'The Knitted Slipper Book" teaches how to make appealing and cozy footwear

“The Knitted Slipper Book: Slippers and House Shoes for the Entire Family” Katie Startzman (STC Craft, $24.95, 160 pp.)

We’re in the time of year when crafters seek out patterns and ideas for handmade holiday gifts. There’s a winner on each page of “The Knitted Slipper Book: Slippers and House Shoes for the Entire Family,” a collection of 30 moccasins, clogs, ballet flats, boots, Mary Janes and other styles for children and adults.

Patterns for knitted slippers are easily found, but it’s harder to find instructions for adding soles and linings, or to find designs that are practical and beautiful. Few could resist the charm of super-cute Sleepy Friends Slippers that put a fox and a rabbit on little feet, Rustic Ballet Slippers, Lace-Up Boots (sadly, only in children’s sizes), Beaded Moccasins and ladies’ flats set off by pom-poms, felted bow or needle-felted flowers.

In her introduction to “The Knitted Slipper Book,” author Katie Startzman writes about learning to make traditional crafts and value self-sufficiency during her childhood and college years. She still believes in living simply, “but shoes are the weakest link in a low-impact clothing diet,” she writes. “A pair of knitted slippers can be made in a weekend, and they are longer-lasting and more special than store-bought.”

The book covers techniques for felting by hand (which allows you to sculpt the shoe to your size), custom sizing, linings and making tassels and pom-poms.

Startzman assumes that you already know how to knit and crochet, and are familiar with how knitted footwear is constructed. Special techniques are explained in a bit more detail at the back of the book, but beginners may need to consult a basic knitting book or YouTube tutorials for fuller explanations.

Startzman, who lives in Berea, Ky., writes about knitting and other crafts at duofiberworks.com, a blog she shares with her twin sister, Laura Poulette.

Accomplished knitters who are tired of churning out socks as gifts will embrace “The Knitted Slipper Book.”http://www.cleveland.com/insideout/index.ssf/2013/11/the_knitted_slipper_book_teach.html

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