January 4, 2013

Granny Square Slippers

I love a good granny square. There is something so old-fashioned, pure, and lovely about the humble crocheted granny square.  

I also love a good pair of slippers. Nobody likes cold feet. 

Combined together? Crocheted awesomeness. 

I think granny squares sometimes get a bad rap, because we remember scratchy acrylic blankets our aunts or grandmothers made. Or maybe we once saw a friend wear a kitschy skirt or poncho... and we vowed to never wear granny squares in our own clothing.  

But really, granny squares are kind of hip -- and so versatile!  They can be big, small, on their own or joined together. 

Slippers however, need no defense, in my mind. Ever since my first summer in Ukraine during my college years, I have found any excuse to wear slippers. It is unheard of to enter a house there and simply keep your shoes on. Instead, it's much more common to leave your dirty shoes at the door, and then throw on a pair of slippers to slop around inside the house.

Of course, as a guest, I would be exempt from this rule on occasion, but I preferred to follow the custom. Often, my hosts would then scramble to find me a pair of slippers to wear as soon as they saw my feet.

Sometimes, this was to my detriment. I gave English lessons to a student at his home regularly one summer. In return for the lessons, the student's grandmother pumped food into me at a rapid pace -- and prior to feasting, she forced me into a hideous pair of maroon and grey slippers whenever I entered the house. 

I was used to being barefoot inside, especially in the summer. However, Babka didn’t back down. My feet were on fire throughout the meal and then the lesson. I returned to college with a roaring case of athlete’s foot -- and the slippers. When I left Ukraine, she insisted I take them with me. 

I kept them to be polite, but I soon found myself actually wearing them regularly. Those slippers lasted me for years -- they kept my feet warm through British winters and they made me smile whenever I remembered how I resisted wearing them at first. 

Now, I try to employ the slipper rule in my own home regularly. We are often falling over shoes on the way in or out the door, but at least they are all clumped together. (I also recently read somewhere that you are less likely to bring certain germs into your home this way -- things like pesticides, etc, stay on your shoes. Who wants to bring that into a home?!) 

My favorite granny square and slipper pattern at the moment is this one from Purl Soho's blog, The Purl Bee. You can also see more samples on Ravelry here.

I've lost count of the number of these I have made and given away as gifts... and I'm still making more. That alone proves to me that this is a pattern you really can't get tired of.

The best part? I can whip them up in a night or two, so they make a great last minute gift. And, I can easily pack them in a bag, making them very portable travel slippers.

The Ukrainian granny was right. Slippers are a necessity. 
And with such a fun and easy pattern, who can argue with that? 


  1. Cool. I'm gonna have to try these for the whole family... plenty of time to start crocheting before we get a cold spell... Thanks! g

    1. Sure! I warn you though... they are somewhat addictive :)