Thursday, October 6, 2011

Clog Construction (long and pic heavy)

Yall remember my most awesome clogs I finished for me the other day??

Well, I got wind that some folks haven't done this pattern based on reviews of others that have. I'm not sure what went wrong with theirs, but I thought I would do a pictorial on how I put mine all together. Perhaps this might clear things up a bit.

I want to let you know, I don't do it totally like the pattern says to, and the reason for that is, I don't see the logic in the way the pattern tells you to put it all together, and I would rather not OD on pain meds.

So heres how I do it....

First, the pattern tells you to make one sole, continue to, and finish with the top, and then make the other sole and then pick up stitches along the first sole and attach the two together using one of two different methods....don't do this. You will use a whole bottle of tylenol due to pain and stress.

You want to make both soles, (I go ahead and make all four just to have it over with). But to break it down a bit more...

I have a REALLLLY long spare needle, and after im done with one of the soles, I put it on the spare. Then I take the other end of the needle and I run it through the stitches again. Heres a pic of what it looks like....(Bear with me here, it will all become clear to you grasshopper....)

click on any pics to embiggin

Now, if you don't have a really long spare needle, never fear, just grab some contrasting yarn and a spare needle of any size and put the sole on the spare needle and then run some yarn through the stitches. Regardless of how you do it, the point is, to have a needle you can work the stitches off of, and then mark the same stitches, because you will be working with them again. Marking them prevents you from having to find them later. 

So now, you make the other sole, leave it on the working needle, and then put the two soles together like this...

I'd like to mention here, that it makes no difference which direction the soles are in at this point. Just put them together. 

And then you do a 3-needle bind off.  LOOSELY  
Here it is after I've done a little bit.

sorry about the color change, its nighttime now 

You can see that the 2 soles are now connected and you still have a cable in the stitches you will need. 

When your done with the three needle bind off, you just pull the cable until you can put the stitches onto the needle, like this...

Lets look for a moment at this picture. This is a finished sole, ready for the top to be added, that I've laid out twisted so that the right and wrong side can be seen.  
See the knitting on the right with the needle in it? Looks like a bunch of purl bumps on the needle don't it. Its the wrong side. 
And the knitting on the left, looks like a long chain on the right edge. 
Its the right side.
Making sure your starting the top of the shoe on the correct side is important. You have to know what is right side and what is wrong side, or your gonna have a slightly misshapen shoe. And to be fair, with this thing being knitted flat, its really easy to mess this up. (don't ask how I know, its not pretty.)

Just remember: The stuff that looks like a chain, is the right side, the stuff that looks like purl bumps is the wrong side. 

If your knitting a 2 color shoe, this is where you grab your other color and start knitting the top of the shoe with the right side facing, like this...

See the row of sideways chain right under my needles? Yours should look like this. 

And because you put that cable or yarn in those stitches, you don't have to go looking for them! Just pull the needle into play, and work the stitches off onto your working needle, or if you put yarn in the stitches, put the stitches on your working needle, and begin to knit! 

Much easier than having to come back to it later. and no Tylenol needed. Well, you still have to come back to it, but not to do any knitting. 

When you get done with knitting the first row you should have a mess at the ends. Observe....

At this point, you will need to start to knit in the round. And with these ends separated, it makes it harder to get a nice transition from flat to round because they will pull and cause your yarn to pull leaving a big gap here. Not to mention all these ends drive me batty, so lets just tidy them up...

There, much better. 

You sew the two middle ones together and the two outer ones together. This friends, is your heel. 

Why, you ask, did I leave a bobbin of yarn there?

Its to sew up the seam when Im finished with the top. And don't get no bright idea's of just going ahead and sewing them up now. I already tried that for ya, I think about the 3rd pair....miserable to work with...don't do it. 
When your done with the 3-needle bind off, pull out a stupid amount extra before you cut it and put it in a bobbin and go on with your life. trust me. 

A bit of a note to all my anal knitting comrods: yes, this seam looks like crap. But, after the 5th or 6th time of making a pair of these, and realizing this is felting and it just doesn't matter...I began to just throw it together however it would go somewhat evenly...seriously, let it won't see your perfect seaming after its felted. 

Now, you continue on with your pattern and when you've finished with knitting the cuff, you turn it where you are looking at the inside of the shoe, or wrong side facing you, and you should see some rows knit stitches close to the final row, and then deeper on down, a row of purl bumps...look for the purl bumps that look different, and put those on any old spare circular needle....

I hope you can actually see something...I picked the wrong pair to do this tutorial on didn't I?
I'm doing a blue and red pair soon, I'll take a pic of that one and exchange it here. 
Look on your pattern and find out how many stitches your supposed to have (both the child and the adult patterns tell you) and make sure you have that many. 

Bring the two needles full of stitches together, and do a 3-needle bind off.  LOOSELY  Seriously, if you don't, you wont be able to get this shoe on after its felted. 

When your done with the bind off, cut the yarn and sew in the ends. You're done knitting!!! 
Now you gotta turn the shoe over where you are looking at the soles, and fold the outer layer out where you can work with the inner layer....

Remember that bobbin? Unwind it and thread it through a darning needle and begin to whip stitch the inner layer together. 

All those strands of yarn on the sides are the ends from when I sewed the heel together. I figure it can get felted too...

Now you fold the outer layer back into place and whip stitch it too. 

Now those ends are inside the sole of the shoe....

Sew in your end...and there you have it, your clog is ready to be felted! 

Better pic of this when I get the other one done.

I would strongly suggest you don't felt one without the other, so hurry up and cast on for the other one! 

If you need help felting, Im gonna give you a couple links to follow for front loader and top loading machines...But in a nutshell...

You put your clogs in a mesh zippered bag and grab a couple of pair of jeans or a pair of tennis shoes and throw them all in the washer on your hottest setting, with a small bit of laundry soap.

Let it run through a full agitation, pull them out and stretch them out in all directions, especially the opening for the foot, and put them back in the bag and in the washer again for another full agitation.

This time, pull them out and stretch them in all directions, put them back in the washer and set it for another round. In a few mins, check them to see if they are felted enough for you. 

When they are....

If they are for a gift... pull them out and wrap them in a dry towel to get excess water out of them and then shape them to size, let them sit on a towel and let them FULLY dry. 

If they are for you...pull them out and wrap them in a dry towel to get excess water out of them, put them on and walk around for a few minutes, take them off and let them sit on a towel and let them FULLY dry.

Put them on after they are dry, and bask in the glory of your new, cozy slippers and the fact that you made them all by yourself!! 

I hope this helps cuz I think everyone in the world needs a pair of these!!!! 



  1. I'm a self-taught knitter and clogs were the 2nd thing I knit.

    The pattern as written is simple and straight-forward. Thousands of pairs have been knit using it.

    It's hilarious that you think you can improve on Bev's pattern. Your method is confusing, wasteful, and totally unnecessary.

  2. It's hilarious that you would post something like that anonymously.

    That said, everyone knits in their own way. I prefer to knit sweaters in the round. Why? I hate seams and avoid them where I can, but many people find it confusing and unnecessary because they don't knit that way.

    I love the clogs. The slippers are lovely and comfortable.

  3. I've made a ton of these! Your idea to felt the ends by the heel inside the soles is pure genius! Thanks for posting!

  4. Thanks for posting this--wish I'd found it sooner. I'm now "searching" for 97 black inner sole stitches to attach them to the outer sole. UGH! I'll definitely use your method for the second one. Thanks.

  5. I'm going to try your method - contrary to "anonymous self-taught knitter" above, I did not find the pattern as written "simple and straight-forward". I will welcome another option since I really did struggle putting these together. My first pair turned out alright, but I am hoping to improve the second pair dramatically, as I'd like to give them as a gift. thanks for taking the time to explain this alternative method.

  6. Thanks - that is a very interesting idea and one I will be trying on my next pair. I prefer to knit all four soles before starting the tops, too. Joining the soles before the tops sounds good to me. We love these clogs and I am now trying the new "narrow foot" version for the first time.

  7. I appreciate your detailed alternative instructions. They helped me immensely and the pictures you provided were also great. It was like a light bulb that I desperately needed. The patterns everyone else finds soooo easy, I generally have trouble with. I can't understand why, but I guess we all "knitspeak" in different languages. I especially liked your idea to knit the soles all at one time.

  8. Lissa, glad to find your blog site but it saddens me that no matter what someone does, there is always someone(i.e. Anonymous October 6, 2011 at 4:04 AM) with something nasty to say. My mom always told me the equivalent of "don't start nuthin -- won't be nuthin!" Not in those exact words but you get what I mean ... I have always found your videos to be easy to understand and very helpful even if I chose to use another method. I know this was from two years ago but I have to tell you I must speak out on your behalf as well as others ... We, as a nation, have let others dictate what we will put up with and if I knew who anonymous was, I'd have to let them have a good tongue lashing for you! Why do we have such haters when you were just trying to help? Sorry for the ranting but it just makes me angry and I felt the need to vent for "the cause"! I hope you have thick skin for all the rude people out there but when you get tired of it, please let me know and I will be glad to reply for you!! Sincerely, Not Anonymous -- Dorothy!