Monday, March 16, 2009

The legacy of the baby booties

You ask "What are these?"

Hand knit booties that if I counted the hours it takes to make them I would never start another pair. After you read the story you will know why Ive now made 5 pair in the last 6 months.

You cannot tell by looking but these booties are more than yarn and ribbon. Almost 24yrs ago I was pregnant with my first baby. I had the glorious privilege of carrying the first grand baby for both my mom and dad, my husbands parents, and the first great grandchild for my grandma K. With much anticipation we all waited. While grandma K waited she knit a pair of soft white booties that resembled winter snow boots we used to call "moon boots". I watched my grandma knit these booties on five of the smallest knitting needles Id ever seen. The needles reminded me of over sized toothpicks. When my daughter was born I loved to dress her up like a doll. The booties my grandmother made were so practical.They stayed on her feet when nothing else would. Aside from keeping her feet warm when ever I looked at the booties I thought of every stitch and the hours spent by my grandmother. These booties represented a legacy of love to my daughter.

My grandmother told me she and all her friends started knitting these booties back in the 1930s when resources were small and time more plenty. She made them as gifts and for her own babies.

Late last summer I knew I would be attending several conferences and wanted a project to keep my hands busy while I listened. I always get a little fidgety sitting for hours. The project is small and didn't require my constant attention to count every stitch. I experimented with organic cotton thread because several of the moms -to- be feel organic natural fibers are an important consideration.

Several coworkers were expecting babies and I now had an opportunity to give my gift of the legacy booties. It seemed kind of silly but as I knit I would also pray for the mom,baby and family to which I was giving the booties.

Shortly after I started making these booties the daughter who had worn the inspiration booties came to me to share a heart ache. She and her husband of 4yrs had been trying to conceive for a year and now were starting the process of infertility evaluation. My heart ached with them. Now my bootie knitting took on a different perspective. I worried my bootie knitting would make my daughter sad because it solicited the natural question from friends of "oh are you going to be a grandma?"

I will be a grandma. We don't know the timing. I will keep knitting and praying. Maybe God knows I'm a slow project finisher and can get distracted so Hes giving me some extra time to make each stitch of love.

He knows when the little feet will arrive to fill the booties. Until then I will keep making each stitch to gift others with the legacy of the hand knit booties, until my daughter tells me the next pair will be for my grandchild.

I was so proud of my effort to find this old pattern and learn how to make them like my grandma. I went to her house to show her what I had accomplished. She was so shocked. She said " Why in heavens name would you make that pattern it was so difficult and took so long. Aren't you too busy to ever finish them." I explained to her how in my eyes the booties had represented special love and investment. I wanted to give that to others. She was proud. When my daughter does have a baby it will be her first great great grand child.


  1. Hmm no words. Just tears. I cant wait to see our little ones feet bundled up in the "moon boots"

  2. How precious are these booties! They became even more so as the post went on. I pray for success for your daughter.
    I love that it was an old pattern and you remember watching your Grandma make them. I'm a sentimental fool and love things like this!

  3. So cute, I hope I know how to knit them!

  4. All I can say is WOW.... again WOW... thank you for your legacy on booties.. I found it very moving.. It made me cry.. To combine knitting, yarn, prayer.. love all these together makes it so worth it..

    Thank you for stopping by my blog and please come back!! I definitely will come back by.. A women who,knits, prays and is a nurse = a new blog friend..



  5. precious! I'm hoping you'll be a grandma soon, very soon!

  6. What a wonderful story. I pray for your daughter and just knowing she has a mother like you she'll get through this easier with your help. It's so nice she can talk to you about it and you are so positive. Keep knitting the booties- beautiful story and so very special. Make sure your daughter knows her pair will be the most special pair of all!
    Kitty :)