Saturday 14 April 2012

Simple Knitted Slippers from the 1940s

I really like these simple little slippers I found at this link  They are very frugal to make and great stash busters too. This pair was a trial run and I made each one in a couple of hours. Here are my modifications and explanations to make this woman's size pair which weighed 73gms when completed.

You'll need about 40gms each of TWO 8ply/DK yarns...either the same colour for a plain pair or by using 2 different but compatible yarns you get the mottled look you see above.

a pair of 6mm knitting needles and a tapestry needle for sewing them up.

Cast on 29 sts using 2 strands of yarn together 
1) K9, P1, K9, P1, K9
2) Knit to end
Work these 40 rows of this pattern.

Work 10rows of rib starting with a P1, K1 row
Decrease for your tootsies by

1) Rib 7, sl 1, k1, psso, k1, k2tog, rib 5, sl 1, k1, psso, k1, k2tog, rib 7
2) rib 7, P3, rib5, P3, rib7
3) rib 6, k2tog, k1, s1, k1, psso, rib 3,k2tog, k1, s1, k1, psso, 

That's it!!! Snip the yarns about 30cms from your last stitch, thread your tapestry needle and pull the yarn through the last 21 stitches twice, sew up the top with the same yarns and fasten off securely. Sew up the heel, turn it right-side out and start again!!

Here you can see the rib made by purling that one stitch on the odd numbered rows, it forms corners that help the sides stand up nicely. This is the 'right' side or even numbered side.

The last 21sts have the yarns drawn through them and you pull it tightly and sew the top of the slipper

Stitch up the heel and turn it  right side out and make another one!!
I've started a man-sized pair and will post pics here once they're ready.

No pics as yet but here are the modifications for the Big Foot in your life...

Cast on 35sts
Work 48 rows of pattern above
Work 10 rows of rib starting with a P1, K1 row.

decrease as follows
1) rib9, sl 1, k1, psso, k1, k2 tog, rib 7, sl 1, k1, psso, k1, k2 tog
2) rib 9, P3, rib7, P3, rib 9
3) rib 8, k2tog, k1, s1, k1, psso, rib 5, k2tog, k1, s1, k1, psso, 

That's it! So quick, easy and cosy too.

I lerve footy season almost as much as cricket season...lots of TV hours in which to knit lol

Today I rediscovered 4 of my dresses from the late 60's including the Kipper Tie Dress made by Mrs Scargill, I've washed them all and will try a gentle iron tomorrow and take some photos. I also have a dress of Mum's that dates back to the late 50's so I'll show you that too. My little christening dress is here...yep, I'm a hoarder!!!

Hope your weekend is relaxed and enjoyable,
Love from Sue


  1. They are incredible!! I love stuff like this (gives you a peek into the way people used to live). You say it's from the 40's but people would have been wearing stuff like this for generations before that, right? I can almost picture people making them out of leather & nailing wooden clogs to the bottom of them.

    Is there some way of reinforcing them to slow them wearing down or to prevent those awkward moments when cross paths with a puddle on the toilet floor?

  2. What a little gem you are Sue! I'm going to run up a pair for Mum.

  3. TY Rose as always for your uplifting comment...they make my day xx
    Just make sure your Mum doesn't slip in them which brings me to Elizabeth's point about puddles etc, the original link shows a spray on non-stick surface which I've never seen before and I am considering sewing some leather or vinyl to the soles.

  4. Thank you so much. Am loving mine :)

  5. We used to make these as kids back in teh 60's I have been searching for the pattern! Thanks!!!!

  6. Awesome idea especially because it looks easy even for a beginner like me :) I am unsure wether I'll be able to drawn the threads through the last 21 stitches... Is it the tension generated by the pulling of this thread through these stitches which makes the top of the slipper? Then you go on sewing properly the top part of the slipper?
    Also, I am Italian and I am not sure wether we have the same numbers for wool and needles. Would 2 threads sized 7 be ok for a man-sized pair of slipper please?

  7. Hi Luc, OK Look at this chart and you can see that 6mm is the same in the USA and Europe. Further down the post I have given the measurements for a large man-size slipper so follow those directions.
    When you thread the yarn on a big needle and pull it tight it creates the toe of the slipper. Do try the pattern as it is a quick and easy knit.

  8. Dear Sue,
    Thank you for your lovely and quick reply!
    I see the table at the link you specified. It looks very useful. I wonder that also a size 8 yarn is the same in Italy (I couldn't find this info on that table). So my next question is: won't 2 x size 8 yarns be a little hard to be worked with 6 mm needles? I mean, it can be done easily I guess, I was just wondering if it is the way it has to be, I guess it'll come out a very compact final work, which I guess it is the exact purpouse of a slipper like this one: keep warmth easily.

    Sorry for being so obsessive, it's just my nature -_-'

    Thanks a lot for your kind kind help!

  9. Hi again Luc, do these links help?

    Although I live in Australia I am English and use the term double knit or 8 ply. You may be able to work out what yarn you'll need by the number of stitches required to knit a certain sized swatch. Hope this helps,

  10. O, what beautiful. My grandmother was knitting such things :-)

  11. I have just been reading your blog and hopping from post to post, when I found this.. I have just printed it out to make a few pairs. :-)

  12. You wouldn't believe it, but I am knitting one of these for my husband, who has a broken leg and a cold foot... I am using my mothers pattern, hand written and very vague! She has been gone since 1995 and just using the pattern is a wonderful feeling. Your instructions helped me with the missing links. :)

  13. My aunt used to make these and it took a long time to search the Internet and utube. I just live the simplicity to the pattern. Thank you so much for the pictures

  14. Oh this looks so lovely,simple yet cozy,thank you for sharing

  15. I tried to do this pattern for the men's slippers. but I am left with left over stitches. I follow cast on 35 then do the k9, p1, k9, p1, k9, but I have left over stitches on my needle. may I have some help with this, any help I would be thankful for. I was wondering if one for men could be written out so could figure this out better?

  16. Your slippers look great. I make them, too. They're so vintage. My grandmother used to wear them when she came to visit us. Her sister Laura Louise made them for her. I remember complimenting her on them as a little girl, and wishing that I could knit like that...