“I could make that.” This sentence is a blessing and a curse for an art school graduate. I find myself saying it while shopping, reading magazines and websites, and watching movies. But then Reality Voice speaks: “You’ll never have the time to make it yourself. Wouldn’t the materials cost more than just buying the thing, already made?” Then I leave the store or turn the page, and forget about the great thing that I could make but never will.
Recently, looking at some of the new shoe fashions out there gave me some inspiration to actually follow through with the “I-could-make-that” desire. Tons of boots, half-boots, and all the heights in between are showing up on the runways and in stores. Some of them have knitted or crocheted components, and many of them are way too expensive, thereby pushing them out of the realm of Feasable Purchase-dom. Instead of pining for some crazy boots, I can adapt some of the way-too-many shoes I already own.
Armed with a leather punch and some crochet know-how, I’ve given some tired shoes the ankle-boot-makeover they’ve always dreamed of. And you can too! You know you always wanted to punch some holes in shoes. Admit it. Now you have a perfectly good excuse, and the blessing of the fashion world to boot.
You really don’t want to learn a lot of lessons on the shoes you’re planning to spruce up. Save that for the cruddy ones, and experiment with different hole sizes, yarn weights, hook sizes, and stitches with these shoes.
First, determine the size and placement of the holes. Punch a few different sizes to see what works best with the yarn. You’ll probably notice that some of the shoe-glue goo gets on your punch. You can clean it with some vegetable oil on a paper towel.
Using the largest crochet hook that fits into the hole along with your yarn, crochet into the holes all the way around the shoe. Are there bunchy places? Are there really tight stitches? You’ll want to decrease stitches in bunchy places, and increase in the tight areas.
Be conscious of which side is showing as you work; if you want the right side of the fabric to show, crochet clockwise around the shoe. Going counter-clockwise will show the backs of the stitches. If you plan to make a cuff to turn down, counter-clockwise is the best way to go.
If you want the slouchy look, you won’t need to decrease your stitches much at all as you go up from your foundation row of stitches—maybe one or two near the front of the shoes. If you’re looking for more fitted boots, remember that you’re going to need to pull the shoes on, so don’t go crazy with decreasing stitches.
Think about the shoes you’ll be working on for your final pair. Try out a few ideas with the practice shoes and see how they look.
I used a front-post double crochet ribbing on the middle area, and some cluster stitches at the top for more fluff. A shoe only a mother could love)
Figure out how close together you want your holes to be—no farther than a quarter-inch apart, and not any lower from the edge of the shoe unless you want tall foundation stitches to be part of the design.
Punch your holes carefully, making sure you punch all the way through the leather and linings. Use a safety pin to poke out reluctant punch-bits. Count the holes and try to get the same number on the second shoe. One or two holes off won’t affect the pattern much.
Tie your chosen yarn around one of the inside holes, use your hook to pull it through the same hole and make a chain stitch. Then single crochet into the same hole, and all the way around the shoe. This serves as your foundation row of stitches.
Crochet in rounds to the desired height of your boots. Try them on as you work to get a good look at how things progress. Write down the stitches you are using in each round so you can duplicate your work on the second shoe.
Yarn: worsted weight brown and color-flecked wool, and chunky baby alpaca in brown.
Holes: I used the smallest hole setting, with about a quarter-inch between punches.
Hooks: a D (3.25mm) or smaller to start, then an H (5.0mm) or I (5.5mm) with the chunky alpaca. The smaller hook helps make the stitches more dense.
Send me pictures of your own brilliant shoe designs! I love to see what people come up with.
I can´t see the pictures of this tutorial :(
Please send me the pictures...my mother-in-law is in the nursing home. She needs something with a soft crochet top because of ingrown toenails and a regular shoe bottom. I thing taking a pair of her old penny loafers and just cutting out the top and crocheting a new top with a faux sock top would be the only solution. She needs her feet covered for the winter but she also needs the regular shoe support. The penny loafer leather sides would protect her and support her. A pair of shoe like slipper just will not do!
Can you send me this tutorial with pictures? They're not showing up on here. jimroxj at gmail dot com
I can't see the pictures either.
Can you please email me the pixels.i can't see them
Send to email@example.com or Ilene@Hertzfeld.com