Composite Crochet – Granny Boot

Composite Crochet – Granny Boot
by Ann Reillet


This is a freeform composite motif made up of floral and buttony elements to fill the outline of a boot. Size 20 mercerized cotton thread and No. #11 (1.10mm) steel hook were used.

Edwin C. Burt (1818-1884) was a 19th century shoemaker and a director of Hanover Insurance Company. He was born in Boston, Massachusetts to a father in the leather industry.

This particular advertisement appeared in the New York Tribune, Wednesday, September 22, 1886 on page 8. The style continues in the modern era and is known by its endearing label: “Granny Boot.” Side zippers have replaced the antiquated button closures which required a hook to fasten.

Some notable events of 1886 include Frank Lloyd Wright’s admission to University at Wisconsin-Madison, Nikola Tesla formed the Tesla Electric Light and Manufacturing Company and the first trainload of oranges left Los Angeles depot on the Transcontinental railroad. The year was not without strife and serious racial tensions in Seattle, Washington and Carroll County, Mississippi. The later culminating in the “Carrollton Massacre”.

For this project, I used the floral and buttony elements designed by Alyona Salimova for her Flowers of Dunes dress. Video Instructions for the motif patterns are available on YouTube and Ravelry:

• I printed a full-size image on copy paper, then pinned it on Styrofoam.
• The first strip was Alyona’s buttonies. I added pearls to the center of these and used the tails to sew to one another; pinning in place as I worked.
• Next, I made a strip of Irish Roses of graduating size, narrowing at the base.
• Then I made an assortment of Alyona’s floral, circle and triangle motifs; layering the triangles on top of the circles and placing flowers between to fill the area.
• Finally, I worked the outline of the boot in a simple chain with sc. This was pinned in place and sewn to the motifs with sewing thread.
• The base or sole of the shoe was a chain with sc on both sides to make it heavier than the rest of the outline. The heel is solid sc, then sewn to the sole. The two pieces were tea-stained with a small paintbrush.
• To complete the boot, I worked a separate net for the toe area and sewed this within the outline before adding a piece of scrap lace to the top.
• I left it pinned overnight, then ironed with starch and repinned to dry.  Finally, removing it as one piece. However, I like the look of it atop the advertisement and perhaps, in the future, will frame it as a wall hanging.

The finished boot measures approx. 8″ height by 7″ width. 



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