I have a not so secret vice. I love vintage knitting books.
I learn so much from vintage books and find inspiration from the pattern stitches and designs. Many are still classic to knit today.
Nigelle-ann from Miss Gracie Taylors was gifted a box of vintage knitting patterns and kindly let me have my pick. I came across the New Idea Knitting Favourites No 2. A mix of adult, baby and children’s patterns. The baby shoes caught my eye. They are constructed sideways. The soles are knit, then the top of the shoe and then the shoes are seamed into shape.
I was fascinated by the construction and picked up my needles and some Patonyle I have had since before I opened the shop and had to cast on and try the pattern.
Vintage patterns assumed the knitter was capable and are very succinctly written. Even an experienced knitter would find them challenging to follow at times. This was no exception and without the aid of detailed photos I’m betting a few threw down there needles in frustration.
After knitting my 4 ply sample I tweaked the pattern and came up with an 8 ply variation. As detailed in the drawing above. Instead of crocheting around the opening of the shoe I picked up stitches and knitted a rib cuff.
I may never knit these again and one bootee isn’t particularly useful. I did learn a fair bit and enjoyed the challenge of reworking a vintage pattern into an easy 8 ply knit. I’m sure any self respecting baby will have these off in less than 30 seconds but I’m of the opinion it’s the gifting of bootees to an expectant mother that is the satisfaction, rather than giving a practical gift.