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Archive entry for January 2008

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January 2008

Sleeping socks are so cosy


Three offerings this month: this first pattern from 1968 is very similar in design (and the principle of the stretchy fit) to the second offering, Boudoir Boots; however these socks are knitted in a different (more conventional) orientation. They particularly appeal to me, being very jolly, knitted in stripes, (although, as a general rule, I prefer my socks wide awake...).


Make two socks alike.

Main body - With main shade (M) cast on 56 stitches, and arrange across 3 needles (19 on each). Work as follows:

Rib round: k5, * p1, k1; repeat from * to last stitch, p1.

Repeat this round 10 times more.

Round 12: purl to end.
Round 13: k5, purl to end.
Round 14: purl to end.
Round 15: k5; join in contrast colour (C) and knit to the end of the round: turn. [Editor's note: in other words, knit a short round].
Round 16: continuing with C, purl to the last 5sts; turn.
Do not break C, but pick up M.
Row 17: using M knit the C sts of the previous round to end.

Repeat from ** to ** 13 times more, and then work the 12th, 13th and 14th pattern rows again

Break C.

Work the toe - Continuing in M only, re-arrange the sts over the 3 double pointed needles as follows:
Toe foundation round - needle one: k1, k2tog, k14. [16 sts]
Toe foundation round - needle two: k the last 2 sts from the first needle, then k19 from the second needle, then k7 from the third needle. [28sts]
Toe foundation round - needle three: k the last 12sts from the third needle [12sts].

You now have 56 sts in the round.
Knit 3 rounds. Begin decreasing for the toe:

Next round: knit to the last 3 sts on the first needle, sl1, k1, psso, k1. Beginning the second needle, k1, k2tog, knit to the last 3 sts on the second needle, sl1, k1, psso, k1. Beginning the third needle, k1, k2tog, knit to end of round, [52 sts].
Next round: knit.

Continue to decrease on every alternate round in this way until 24 sts remain. [8 on the first needle, 12 on the second needle, 4 on the third needle].
Knit the first 8sts from the first needle so that the wool is at the decrease edge of the toe. Do not cast off, but break off wool leaving a tail long enough for grafting (sewing up).

Making up - slip the last 4sts of the round on to the first needle and graft the two sets of 12 sts together to make the toe.
Darn in the ends.



Original pattern calls for a total of 2 (1oz) balls of 4ply - 1 ball in each colour.

One set of 4 double pointed No 11 needles.


30st and 38 rows to 4 inches (10cm).

Size matters

One size fits all.

A word on the wool.

Original knitted in Patons 101 Courtelle Crepe in "Venus blue" and "Starlight white".

Example knitted in Phildar Lambswool (51% wool, 49% acrylic), colours rouge and melon.

Tutorial on grafting or Kitchener Stitch.

Boudoir Bedroom Boots


Second pattern this month from an "Oddments" leaflet for "using up old Scraps of Wool", dating anywhere between the 1930s and the 1950s. Described originally as Lady's Bedsocks*, I hope they will prove to be the perfect partner for Boudoir Bedjacket.

*One of the other patterns was called "Bedroom Boots" and I couldn't resist the alliteration; however, this pattern described here makes footwear that is much more elegant than either "bedsocks" or "boots" implies. They look at their best when on the feet, (as opposed to just after you have knitted them, when they look like a pair of unattractive caterpillars). It is hard for me to date the design, as many patterns were reproduced out of their true era; possibly an expert on publishing could be more accurate.


Each sock is worked in one piece. Make two alike.

Commence at the front edge. Using No. 12 needles, cast on 64 stitches, and work 6 rows in k1, p1 rib.
Change to No. 6 needles.

Row 1: (right side) Knit twice into every stitch. [128 sts].
Row 2: Sl.1, purl to the last st, k1.
Work 4 rows in stocking stitch (k 1 row, p 1 row).
Row 7: *K2tog; repeat from * to end of row. [64 sts].
Work 5 rows in k1, p1 rib. **
This completes a 12 row pattern.
Repeat from ** to ** twice and then from ** until you have completed the 7th pattern row.

Change to No. 12 needles. Work 6 rows in k1, p1 rib.
Cast off loosely in rib.

Making up - Press each piece lightly on the wrong side under a damp cloth with a hot iron.
Join the cast on and cast off edges together, then continue the seam, stitching up one end for the toe.

Crochet edging - Using the main colour, work a picot edge all around the top of each of the socks, as follows:

One slip st to secure the yarn to the top front edge.
*3ch, 1dc into the first of these chain, miss 1 st, 1 slip st into the next st. Repeat from * around each top.

Using the contrasting wool, work pairs of chain stitches, (or a kind of "lazy daisy" stitch) in a "V" shape down each front seam.
[Editor's note: The link above is to Sharon Boggon's lovely site "In a minute Ago". She is an artist who is interested in the connections between textiles and digital technology, and has created a wonderful site, full of interesting information (and a blog!)]


Original pattern calls for 2oz of 4ply, and a small quantity of contrast for embroidery.
Example shown is knitted in 2 x 50g balls of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, in colour 007.

One pair each of number 12, an No 6 needles.


20st to 4 inches (10cm) on No 6 (5mm) needles.

Size matters

One size fits all.

A word on the wool.

Baby Cashmerino is heavier than a 4ply, knitting to a tension of 25st and 34 rows to 4 inches. Thus I used more yarn than the original pattern. Each 50g is 125m, and I used 90g.


As a variation (or to "use up old scraps of wool") you might choose to make the picot edging in the contrast colour to match the embroidery - I believe this would work better if the contrast were darker than the main colour.
Alternatively, if you are not confident in your embroidery skills (I found it harder than I had imagined) you could stick with a single colour and embroider in the main yarn; this provides a more sophisticated look - if indeed a bedsock can be said in any way to contribute to a sophisticated look!

Feather-light Boudoir Slippers - from only one ounce of wool

Third and final pattern is totally untested, from a magazine dated November 1968 [ "Ideas for Gifts"]. They really are called "boudoir slippers" which, apart from any other consideration, makes me feel that the pattern dates from longer ago than 1968. As a teenager, I would have found these indescribably awful; however, luckily, I did not have relatives who were handy with the old needles.
Likely to remain untested as a girl can have only so many bedsocks.
[Should any readers admit to making this pattern, please submit a photo of the result for me to display here!]


Each sock is worked in one piece. Make two alike.

Cast on 76 stitches, and work as follows:

Row 1: k3, * p2, k2; repeat from * to last stitch, k1.
Row 2: k1, * p2, k2; repeat from * to last 3 stitches, p2, k1.

Repeat these rows for 6½ inches.
Cast off loosely in rib.

Change to No. 12 needles. Work 6 rows in k1, p1 rib.
Cast off loosely in rib.

Making up - Fold cast-on edge to cast-off edge and join side seams. (Seams form heel and toe).

Crochet edging - Starting at the heel, crochet eyelets all around the edge as follows: - 3ch, * 1dc in next stitch, 1ch, miss next st; repeat from * all round. Join with slip stitch to 3ch at the beginning.

Then work a row of picots thus: - * 3ch, 1 slip st into the first of these chain, 1 slip st into the 1ch space of the previous round; repeat from * all round. Fasten off

With wool double, crochet a chain cord for each sock and thread through holes; make and sew a small tassel to each end.


Original pattern calls for 1 (1oz) ball of Patons Beehive Baby Wool in 3ply.

One pair of number 11 needles.
Crochet hook


32st and 40 rows to 4 inches (10cm).

Size matters

One size fits all.

A word on the wool.

It is fairly easy to acquire 3ply Baby wool to knit up to this tension.

© Christina Coutts 2007

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