Old Scool; Crochet Slippers

Today I’m going all the way back to 1977 to bring you a design from a publication called Creative Hands.

Maybe you have some magazines like this lying around your house. If you’re like me, you might have inherited them from someone else. Maybe you think the pictures and projects look dated, frumpy, or just plain ugly.

I have a small stack of these magazines that I’ve acquired recently and I cherish them all. Some of the pictures and projects are absolutely comical. While others really do seem to be timeless.

My mother and grandmother both crochet and I still have the blankets, toys and doll clothes they made for me over the years.  I remember asking once or twice if they could teach me how to crochet, but I never did learn until I went to college and taught myself from a library book.  I don’t remember what book it was.  It was probably at least 30 years old.   I wanted to learn, but I could barely keep myself focused enough to learn how to single crochet in the round and back and forth.  That’s it.  That’s all I learned (and actually, I didn’t even do it correctly.  For the next four years or so I made my single crochet through the front loops only).   I had no desire at all to learn how to read patterns, so everything I made was an original design.  I liked it that way.

But then I went into the Peace Corps and I took up crochet with a new-found energy after borrowing an early 1980s edition of  The Complete Guide to Neddlework.  I was ready to learn every crochet stitch there was, and as it turns out, there really isn’t that many of them.  Then I learned how to read patterns.  Soon I was able to write out patterns myself so that I could remember how I made something.  I even created a simplified way of writing out tapestry crochet designs so that non-English speakers could follow them.

As it turns out, there are a lot of valuable lessons you can learn from making something from a pattern.  So when I moved to my current home a short while ago and didn’t have any original design ideas that I wanted to work out, I turned to my stack of vintage magazines for a lesson in construction.  That’s how I came across the pattern for the slippers above.


And learn I did! Namely, the importance of swatching!

The pattern should have made slippers in an adult size 6, while the booties I made would probably fit a five-year-old.  Yes, I realized fairly early on that my gauge was wrong, but since I wasn’t making these because I desperately needed a pair of slippers, I didn’t care.  I just wanted to see if I could follow the pattern.  I could have stopped after one, but this way I can give them to someone.

Stop by again for some more old school designs as I make my way through my musty pile of vintage relics.  Oh, and my apologies to anyone offended by my calling something from 1977 a “relic.”

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4 Comments

Filed under Old School

4 responses to “Old Scool; Crochet Slippers

  1. Hayley Perham

    Hi Emily, i read your previous blog about morocco and came and checked out this one, your work is amazing and you write so well. I am particularly interested in how you design your own patterns and if you make them available to anyone else. Also interested in the patterns for non english speaking people ( and arabic instructions). Would love to hear from you. Hayley

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Hayley! I don’t think that I have any crochet patterns available at this time, mostly because I am not good about writing them down as I go. The crochet book that I spoke of in my “A Crochet Tale…” post is the closest I’ve come to writing out patterns. The book was left with the cooperative women so I don’t have it anymore, though I do have pictures of the pages. Now that you mention it, I think I might do a post about my particular way of recording tapestry crochet patterns and publish them on my blog.

  2. Penelope

    Where is the pattern to these cute slippers? Do you mind sharing it?

  3. Penelope, the pattern for these slippers can be found in the Creative Hands publication shown at the top of this post. Since it is copy righted I would not be able copy and share this pattern. Sometimes you can find vintage publications like these on Ebay, so you may want to try there, or perhaps try to contact the publisher.

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