Friday, April 9, 2010

Something’s afoot, but it’s not fashion!

Stop and Go Shoe Socks and Hair Do’s from “Socks and Mittens for the Family”, 1941

Mother made her children stand in a line at the end of the kitchen, all of them wearing their new Stop and Go shoe-socks. “We’re going to play a game,” she announced cheerfully to her girls. “When I say ‘go’ you begin sliding your feet around on the floors until I call ‘stop’. It’ll be grand fun!”

The younger girls happily agreed, but the eldest, Petunia, was suspicious.

“Now, wait just one moment while I get the floor wax,” Mother added. “It’ll make you slide faster.”

“Hey!” exclaimed Petunia, suddenly realizing Mother’s diabolical plan. “This isn’t a game. This is Spring Cleaning!”

“Nonsense, Petunia,” said Mother, handing her eldest a pair of fluffy ‘Hair-Do’s’. “But if you’re not going to play our game, you have to wear these. Now, go stand in that cobwebby corner and shake your head at us. Vigorously. ”

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):


Sizes 8 ½ to 11

See Size Chart on Page 23

I’m not claiming that the very first time I tried to encode tables I crashed Blogger’s main server. I’m sure that was a coincidence. Nevertheless, it’s only prudent to put the Medium and Large sizes in brackets, rather than try to recreate the original formatting of this pattern.
Sizes: Small (Medium, Large)

With White, cast on loosely on No. 14 needles (dividing sts on 3 needles) 56 sts (60 sts, 64 sts).

Join, being careful not to twist. Work around in ribbing of k 1, p 1 for 2’’. Change to No. 11 needles and knit 1 rnd, decreasing 8 sts evenly around. Work in stockinette stitch (k each round) over these 48 sts (52 sts, 56 sts) until piece measures, in all 6 ½’’ (7’’, 7 ½’’).

With spare needle, knit from 1st needle 12 sts (13 sts, 14 sts).

Slip from 3rd needle onto other end of spare needle (for heel) 12 sts (13 sts, 14 sts).
Once upon a time, the only way to scrub a floor was on your knees, with a squalling infant tucked under one arm.

Divide between 2nd and 3rd needles (for instep) the remaining 24 sts (26 sts, 28 sts).

Turn and work over the heel sts only in stockinette stitch (p 1 row, k 1 row) for 2 ½’’. Bind off. Using only 1 needle, pick up along edge of heel 14 sts (15 sts, 16 sts). Place marker. Knit across instep sts; place another marker and pick up along other side of heel 14 sts (15 sts, 16 sts).

Dec. for instep as follows: 1st row: Purl back. 2nd row Knit to last 3 sts from 1st marker, then k 2 tog., k 1. Knit across instep to 2nd marker, then k 1, sl 1, k 1, p.s.s.o., knit to end. Repeat these 2 rows alternately until there remain 22 sts (24 sts, 26 sts).

Work straight until piece measures, from where sts were picked up at side of heel, 6 ½’’ (7 ½’’, 8 ½’’). Bind off loosely.
Then in 1941, came the technological breakthrough of Stop and Go Shoe Socks. Finally, harried housekeepers had a quick and easy way of buffing their floors to a brilliant shine.

Unfortunately, their popularity was short lived. In 1945, Astrid Lindgren published Pippi Longstocking, and by the end of the year everyone was strapping scrub brushes to their feet.

SOLE . . . With Scarlet and No. 11 needles cast on 20 sts (22 sts, 24 sts).

Measuring from last st on needle, mark off 5’’ of yarn. Double the yarn at this point and knot the doubled end, making a loop 1 ½’’ long. Measure off 5’’ from knot and make another loop the same way (knots will be about 3’’ apart). Continue to make knots and loops in the same way until about 20 loops are made. Cut through loops and work as follows: 1st row: Knit across, having all ends on one side of work. 2nd row: Knit until you reach a knot; then p 1 st, thus making the ends fall on the same side as previous ends. Repeat these 2 rows alternately, always making loops as before and working until piece measures, in all 8 ½’’ (9 ½’’, 10 ½’’). Bind off.

With Green, make corresponding sole.

Draw the word “STOP” on tissue paper, baste to sock and embroider with double strand of Scarlet in chain stitch. On other sick, place the word “GO” and embroider in Green. Sew sock to sole on all sides, having the Scarlet sole on “STOP” sock and the Green sole on “GO” sock.
Nowadays, all the cool kids are experimenting with Swiffering.

But can a Swiffer teach your children how to read while keeping your floors dust free? Does a Swiffer use clever embroidery to ensure your child knows that green means go and red means stop?

No! Swiffer wants your children to be illiterate, and get run over by a bus! So, it’s high time to STOP mocking this pattern, and GO make a pair of these practical, educational and fashionable shoe-socks.

Okay, so the Stop and Go shoe socks aren’t exactly stylish. Clearly, the solution is matching hair ornaments.
With Scarlet and No. 11 needles, cast on 20 sts. Work in loop stitch as for sole of sock for 3’’. Bind off. Make corresponding ornament with Green. Sew corners together on wrong side and fasten to hair with bobby pins.
That’s right, these aren’t wilted pompons or dead Tribbles. They’re Hair Ornaments. In fact, they’re called Hair Do’s, so you can be confident that these loopy dust catchers are a Fashion Do not a Fashion Don’t.

Although, they really didn’t catch on until the 1980s.

Click here for the printable pattern.

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