From the age of 12 – 15, one of my favorite shoes to wear were shoes similar to the ones I knitted above. I remember we referred to them as baby doll slippers, but they were also marketed as Mary Jane’s or China doll slippers too.
The doormat below my feet says Wipe your paws!
Back in the 1980s, a plain canvas pair like the ones featured above, cost between $3.00 – $6.00. And those were the type I usually received. Occasionally, I’d use my own money, that I’d received from cutting lawns to purchase those shoes. They also had fancy pairs with beautiful embroidered decorations on the front of the shoe. Those were about three dollars more. One year, I had a pair that featured a gorgeous flower, and the next year I had a pair that featured a dragon. Since I was so fond of embroidery I really loved those shoes.
Since I wore them often, they received a lot of wear. I was a tomboy (still am I guess). Shocking I know since I enjoy making pretty things. But I’d still much prefer be outdoors, getting dirty from yard work, than to get dressed up in anything fancy. As a child, my baby doll shoes took a lot of abuse, from all my activities, but I’d still try to wear them. I remember my mother found a pair of my baby doll shoes, and threw them into the trash. Gee, thanks mom!
I made these knitted baby dolls/mary jane slippers, last week, while renovations were going on in our home. A simple knitted rib stitch was used, k3, p3. I really love rib stitch. For me it’s mindless knitting, and I can do this pattern with my eyes closed. The pink buttons are actually crocheted. Sometimes, when working on crafts, I go into “purist mode”, and refuse to work with anything but fibers to finish off a project. And so, with some of my handcrafted items the embellishments you see will be crochet, embroidery, knitting, or sewing.
In hindsight I should have doubled the yarn, since the knitted slippers I made, used a single strand of worsted weight yarn. But overall I was pleased with how soft and comfortable these shoes are. After all, I’d made plenty of crocheted bedroom slippers for others, it was time to add myself to the equation. I was quite pleased with those crocheted bedroom slippers that I linked too, I made them about a month after I started crocheting. I’ve advanced a lot, with crochet, since those early days.
For future knitted mary jane slippers perhaps I’ll use more elaborate stitches? I might even incorporate lace into some of the shoes. Who knows, perhaps I’ll add some embroidery too… I have many wonderful childhood memories, it’s nice that I can recreate some of my most cherished items through crafts.