After a few set backs I can proclaim that I have completed my Espadrilles in the nick of time! Huzzah!
This project was more of a challenge than I had initially bargained for, but I am pleased with the results.
My initial prototype (seen below) helped me discover a few design flaws, and the key factors in making a successful knitted shoe.
1. The Sole
The most important element to a shoes design. While the soles on my original prototype worked well, I felt that second time around a “double” sole for my espadrilles would improve longevity & durability.
2. The Sides
The sides of the original prototype were far too soft and floppy to provide support for the foot. To create the stiffer sides seen on the finished design,I used a seed stitch, which is less stretchy than it’s stockinette counterpart. I also held two yarns doubled,together. One of which was a synthetic thread. This made the stitches hold tighter and closer together.
On the first prototype I tried to use some cotton from my stash. The idea was to get a tribal colour scheme, however the mix of mute colours, made for an ugly design! On this pair of espadrilles I went for simple, natural colour, with a hint of gold in the trim
Pictures of the finished project below. Let me know what you think!
The Espadrille as mentioned previously is a classic shoe style that originates from the Pyrenees mountain region of Spain & France. It is defined by its jute rope sole, and is often made with canvas uppers.
The modern manufacture of these shoes, is often factor driven. The jute rope has become a decorative feature. The soles of the shoes will now be made from volcanized rubber, and surround by the jute roping, to provide longer lasting soles, that can be mass produced. The shoes are now made as flats, and wedges and have been approached by many big fashion designers.
There are still a few places, however where hand made espadrilles can be found, and the making process has been kindly laid out for us to observe.
All the videos below have been taken from http://www.espadrillestore.com
The sole is made from jute rope. The rope is wrapped around well placed pins to provide the shape, and is sewn together. The turn table allows the craft maker to create many soles quickly.
The uppers are canvas, cut to shape with machinery. Once the uppers are shaped they are sewn by hand to the jute rope soles
These videos and pictures and a real insight into how I must design both my uppers (in terms of shape) and the jute rope sole.
I recently posted that I would be making a pair of espadrilles for my latest project. Good readers I can tell you I have made prototype one, and it is far too ugly to post! My enthusiasm got the better of me as it so often does, and I neglected creating swatches, or doing any research.
As some other ladies in our Ravelry group are joining my quest to make some espadrilles, I will now be conducting the proper research, and posting it here on the blog, so that others will not need a prototype, as we are naming the beast, and will be able to come away with a beautiful shoe.
In the mean time take a look at this Valentino Espadrille that has inspired me to try harder, and make something beautiful.
As ambitious as ever I decided to try something a little unusual. I decided to challenge myself to design an entirely knit pair of knit shoes.
Although it may sound a little ‘out there’ but it only takes a little research to see that it is actually quite an achievable goal, and one shoe in particular stands out at the best to recreate in yarn.
The espadrille is a casual, sandal like shoe originating from the Pyrenees. Known for the light colored jute rope soles, these casual creations have become a classic fashion accessory, appearing time and time again on the catwalk.
Although the original Espadrille is designed as a flat, fully covered shoe they now come in a variety of heel heights and both closed and open toe.
Last month, Vogue.co,uk featured their top 10 Designer Espadrilles, stating
ESPADRILLES have long been staples of our summer wardrobes, thanks to their easy-going appeal and breathable nature. This year however, they have been given a new lease of life, coming in metallics, pony skin and hot, hot pink – even Chanel joined the jute party for spring/summer 2013.
After doing my research I designed two unique Espadrilles, which are pictured below. After careful consideration I decided to combine the two designs, creating the closed toe shoe with the colour & patterning of the open toe design.
My Next Step
My next step is to make the jute rope sole. I have purchased jute twine from a local garden centre and plan to build the sole up by knitting the twine into a long i cord, which will be folded & sewn against itself in the shape of a shoe sole.
Updates to come!
The first of the 5 zones for the head to toe challenge will be Feet. To inspire you I turn to Dr Seuss & Oprah Winfrey
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.“
So what will your project be? Competition starts Thursday!
Following my last post about the Head to Toe Challenge, I have put together the official rules!
There are 5 months left until January 1st 2014. For each month I will be designating a body zone, or theme as it were to which your project must adhere. The zone of choice will be announced a few days before the start of the month.
You must complete at least one project each month (covering all 5 zones) to have successfully completed the challenge.
POINT SYSTEM & AWARDS
1 point- using a natural yarn
2 points- using handspun yarn
2 points -using hand dyed yarn
3 points- completing a project within the month in correct theme
5 points- using a unique or unusual ‘yarn’ or material
5 points- creating your own pattern
*Bonus 5 points* given to unique projects that take the theme and think outside the box. These will be awarded by competition creator.
Finally at the end of the month the best projects will be posted on the blog & a vote will be held for our favourite project of the month. The winner of the vote will get an **extra 20 points!**
Each month a scoreboard will be posted, to see how everyone is fairing and at the end one knitter or crocheter will be crowned king or queen!
1. your project must be completed between the 1st & the 30th/31st of the month in question.
2. The project must be related to the designated body zone theme.
3. Evidence of project progress must be given through the medium of either a blog or a ravelry project.
4. Photos must be provided of each project on completion.
5. All project titles on Ravelry for this challenge must be tagged with Head to Toe Knitting Challenge & the month e.g. “Head to Toe Knitting Challenge AUGUST – Headband”
Materials & Patterns
6. You may use ANY pattern and ANY yarn you like and knit ANY thing you can think of as long as it is within the theme of the month.
7. Any social media eg. blog, facebook, twitter, should be tagged appropriately #headtotoeknittingchallenge and link back to the original blog or ravelry group to promote participation
8. We are using an honour system. Please be honourable crafters 🙂
The first zone will be announced this Tuesday!
Take a look over the last 3 projects you have finished. Are they diverse in size, shape, and purpose or do you have a basket full of mittens, scarves and hats? Did each project take you down a path of learning to new techniques and materials, or are you floating in a sea of stockinette?
Whether a yarn addict or a casual enthusiast, it is all too easy to get stuck in a project rut. For most of the working population, it’s hard to be motivated into taking on a large, or complex challenge after a stressful day at work.
However I am determined to revive my knitting routine. Just as the beer bellied crowds head to the gym on New Year’s Day, I will be breaking bad habits & keeping my body of work healthy with “The Head to Toe Challenge”. It even sounds like a fitness boot camp.
The head to toe challenge is the task of knitting at least one thing for each body zone on the list below, before January 1st 2014, and I want to encourage all of you out there to join me. The rules are simple. There are 5 months left of the year, and 5 designated body zones;
Head / Torso/ Hands/ Legs/ Feet
Each month you will need to complete a minimum of one project per zone. Each pattern or project will need to present a new challenge. You can start at any zone, and work your way through in any order, but by January 1st 2014 you must have completed a project from each zone.
The challenge starts August 1stgiving you a few days to think up your first challenge. I have designated this forum wall on Ravelry to those who want to join me. Here you can discuss & share project delights, woes and pictures. The best project from each category from each month will be posted on the blog.
Please share this around to all your knit or crochet friends, so that we can get a good group going!
This post is a long time over due.
In January this year we held a mug cozy competition at our knit night. The rules were simple. Create an exciting and colorful mug cozy.
The winner of this competition was Sara Verela with her crochet beach themed mug cozy. Our judges really liked the bright colors, the texture and the added palm tree.
Next a fuzzy delight from Jen Schnier. The fuzzy texture makes this mug cozy great for stress busting!
Next the caterpillar cozy from Sarah Jurgeit. This little beasty has an artistic aesthetic that makes other mug cozies cower in shame.
This colorful cozy comes from Libby Kamper and is crochet. Its calming pastel colors make it perfect for those lazy days in the garden.
Hayley Thorn is behind this creative cozy that I’ve named “the helping hand”. With both a mug and a hand warmer, this one is the best fit for anyone living in the north of canada!
Then we have this chic number. Very vogue and great for entertaining.
And my own entry. I went for novelty. This is the beaver cozy (it sounds rude but it’s not). I think this one is best suited for festive holidays.
So there we have it some beautiful and inventive mug cozies from our wonderful knit night group!
Which is your favorite? Vote on our facebook page now!
Add your projects to our flickr pool! http://flic.kr/g/iaWVT Whether they are mug cozies or something else . I would love to see them. Once added they will appear on the feed on our website www.knittygrittywhistler.com
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