26 Feb 2014

vintage 'kick-proof' baby bootie pattern from 1963

Continuing the big baby bootee project, may I present this weeks free and tested baby bootie pattern, from the early 60's. These booties have turned-down cuffs with a lace pattern and a 'kick-proof' construction. Quite different from the other patterns I tested! This bootie takes slightly more time to knit due to more stitches and the extra-long cuff, but the main part is knit in garter stitch, which speeds up the work a little. The pattern suggest to use white wool, but again, I used my grey test-yarn with a contrasting color for the ties.

"Kick-proof bootees are knitted in garter-stitch with turn-down pattern trimmed cuffs"

The secret of the kick-proof construction lies in the ingenious elastic ribbing hidden under the cuffs. Very smart indeed!

close-up of the lace 'leaf' pattern:

material & sizing:
  • The original pattern instructs to use 10 sts to 1 in (=40 sts to 10 cm). This is lace weight yarn in combination with no.13 needles (=metric 2.25) and should result in a 4 in (10 cm) length of the foot.
  • I made my sample with the usual, sport/fingering weight yarn and a gauge of 26 sts=10 cm (6,5 sts to 1 inch) with metric size 3 needles and these booties turned out quite large indeed. They measure 14,5 cm (=5,7 in) from heel to toe! For a smaller size you should either use the suggested, much thinner yarn in combination with the 2.25 needle or modify/resize the pattern. Resizing is possible, though using another yarn is a much faster solution. 

These booties are knitted from the soles up to the cuffs. There is a seamline running from the back of the booties through the soles. Below a picture of the instep front (left) and back (right). You can see that the toe shaping is made by yarn overs which result in two rows of small holes:

toe shaping front and side view:

the little lace pattern on the cuffs:

the bootie before sewing up with the ribbing:

the cuff folded down:

abbreviations for beginners:
k = knit
p = purl
k 2 tog. = knit two together
the instructions use different abbreviations, I just did the same 'yarn over' every time:
w.r.n. = wool round needle
w.o.n. = wool over needle
w.fwd. = wool forward

suggested pattern modification:
  • when knitting the last repeat of 1st and 2nd row of the cuffs, repeat it 2 times instead of 3 and then continue with 5 rows of garter stitch before finishing. I feel that 3 repeats would be too long to balance out the lace rows properly.
  • use metric size 2.5 needles and fingering weight yarn for smaller size, to fit 3-6 months old baby.
the original pattern:

source original pattern and newspaper images: AWW through Trove

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