less dreadful tomorrow, or the day after but it’s always so frickin’ cold and wet!
About a month ago I found a sub-leaser for my apartment and decided to move all my belongings downtown with only 6 days notice. Being a long-time project manager, I organized everything perfectly and everything went superbly. I now have to spend my days in our new commercial space where I have set up my new workshop and office. I have only limited I.T. and Web contracts right now because my priority is cleaning and fixing a large space that is our martial art school. This is also from where I will be working and we will be starting a new commercial venture this summer. It is a lot of work as this space has been unoccupied for 10 years and has very little amenities. There isn’t even hot water hooked up yet. On the other hand my spouse, who advocates dousing yourself in near freezing water to cure anything and rolls around the freezing floor looking like a Russian bear is beyond happy.
I have been feeling forever cold for almost 3 weeks. It barely gets above 10 degrees here. To further make my life miserable, on Thursday I came in to find that an electrical fire upstairs had affected the power supply. Because of Easter break we have limited power and no heating for a few more days. Today, I decided to turn a sweater I bought a few years back into a pair of thick and warm booties. The result is instant bliss! Now if I could only says that about my forever cold hands but one cannot type, knit or embroider with mittens!
This project is suitable for a huge extra large sweater. Felting it makes it thicker and more resistant to fraying. It took me a few hours however I had already done one step: Felting the sweater (which you can do by washing it in hot water with soap in the washing machine) When I originally bought the sweater, exactly 3 years ago today, it fit me just fine but I wanted to turn it into a knitting bag. Not a good idea as it turned out because upon felting it became too fuzzy and lost it’s beautiful pattern.
*All pictures lead to a larger version on Flickr.
For this project I only used the sleeves. So once your sweater is felted and dried, verify that you can still slip on the sleeve with your foot going up the armhole like a comfortable sock and then cut off the sleeves. You will not have to finish off what will become the top of your boot as it is already edged like a sock would be.
Turn your sleeve inside out. Trace a pattern of your foot. Place it on the sleeve with the point facing the large opening of the sleeve about a few centimeters away. Using safety pins, fasten together the two sides going around your pattern but arrange them so their imaginary line reaches the natural sides of the sleeve. This is merely to shape the large part of the sleeve to the form of your toes. The rest of the boot should be left as large as possible. Turn your boot back in to judge the shape is you want.
Using embroidery thread (all six strands) or strong polyester thread backstitch inside the line you formed with the safety pins. You will need a lot of thread for this because the seem has to be sewn twice.
Remove the safety pins. Cut the excess material off about a centimeter away from your sewing line. Be careful not to cut where the sewing meets the natural line of the sleeve.
Blanket stitch all along your first sewing line. This will strengthen the seem and prevent bits of yarn for escaping the seam.
At this point you can turn the boot right side out again and try on your boot. I decided to add a leather sole because I had leather to recycle and thought it would look cool. Use the foot template to trace and cut a non fraying fabric, leather or heavy felt in the space of your foot. Make sure to match your right and left sides correctly! I pierced my leather with a tiny hole puncher but depending on what fabric you use, you may not have to do that. Once your sole is correctly placed, keep it in place with safety pins. Blanket stitch around the whole sole.
Voilà, eco-friendly and upcycled warmer feet!