Back in early December, I got an email from my mother-in-law. A friend of her's was asked to knit a pair of duck foot booties and she was having trouble. Could I help? Of course! I got in touch with Julie, and found out she was making a pattern from knitty.com. I took a look.
Whoa. These weren't just cute and simple yellow booties. Oh no, these booties would question everything you thought you knew about Judy's Magic Cast on, putting stitches onto holders, knitted on I-cord, casting off....I knew just by scanning through the pattern that I would have to knit my own pair to fully understand. I got started, not knowing exactly how far along Julie was. I didn't get very far before she came for help.
Well, I spent two afternoons with Julie and got her on her way, unsure yet of exactly the issues still to come. I got working on my pair, and just kept shaking my head. I set them aside to get other things finished up for Christmas, and I think the terror of knitting them gave me temporary duck feet amnesia. I totally forgot about them for a while! Then I realized the babe I was giving them too was quickly growing, and perhaps I should finish up--there wasn't much left, I Thought, but every step required close pattern reading. Just as I was finishing up, I got a call from Julie.
She had been even more traumatized than me by the pattern. Her daughter had asked for them as a gift for her boyfriend's sister and was going to go visit and would I be able to finish them for her before the weekend?
We worked out payment in yarn and I finished up her booties, which were bright yellow and adorable. Mine were brown due to having suitable brown yarn leftover from socks, and because my cousin's parents had brown footed ducks and these were for my cousin's son. I didn't take pictures of Julie's booties, but they look the same, just yellow :)
The i-cord toes at the sides don't stand out too much. I think I would have just done two purl stitches, three knit stitches, then two purl stitches as I was knitting the foot, to give the same effect.
The most difficult part is the casting on. You start with the center point, and then, while using the Magic Cast on, increase stitches on either side gradually. I tried to think of how to cast on all the stitches and then do short rows, but I'm not sure it would have been much of an improvement in technique, but it would have lessened the loose stitches at the cast on. I tightened them up by duplicate stitching with the cast on tail.
I will not knit these booties again, unless someone VERY near and dear to me who likes ducks decides to reproduce. I will also think carefully before knitting another pattern by this designer. I don't need knitting stress, it's supposed to be relaxing! I like to be challenged sometimes, but this was a bit much!
I'm not including the yarn amount in my totals since I started these early in December before I was keeping track. I don't think I'll include the yarn she gave me in my totals either--maybe under the charity total? What do you think?