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Infant's Booties

Drawing of Victorian knitted baby booties

Please note: While this pattern has been updated into modern terminology and checked for accuracy, it has not been test knit.

Pattern

Knit the sock section of the bootee in white Saxony, and the shoe part in a colour of your choice.

A note on Saxony yarn from String or Nothing's post on vintage yarns:

Saxony was often used for baby items, knit on 15s or 16s. The modern needle size equivalent would be 00s or an size in between 00 and 000. I’ve had success substituting modern three-ply fingering or baby yarn. (4-ply fingering is standard sock weight, knitting at 28 stitches = 4 inches, 3-ply is lighter, usually knitting at 32 stitches = 4 inches.) 

The shoe section may be knit in moss stitch, garter or basket stitch.

Cast on at the base of the bootee

Cast on 26sts and work 1 row (RS).

Keeping your chosen stitch pattern correct, increase 1 stitch at the beginning of the next 9 rows. (35sts)

Work one row without shaping, increase at the beginning of the next row (36sts)

With the right side of your knitting facing you, the right hand edge is the heel and the left hand edge is the toe.

Work another 6 rows without shaping.

Next you knit the toe across to the other side of the bootee and work the second side to match

Cast off 24sts and work to the end of the row.

Work 25 more rows.

Cast on 24 sts and work to the end of the row.

Work 6 rows without shaping.

Dec 1 st at the beginning of the next row

Work 1 row without shaping

Dec 1 st at the beginning of the next 9 rows.

Work 1 row without shaping.

Cast off.

Stitches are now picked up from the toe for the instep

With white, pick up 18sts across the toe, between the sides of the slipper

Purl 1 row.

Row 1: p1, (k1, yo) four times, k1, p1, slip 2 sts onto a cable needle and holding them at the back of the work, k2, knit 2 stitches from the cable needle, p1, (k1, yo) four times, k1, p1 (26sts)

Row 2: k1, p2tog, p5, p2tog tbl, k1, p4, k1, p2tog, p5, p2tog tbl, k1 (22sts)

Row 3: p1, k2tog, k3, ssk, p1, k4, p1, k2tog, k3, ssk, p1 (18sts)

Row 4: k1, p5, k1, p4, k1, p5, k1

Repeat these four rows another 3 times

Gusset shaping is worked next

Cut the yarn.

Now, with the right side of the knitting facing you, pick up 18sts along the right hand side of the shoe section, knit row 1 of the pattern across the centre 18sts and pick up 18 stitches along the left hand side of the shoe.

Diagram for knitting Victorian bootee

Row 2: k1, p5, k1, p4, k1, p5, k1, work row 2 of the pattern across the centre 18sts, k1, p5, k1, p4, k1, p5, k1

Row 3: p1, k5, p1, k4, p1, k5, p1, work row 3 of the pattern across the centre 18sts, p1, k5, p1, k4, p1, k5, p1

Row 4: * k1, p5, k1, p4, k1, p5, k1; repeat from * twice more

Now work as follows:

Row 1: * p1, (k1, yo) four times, k1, p1, slip 2 sts onto a cable needle and holding them at the back of the work, k2, knit 2 stitches from the cable needle, p1, (k1, yo) four times, k1, p1; repeat from * twice more.

Row 2: * k1, p2tog, p5, p2tog tbl, k1, p4, k1, p2tog, p5, p2tog tbl, k1; repeat from * twice more.

Row 3: * p1, k2tog, k3, ssk, p1, k4, p1, k2tog, k3, ssk, p1; repeat from * twice more.

Row 4: * k1, p5, k1, p4, k1, p5, k1; repeat from * twice more.

Repeat the last 4 rows 6 more times.

Cast off

Finishing

Sew the back seam, instep seam, then the foot from heel to toe.

If desired, thread a ribbon around the first row of eyelets after the gusset, and finish the top with a crochet shell stitch edge.