Charlotte's Booties: Vintage Knitting Pattern

Charlotte Letitia Bawden
Last year, an aunt gave me a copy of a knitting pattern that belonged to my great-grandmother, Charlotte Letitia Bawden.  I never knew my great-grandmother, but have heard that not only was she an avid knitter, but, like women of her times, she also tatted, crocheted, and sewed.  Her dauther Ruth (my grandmother) was also adept at creating garments and was a highly skilled seamstress.  (I don't know if my grandmother knitted, but she did teach me to crochet when I was around seven or eight years old.  I can recall happily using my new skills to make slippers and dollhouse rugs.) 

Picture of my grandmother taken in Middletown, NJ,
when this area was a bucolic locale. 

As I am not schooled in updating vintage patterns, I have typed this pattern here almost verbatim.  (I changed a few spelling inconsistencies but, otherwise, left non-standard punctuation and capitalization.)  I am going to attempt to make this pattern and would love any assistance or pictures (if a brave soul is able to use this pattern to create actual booties).  If someone can rewrite this pattern, creating modern instructions, I'd be happy to send you some baby yarn as a thank you.   

2 thread fm top
three thread slipper
any color

Set up on four needles - 48 stitches - (16 on each of three needles) work two rounds plain knitting beginning first needles - throw strand yarn over, knit two together - all round  (for top of sock in white).  Leaving Then plain knit one - pearl one all around this completes first row of holes.  Repeat until there are 12 rows of holes.  Knit two rows plain then break off white and commence little slipper attach with color knit one row plain, then one row pearl, this makes little ridge, knit plain three rows then make row of holes for ribbon.  This you do by throwing thread over needle knit two together one stitch plain between until you have completed row of holes - then knit three plain rows then pearl row this completes little strap.  Knit three plain On two needles commence heel.  Knit three plain then rib until you have 7 ribs narrow heels, bind off heel together.

On front needles begin white and knit row of holes like top until you have 7 rows of holes, knit back plain break off white, leaving front needles - then with two needles pick up the stitches on two needles and knit as heel until you have five rows of ribs.  Continue until you can knit across the white of top and finish toe with 6 rows of ribs - bind off toe as any sock - finish top with little crochet.

Narrow toe until you have nine stitches.  Narrow fourth row on end with first and last two stitches - To narrow the toe first side knit two stitches the other side knit one slip 1 stitch, knit the next, then bind this last stitch off

on first needle at the end within three stitches knit two together knit one.  On second needle knit one slip one knit one.  P.S.S.O knit one the third needle the same then after each row knit one row all around. 

Charlotte on her wedding day. 


  1. I'm good until you knit three plain on two needles. Then I'm lost. Not sure what you understand and what you don't. Can you give us a hint?

    1. I think I'm confused about how the "little strap" is formed. I think there should be some binding off or adding yarn to create strap.


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