Sunday, October 20, 2013

Booties


Wool booties, antique wool booties. Just to show you I am not entirely swept up in my wild endeavors to discredit all my own skepticisms about my ability to knit lace (not entirely swept up YET that is), I decided to show you what happened recently when I knit a pair of booties for a friend's baby. I started wishing I had a new pattern, not the same one I always knit. I got on Ravelry and sort of shopped around marveling and awwwwing and making the kind of appreciative sounds one makes when looking at darling baby items, but I didn't find what I was looking for which was the type of booties I'd seen in old fashioned pictures. Booties, maybe slightly lacy with ribbon ties and appealingly classic, almost sock-like shape and not a lot of bulk (mine, which I will show you some other time, look a little teeny bit like the square toed boots Frankenstein might wear. I don't know about you but I don't like to link babies cute little feet and Frankenstein together in the same thought). Where could I find such a pattern? And then it occurred to me that upstairs in my treasure trove of heirloom textiles (Which I have been sadly remiss in blogging about, shame on me. I promise to do so more often) I have these little sweeties. Made by my great grandmother or perhaps great-great-grandmother for either my baby grandmother or her baby elder brother, these were created in about 1910. I promptly sat
down with pencil, pad and a magnifying glass (seven and a half stitches per inch!) and began to  make little cryptic notes such as "K2tog, bkwlp" which I totally understand because I made part of that language up. Anyway, I hope to decipher my way through the bootie and then knit up what I think is correct and see in the end if it looks like the kind of baby bootie expectant moms and grandmothers knit in 1910.  And just in case you're wondering, the skeptical me, the one that purses her lips and shakes her head silently as I take up my needles to knit lace each day, is completely on board with this one. Skeptical me shouts things like this at me, "What are you doing wasting time eating sleeping and taking your dog for a walk? Get your heirloom bootie pattern figured out!!" I can be such a tyrant.

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