Turn your old flip flops into snazzy knitted espadrilles
If you have an old pair of flip flops lying about, and you just can't see yourself wearing them again this summer (what summer? I hear you cry!) you can give them a new lease of life with this great idea, as featured on Floofle! Atomic Rose, the brains behind the pattern, said she couldn't find any affordable hot pink pumps, and couldn't face adding her unwanted flip flops to landfill, so she got to work creating her own. She will make a pair for you, for US$30, but where's the fun in that? Instead, why not get your knitting needles out and have a go yourself?
Find out how after the cut...
You will need:
An old pair of flip flops
Worsted-weight yarn (I used good ol' reliable Red Heart)
Knitting needles size 8, and 1 dpn of approximately the same size (for the bind-off)
Big upholstery needle
2-ply jute twine
Crochet hook size G or H
Strong waterproof glue
2 yards (or more) 1/4" ribbon
SIZING AND FIT
Because you knit to the length of the sole, and the shoe is meant to be tied on, these will fit any size foot. If you have a narrow foot and want the shoes to fit tightly, you will want to cut the flip flops down to size - I have an average size foot, and these are pretty wide at the heel. Also, this is a very shallow shoe, and will not stay on the foot without the ankle ties - depending on your tolerance for things shifting around on your foot, you may want to try adjusting the width of the side panels.
Cut the uppers off the flip flops. Wind off a generous small ball of yarn - you'll need that later, when the top is divided.
KNITTING THE UPPER
CO 8 stitches. Purl 1 row.
Row 2: K1, M1, k across to last st, M1, k1 (2 sts increased)
Row 3: P
Repeat rows 2 & 3 until you have 24 sts.
Work 4 rows even in stockinette st.
Divide upper (RS): K8, join second ball of yarn, BO 8 sts, K8. From now on, you'll be working the 2 sides at the same time, from separate balls of yarn.
On the next 2 rows (one WS, one RS), decrease 1 st on the inner edge of each side - 6 sts each side.
Continue straight in st st until you're approximately 2" from the center back of the heel (measured on the sole).
Increase 1 st on the outer edge of each side, RS rows only, twice - 8 sts each side.
Continue in st st until the side pieces meet at the center back of the heel, lightly stretched.
Holding the sides parallel, WS together, join with a 3-needle BO.
Attach the yarn at the center back seam. Working in reverse sc (left to right), work a round of sc around the opening of the upper, skipping the "corner" sts where the upper divided for the sides. Join with a sl st at the end of the round, ch 6, sl st in same st, fasten off. (You just made the loop that holds the ribbon ties.)
Thread the upholstery needle with a length of yarn. Anchor the center of the upper toe to the center of the sole toe, knot, and cut yarn.
Reattach yarn at the back seam of the upper, and begin sewing the upper to the sole at the center heel, easing the upper to fit. It's surprisingly easy to stitch through foam. I found it was best to stitch at an angle, from the upper downward - you don't really want to be walking on your stitches, as you'll wear the yarn right off in no time, so try not to sew straight down through to the bottom of the sole.
GLUING TRIM AND FINISHING
Using the jute, ch until you have enough sts to wrap all the way around the sole without overlapping, plus 2. Hdc in the 3rd ch from hook, and in each ch to the end. Fasten off.
Starting from the center of the heel, spread glue in about a 2" section at a time, covering the stitches that attach the upper to the sole, and apply the jute trim - base chain side up - securing with straight pins as you work. Allow to dry, checking on it about halfway through, and pressing firmly to make sure the trim is attached as flat and smoothly as possible.
When thoroughly dry, carefully remove the pins.
Cut the ribbon into two 3-foot pieces, angling the ends. Pull through the heel loops, secure with an overhand knot, and voila!