You know how sometimes you want to make something because you really want that item, and sometimes you make something just because it sounds interesting/clever/weird?
I saw a pattern for crocheted espadrilles in a back issue of Interweave Crochet, and something about it made me want to try it -- maybe because it seemed quirky, maybe because it seemed easy -- I'm not sure.
The soles are crocheted with jute from a hardware store (from a brand that apparently isn't available here). Now, I wasn't that familiar with jute, and when I felt it at Lowe's it didn't seem too scratchy. HA! Although it was a different brand, the type I bought was 4-ply and seemed fairly heavy, but when I swatched (stop laughing - yes, I swatched jute) I discovered it was probably a bit lighter than the called for 'yarn'. To compensate, I made the largest size and that seemed to give me the size I needed. It seemed a bit floppy though, especially for something meant to be worn as a shoe. I rummaged around the casa, and came up with a little ball of jute destined to tie up newspapers. Using the thicker, hardware-store-jute, and the skinnier, newspaper-tying-jute together gave me spot on gauge, and a thicker sole to boot (groan!). Observe:
The sole on the left is done with one strand (and has an extra row of stitches), the one on the right is the smaller size, but done with a double strand of jute. They're pretty much the same size, although the larger size/single strand one is just a bit wider.
I'm not sure I should offer up a review of crocheting with jute, because there might be someone else out there who would like to try making these. I will say this though -- I now have no skin on my left (tensioning) forefinger and (seriously) I think I pulled a muscle. Now, if I want to have an actual pair of crocheted espadrilles I will need to crochet the tops, AND re-do the thinner sole. Anyone want to place a bet on whether these get finished?