Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Now Heaven Knows, Anything Goes!

Button Trim Spats from Sweaters and Things Knitted and Crocheted, c. 1965)

That’s right, Spats! Haven’t these turtlenecks for the Achilles tendon always been the height of fashion?

Okay, so spats haven’t been a “fashion must-have” since the 1920s, and even then, ankle apparel was mostly for men. But crazy, cross-dressing, Great-Aunt Clara loved her spats, and she did her darndest to revive these ankle accessories in the mid-1960s. Unfortunately, her only success was the young woman photographed above, who five minutes later was committed to the Young Ladies Correctional Home for the Terminally Tacky.

However, now that the media has reminded us to fixate on our fat ankles, Clara’s ankle burqas don’t seem so old-fashioned anymore. In fact, swanky spats are positively fashionable again.

Alas, many of us can’t afford to dandify our deltoid ligaments, and liposuction surgery for our appalling ankles may be going a tad too far. But thanks to Great-Aunt Clara’s clairvoyance, you can now knit up your very own set of cankle cozies.

After all, you can’t always count on your underwear to conveniently fall at just the right moment!

For the complete pattern (and more snark!):

Button Trim Spats

Materials Required:
4 ounces Scarlet
Scarlet! Why you... you... hussy!
You see? People don’t talk respectfully to Scarlet Women!

Although that may change soon.
Aluminum Crochet Hook Size J
1/3 yd. 3/4 inch elastic
8 Jet Buttons, graduated sizes
Jet is a petrified wood used for jewelry that Queen Victoria popularized as a symbol of mourning.

That’s right, these are your mourning spats. So don’t embarrass yourself by wearing them to a happy occasion.
GAUGE: 7 sts = 2 inches

NOTE: Work with double strand of yarn throughout. Either wind yarn into 2 equal balls or remove wrapper and work with strand from each end.
Feel like you’re being talked down to right now? It’ll only get worse when you start showing off your scarlet strumpet ankles!

Cast on 25 sts.

1st Row: Work in P 1, K 1 ribbing.

2nd ROW: Work K 1, P 1 ribbing. Continue in ribbing as established for 3 inches ending with K1.
Don’t bother measuring your ankles, one size of spats fits all floozies.
NEXT ROW: Work in ribbing across 11 sts, inc twice in next st (to inc: K in front, back, and front of st), P 1, inc twice in next st, work in ribbing across row. Work 2 more inches even in ribbing ending with K 1.

NEXT ROW: Work in ribbing across 13 sts, inc twice in next st, P 1, inc twice in next st, work in ribbing across row. Work even in ribbing for 2 more inches (33 sts).

Bind off 4 sts at beg of next 2 rows.

Bind off 2 sts at beg of next 2 rows.

Bind off 1 st at beg of next 16 rows, bind off remaining 5 sts.

Weave back seam. Work a row of s c around lower edge. Sew buttons on side. Cut elastic in half. Sew elastic in position on each side of spat.
And now you’re ready to perform the Trollop Fox Trot!

Click here for the printable pattern.


  1. I am so excited to see this pattern. I have a vague memory of it from back in the day, or something similar. I had low heeled boots that as gray fabric on top, like a spat, and patent leather for the toe and heel part. I thought I was so rad. Let's see, that was in 1965!!

  2. Is something wrong with me that I find these spats completely charming? I think I need a pair.

  3. Thanks, Cambria! I’m glad you’re enjoying my blog.

    Mim, I’m always fascinated when people say they remember wearing items similar to the patterns I’ve posted. Fashion changes fast!

    Anja – Hey, if you do decide to make them, send me pics! I’ll be happy to feature your spats in a DIY post.