Burnett Slippers Reimagined
Posted on March 26 2020
It’s all too rare that I have the pleasure of knitting someone else’s pattern. As a hand-knitwear designer, my knitting starts from the imagination and proceeds in fits and starts and way too many rip-backs to an end that, if I’m lucky, somewhat resembles what I had in mind. So, it’s a joy to have a map from the get-go, to sit down with pattern, yarn, and needles and go forth in confidence.
That said, there can be pitfalls along the way, even when following a map, as I recently discovered when knitting the Burnett Slippers. A pitfall called GAUGE.
Lately, in swatching and designing, I’ve been upping my needle size to see how soft and drapey a fabric can be before it loses structure. So, I had to look twice at the slipper’s suggested needle, a Size 7. But sure enough, having had to drop down to a Size 6 to get the right numbers, I was reminded that knitting is ever malleable. When you knit a slipper, you want a dense fabric for durability and warmth. And when you’re knitting with a particularly cushy yarn (Cormo), you can go way down in needle size and still maintain a soft and comfortable hand.
I tried various colors for my Burnett re-knit and landed on the combination you see above, colors whose values (light/dark) are closer than in the original. Cormo comes in an interesting palette based on value as well as hue. There are five basic colors--Shale, Ozark, Alfalfa, Tobacco, and Osage, each of which is graded in three shades, light to dark. It would be interesting, sometime, to play around with colorwork patterns that capitalize on gradients.