Christine's baby booties

Booties with ribbed sides This pattern was published in Threads no 22 (April 89) in a letter to the editor from Christine Bourquin. She was at the time 95 and living in Redwood City CA, still knitting, and expressed the desire to have her pattern live on. As Christine would be 108 today, we can only hope that she's still around, but perhaps she's not able to see well enough to still make them. I love the story of Jeanne Calment, the French woman from Arles who met Van Gogh as a child (and didn't particularly like him). She set a record by dying at 122, attributing her longevity to the regular ingestion of chocolate, and having only been persuaded to give up smoking at 104 (hear that Christine?). Anyway, Christine's legacy is this pattern for booties that stay on because of the clever side ribbing, and as we all know keeping booties on babies is not a straightforward task...


Cast on 10 sts and knit 18 ridges (36 rows) of garter stitch for the sole. Leave the 10 sts on one needle, and on a second, pick up 10 sts at the cast-on edge. Pick up 18 sts along each side on two more needles-56 sts in all. Be careful to keep working around in the same direction. Purl 4 rounds, knit 4 rounds, purl 4 rounds, knit 4 rounds, purl 4 rounds.

To shape the toe at one of the 10-st ends, knit and purl short rows back and forth. Work the 10th St together with the closest stitch on the adjacent 18-st needle at the end of each row 16 times (decrease 8 sts per side). You do this by slipping the 10th St to the RH needle purlwise, then back onto the 18-st needle. Knit or purl the first 2 sts on the 18-st needle together. Then turn and work back across the 10 toe sts to the other side.

Now knit around the 40 sts at the ankle for 3 rounds. To prevent a hole at the end of the 1st round, pick up 1 extra st and knit it together with the lst St on the 2nd round. Make eyelets for the ties on the 4th round: *K2, yo, k2tog* 10 times. Finally, knit 22 rounds, and bind off. Thread crocheted yarn ties or ribbon through the evelets.

First published: 27 jul 02

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