Let Me See Your Fong!

14 03 2007

 

Summertime is upon us here in the Valley of the Sun! It’s time to have a pedicure and go shopping for some new flip flops! When I was a kid I hated getting new flip flops (we called them thongs, but I can’t help but think of butt-floss whenever I hear the word). The skin between my first two toes was tender and weak from being safely ensconced in layers of wool socks and snow boots. The plastic part that connected the rubber sole to the straps always rubbed a raw spot between my toes. Why did it take me 32 years to come up with a more fashionable solution than a Band-Aid? Who knows, but thank Petes I did!

 

A Google search resulted in many results for a foot thong, and none of them were what I wanted. A short conversation with some of the wonderful chatters in the old faithful Knitty chat proved helpful, but nothing was quite what I wanted. I’m not a pattern writer by any stretch of even the most flexible imagination. This is only a very basic recipe which will hopefully be taken to higher heights by more experienced, less math-phobic (Happy Pi day!) knitters than I. But I hope you like it!

 

The Fong! (It’s a foot thong!)

 

Materials:

I used Regia Bambou in a color whose name I cannot find.

Needles: bamboo (are we sensing a trend?) DPNs, US 2.

tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Pedicure (you see our model Chloe needs a pedicure!)

 

Cast on 64 stitches, divided 22, 22, 20 on three needles. Join, being thoughtless and devil-may-care about the twisting thing. A twist might prove to be uncomfortable, though. Since this is a short item, I recommend you join by slipping the first stitch on the first needle back over the last stitch on the third needle, and then placing that last stitch on the third needle onto the position of first stitch on the first needle. This will shrink what I like to call the stretch mark in the first few rounds.

So you’ve cast on and joined your stitches! Now continue in a k2 p2 rib for about half an inch. Then switch to stockinette until the Fong is long enough to cover the ball of your foot and end just before your toe cleavage shows.

Are we there yet? Ok, here’s the tricky part. Bind off the first eight stitches of needle 1. Leave the next five stitches on the needle and float your yarn behind them. With a new needle, continue binding off the rest of the stitches through the rest of needle one and all of needle two. Continue binding off until you reach the last thirteen stitches of needle three. Move the next five stitches to a new needle, float the yarn behind these five, and bind off the remaining eight stitches. Snip the end of the yarn and leave it dangling until it’s time to weave in the ends.

When I did this, I had six stitches on each remaining needle: the last from binding off, and the five that I’d moved to the spare needle. Perhaps there’s a better way to manage this, but at this point in my knitting career I don’t know what that might be. So take up your yarn again and begin knitting the stitches on the first needle, again in stockinette stitch. Knit until this piece is long enough to connect the front and back of the Fong with no pulling or stretching. Line up the two needles, join the stitches and bind off with the kitchener stitch, 3-needle bind off, or whatever ‘I’m done with this thing!” method you prefer. Voila! You may now wear your new flip flops without danger of injury! Hooray, Fong!

 

 

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29 responses

14 03 2007
trillian42

CUTE! What a great idea!

I used to call them “thongs”, too, until that term was taken over by the underwear folks.

And I was trying to figure out the little mark on Chloe’s foot, until I realized that it says “OLPP 2007” πŸ˜€

15 03 2007
Linnea

I’m glad there are people like Trillian who figure out the things that I will never get without the aid of at least another pot of coffee.

Love the Fong! I had a pair of cheapo Target flip-flops that I wore year-round in Augusta, until they were duct-taped together and covered with Sharpie graffiti from various drunken get-togethers. Sadly, after several years of love, they finally went in the trash. Ceremoniously, of course. Maybe with a Fong they’d look more professional.

15 03 2007
bezzie

Let me see your Fong! Your fong fong fong fong!

Very cute! And what a great idea because lord knows that tender virgin toe-pit skin takes a while to toughen up!

15 03 2007
P del F (Fireball)

Cute!
Must have!
Now to go buy some sock yarn! πŸ™‚

15 03 2007
Batty

What a great idea! I have incredibly sensitive feet, and this is the only way I can see myself wearing flip-flops without serious injury to the part between my toes or right on top where the other two… whatever they’re called rest on my foot.

If you knit this into a kind of thong-up sock, you can have a special flip-flop version of pedicure socks that won’t slip up. Brilliant!

15 03 2007
Peaseblossom

I really like that, it has a real unique style to it. I’m making socks for almost everyone in my family this year, but my sister in Miami jokingly said they don’t wear socks there, they only wear sandals.

So I know what to make her now πŸ™‚

Question: what’s that pinkish mark on the top of the foot there? It sort of looks like a boo-boo but it almost looks like it has letters.

15 03 2007
Miss T

What a great idea! Flip flops are always a real yeeouch.

15 03 2007
Brenda

Do they stay in place when you walk? No bunching up?

15 03 2007
Knitting and Crochet » Knit “Fong”

[…] Knit “Fong” March 15th, 2007 | Category: Knitting and Crochet What’s a “fong”? It’s a little knit foot protector you can wear when you break in your new flip flops this spring! Kathy of Old Lady Pen Pal’s Dirt put up the pattern for her cozy knit wonder. Kathy says, “The skin between my first two toes was tender and weak from being safely ensconced in layers of wool socks and snow boots. The plastic part that connected the rubber sole to the straps always rubbed a raw spot between my toes. Why did it take me 32 years to come up with a more fashionable solution than a Band-Aid?“ Link. […]

15 03 2007
Hot Flash « The WYSIWYG* Blog

[…] beginning of and end of summer and for breaking in those new flip-flops, look no further than the Fong (hat tip to Craftzine blog). Might even break some folks out of their Crocs wearing habit. (Ya […]

15 03 2007
Erik

hello shoes.com!! Back in the day in San Diego we’d call them slaps, you know the way they slap your feet when ya walk.

15 03 2007
oldladypenpal

Brenda- no bunching! However, after wearing them for a few hours what I might do it weave in some of that delightful sock elastic. You know the stuff I mean. I might also cast on fewer stitches to give it a tighter fit. This was my first attempt at pattern writing (shock, I know), and it could stand to be re-worked. I hope you like it!
I also worried that the fabric between the toes would be too thick and also rub a raw spot, but success! It’s quite comfy!

15 03 2007
Joe Hastings

Personally enjoy calling them Flip Flops, is that just an English thing?

16 03 2007
Stacey

We call them “slippers” or in pidgin “slippas” or sometimes, “rubba slippas” here in Hawaii. Since we where them year round, I’ve not heard of anyone having that ender foot problem. I want to make some of your fongs just ‘cuz I love them! Very cute!!

16 03 2007
carmen

hi
i came to your site via craft zine and i just love this invention.
what makes me love it more is that my last name is Fong, and, while i know what fong means in chinese (square), now there is an english meaning for fong…

how wild.

if i knew how to knit, i’d knit some of these and give them away on my birthday.

16 03 2007
oldladypenpal

Carmen, now is the perfect time to learn how to knit! It will be like a gift to yourself on your birthday! It’s very easy. If you’re like me and you need to see how something is done, try checking out knittinghelp.com. There are short video clips of everything you could possibly want to know about knitting. It’s been very helpful for me! Heavens, yes, learn to knit! If I can knit, anyone can knit!

17 03 2007
Brenda

Okay, I just made one of these, and here are a few tips I’d offer:

– to make it a little tighter, use 64 stitches on size 1 or 1.5 needles, or use fewer stitches. 64 might be a little loose for this, although it’s perfect for a full sock
– put a few rows of ribbing on the top edge too, before binding off, to make it lay flat
– the thong part wants to curl, since it’s just stockinette, so do 1 garter stitch at each edge (knit those stitches in front and back); this still curls, so on my next one I’m going to use reverse stockinette instead, so the curl matches the natural curve of the toe crease (I tried it on inside out and it feels much better with my shoe on)

I’ll let you know how the next one turns out.

17 03 2007
Brenda

Also… 1×1 rib is a little stretchier than 2×2, i.e., less flattened out and tighter. I used 1×1 and it is fitted to my foot. You could also do the ribbing on size 0 dpn’s to ensure it’ll be tighter than the main part.

17 03 2007
oldladypenpal

Brenda, those are excellent suggestions! It’s a good thing the varieties of yarn and needle sizes are accommodating to the variety in foot size!
I also did the garter stitch edge on my Fong, poor Chloe has to make do with curled edges. That provides just a tiny bit more padding for her, but yes, it bugged me!
Thanks again for sharing the modifications!

18 03 2007
Brenda

Voila: Here’s my fong.
It fits great! There’s nothing I’d change about this one. Thanks for the inspiration!

19 03 2007
raeknits

you are so cool πŸ™‚

19 03 2007
P del F (Fireball)

Vive le FONG!

21 03 2007
Curran

Fong..that is hilarious…still laughing… (but seriously, a totally practical, right-in-front-of-your-eyes-but-no-one-ever-thought-of-it invention…kudos). You could probably make a killing selling those things at festivals and faires…all those poor blistered souls (soles?)

5 04 2007
turtlegirl76

Awesome. Great idea! I get blisters every damn year from my sandals. And a great way to use the leftovers of your full on socks too!

20 04 2007
Norm Deplume

I just cast off my first (of many) Fong. I used Microspun and sz 3 needles, but I can’t wait to get some “real” sock yarn and try again. πŸ™‚

1 07 2008
Dani

OMG! These are actually for sale in Japan, they love strange socks over here.

Awesome to see a pattern for them !

3 04 2009
Karen

You girls did a great job on these! I’ve been wanting to make them since mid-winter, but just haven’t been inspired to sit and stay. Sock yarn, you say? I have sock yarn. Eventually, I will make these. Greeeat job!

23 02 2011
Fongs! « Fat Hippy

[…] I used Patons Krox Socks Fix in Clover Colors. Now, had I been paying attention, I might not have used a mostly wool yarn for something that is mostly a summer accessory. I like to think of these as that perfect piece to take your flip-flops from summer into autumn and break them out early for spring. If you’d like to try your hand at these, there are lots of pattern options out there. The one I used can be found here. […]

4 02 2013
Fongs! - fanofstuff.com

[…] I used Patons Krox Socks Fix in Clover Colors. Now, had I been paying attention, I might not have used a mostly wool yarn for something that is mostly a summer accessory. I like to think of these as that perfect piece to take your flip-flops from summer into autumn and break them out early for spring. If you’d like to try your hand at these, there are lots of pattern options out there. The one I used can be found here. […]

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