|Some slippers I prepared earlier...|
Most people learn to knit by making scarves. That's a good idea in theory, you are getting plenty of practice with plain and purl... but boring! You feel like you are knitting and knitting and getting nowhere. Then you never want to knit again and end up with a half-done scarf.
Slippers are so quick to make - only 1 or 2 nights in front of the telly and then you can wear them! Yahs! And you are really getting to master some of the basics. The only tricky bit is knitting with 4 strands of wool but that it's so hard.
You need 4 different balls of wool - cheap acrylic from K-mart is fine because you need it to be tough. Also a pair of 7mm knitting needles.
Okay - cast on 20 stitches (for small size - and trust me, you want them on the small side because they stretch like buggery. If you are wise in the ways of knitting, you can resize by going up or down 3 stitches and adjusting the pattern accordingly.
1st row - knit (too easy)
2nd row - knit 6, purl 1, knit 6, purl 1, knit 6 - this shapes the heel
repeat until you've done 12 rows.
Then Knit 1, purl 1 for one row.
Purl 1, knit 1 for the next. (I actually always make the end stitch a knit not a purl cos that's what my nan told me to do - dunno why).
Do this until it measures to the start of your little toe.
Row 1 - knit 2, knit 2 together, knit 3, knit 2 together, knit 3...
Row 2 - knit
Row 3 - K2, K2tog to end
Row 4 - knit
Row 5 - K2, K2tog to end
Row 6 - knit.
Get a BIG wool needle, cut off the wool leaving the ends long and thread through the stitches left on the needle. Pull the needle out then pull the wool tight to draw it in (ie. like a drawstring). Sew a couple of stitches to hold it tight then sew up the foot bit. The slipper should be nicely shaped. Put it on and then make the second one (unless you only have one leg, then you have half the work).
Once you master the slipper, you can play around with it. I made my sister some with 4 different shades of green then made knitted flowers to sew on them and added some button bees = super cute! I've also made the heel bit extended up the leg for extra warmth - and was going to add laces but laziness prevented me.