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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Slippers - Sivas style

The gallery of Turkish slippers continues with two pair today.

These blue & white slippers were given to me by a friend in Istanbul who said she got them at the outdoor market in Kasimpasa. If you are looking for handicrafts in Turkey and can find out when the neighborhood "pazar" is, you can often find handknit items, oya/crochet edged scarves and that sort of thing. Depending on the demographic of the neighborhood, you can find regional crafts. I am not sure that these slippers are from the Sivas region of Turkey but they are very much like Sivas slippers.
They are probably acrylic or maybe a wool acrylic blend, about 20% wool, 80% acrylic is fairly common. The gauge is 7 & 1/4 stitches to the inch.

The pink and blue pair are from Sivas or nearby. I bought them in wool shop in the Besiktas neighbourhood of Istanbul a few years ago. The shopkeeper told me that her brother was getting the village women to make them. They were expensive by Turkish standards, I don't remember exactly but they were probably double what the market slippers usually cost. They are very beautifully made and are in fact at least two times as nice as any market slipper I've come across so certainly worth the extra cost. The gauge is 9 stitches to the inch. Again, it's hard to say what the exact content of the yarn is, probably acrylic with some wool.

At the time, I bought two pairs of slippers and some little bags. The other pair of slippers was scooped up by Megan at Lettuce Knit. I went back to the Besiktas woolshop a few months ago and the lady who was minding it told me that any of the remaining socks and bags in the shop were not for sale. I'll try again on my next trip because I don't think she was the lady I spoke with before. I'd really like to encourage the enterprise. Also I'll photograph the bags. I think they are really well made.

I wish I had some older slippers left. Socks often survive longer because many socks were made for special purposes or as part of a dowry etc. Also I've noticed that a lot of the very traditional socks don't fit feet all that well. Slippers are made to be worn and consequently get worn out and replaced.

I used these two pair as a models for the nearly finished slippers - just have to tidy up the ends - but I am mystified. The heels here are turned so neatly and mine are close to disaster. Almost the the point where I might rip them out and try again. If I could figure out what I did wrong. I KNOW that stocking stitch is longer than it is wide, so the fact that my heels are too long makes sense. Hmmm. Think I need to really look at these and count rows & stitches. Enought for today.

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