Sunday, August 16, 2009

Nana Memorial Slippers--a free vintage pattern


My Goompa was known for his gardening and his poetry. He was very witty, and wrote humorous poems that always made you laugh. He was even published in the Saturday Evening Post!

My Nana was known for her hospitality, her knitting, ceramics, and sense of style. She wore wonderful outfits with matching chunky jewelry (it WAS the 1970s girls), and always looked just so. There is a photo of her with my grandfather in the 1920s, a stately teenager gorgeous in her ruffle-sleeved polka-dot dress with a cloche. What a stunner...

She always knit. In fact, she kept all 8 of her grandchildren (and her children and in-laws) in slippers and mittens and hats. Throughout my childhood she knit continuously. When we would visit she always pulled a box of mittens and slippers from under the bed, and let us choose our own. She also gave them as gifts each Christmas. We never once wore store-bought mittens or slippers until we were well into adulthood, when she was too ill to knit anymore.

(In addition, she supplied her church's annual holiday bazaar and various charities with those same knitted items EVERY YEAR. She was amazing.)

Sadly, during her lifetime I crocheted, sewed, and crafted, but I did not knit. I purchased "The Principles of Knitting" in about 1995 to help me learn more of knitting. But knitting never really caught on until 2002; Nana passed away in January 2003. She never saw my knit items.

Every single stitch I create now reminds me of her. I miss her, but what a legacy she left!


My point is this: My brother mentioned that he sure misses the slippers Nana used to make, and do I know how to make them because he'd love them for a Christmas gift?! (Also, he stated he is still wearing the last pair she gave--they have to be about 15 years old at this point!)

That comment made me go stash diving into my patterns. I thought I remembered seeing a hand-written sketchy pattern for slippers from my Nana's estate.

I dove in and pulled out this:

written in her own hand! (click for better view)

I cast on eagerly: if I'm gonna make these for gifts I'd best get started! And never a better time for "reminknitting" than when the loss of loved ones is so fresh.

I thought I'd share this timeless pattern for slippers, as I have scoured Ravelry without success looking for it:



NANA SLIPPERS


size US 4 knitting needles
4 ply worsted weight yarn

CO 3 STS
K1 ROW ACROSS
K1, INC 1 ST, THEN K ACROSS; REPEAT THIS ROW UNTIL 32 STITCHES ARE ON THE NEEDLE

NOW, INC IN EVERY STITCH--64 STS.

(You can change colors here if you like)
*K2 P2* REPEAT ACROSS. REPEAT THIS ROW FOR 5 INCHES

(change back to the first color here)
K2 TOG, REPEAT THIS ACROSS THE ROW--32 STS.
DEC IN 2ND STITCH UNTIL 3 STS LEFT. BO.

SEW UP TOE & VAMP.
SEW UP VAMP FOR HEEL.

(You will fold this oddly shaped square into a triangle with the garterstitch points together. Then sew from this point down one side completely. On the other side, you will only sew together the ribbing section for a heel!)

As much as I'm a yarn snob now, I grew up in these slippers knit in acrylic yarn. They lasted through many washings and really the only thing that ever ruined them (I remember) is snagging them on a loose nail on the flooring, which ripped a hole. A testimony to how long they can last is my brother wearing his 15 year-old pair!

I hope that my posting this pattern will lead to a whole bunch of people knitting these for loved ones this Christmas--I will try to "pdf" this at some point, and get it listed on Ravelry. And, I'll be back to update this post once I get a finished slipper to photograph!!!

Happy gift knitting everyone!

6 comments:

Stasia said...

Thanks for the pattern! I am going to make some!

hetty said...

Thanks for the pattern. I have a really old one I got free from the Patons company back in the 70s when I was a Girl Guide leader. I think it is similar to yours. My husband loves those slippers too. I must make a few pairs for Christmas this year.

hakucho said...

Thanks :) Will have to try them sometime!

manyhorsesmane said...

Will be interested in seeing the finished slipper! :)

Lucy said...

Thanks for sharing this... it's really special to have one of your Nana's patterns, handwritten. I lost my Nanna when I was 10, but I would love to have known her better. She did all sorts of crafts, and I'm sure all our grandmothers would be proud to know we're carrying on these skills.
I'll definitely be knitting a pair, but I'm not quite sure I understand the sewing up instructions... I'd love to see a pic when you do yours!

Anonymous said...

This is so sweet to me.... My Nana and my great-grandmother both left me some wonderful hand-written knitting "recipes".... I have not knit any of then yet... Thanks for sharing with us. -Jessica in CT