Sunday, August 7, 2016

"Checkerboard Slippers"

Apparently there was this thing called Phentex. From what I can gather, it is an ugly plasticky rug and slipper yarn that was popular in the 80's and it was used to make many many many pairs of "checkerboard slippers." The pattern is free on Ravelry, but it's not really so much a pattern as it is a handed-down explanation of how to make these apparently "super soft super squishy, and super cozy slippers." The comments on the WELL-LOVED Ravelry pattern are simply chock full of people exclaiming their love for these slippers growing up. Women saying, "My aunt/grandma/nonna/nana/nanny/grammy/auntie/whoever made dozens of these slippers and gave them to all us kids for Christmas!" or "These slippers are why I learned how to knit!" or "When I knitted these slippers and gave them to my adult siblings they cried remembering our grandma."


I don't have grandparents anymore... Out of the four of them, I only knew one and there was a language barrier that meant we never held a conversation...Whatever- I'm grandma_status. I have acclimated to the grandma status since I was 14 years old and first picked up knitting needles.

I read those tales of these Phentex Checkerboard Squishy Slippers and I had an immediate desire, nay, a destiny: I must become like these Nonna's, these Grammy's, these aunties, these women who lived on after death as the fairy knitted godmothers. I decided right then and there that I would pick up some of my old Red Heart Super Saver that has sat collecting dust for years, and I would knit Phentex slippers for every kid in my family. And there are A LOT of kids in my family. My sister has 6 kids, and 3 of them have 2 kids each. My brother has three kids. I have 2 kids, and of course I had to make some for my mom and for my dad and for my in-laws, and my nieces and nephews on my husbands side because you can't forget them, even though half of them are in their teens and probably wouldn't be too keen on acrylic hand-knit slippers.

I picked out two colors to start with and began.

The pattern is easy and portable, but honestly very very boring. At least it was very squishy, I thought. I kept on, knitting all day until, with achey fingers from the sturdy acrylic, I completed the first slipper. I sewed up the top and tried it on.

Terrible! I can't even put my finger on what was wrong with it, but it was definitely not what I expected after all the comments! I can't imagine having fond memories of a slipper like that.
I am not knitting a pair for everybody in my family. In fact I'm not even knitting the second slipper! The RHSS has gone back into hiding, and I have picked up my sweater again.

Phentex Slippers. PAH!

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