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knitted high-tops

Old shoes made wearable again. I turned a worn pair of Champion flat-tops into knitted faux high-tops using the pattern Hotshot High-Tops from Craft Magazine 07. Of course, I made a few changes...heheheh. This was a rush job to get them ready to wear for Maker Faire 08. I was sewing on Saturday morning, even.

knitted high-tops

The pattern is for a size 8 womens Converse. I added stitches for length to make size 10 womens. The yarn is Red Heart Soft in fuschia and some stash acrylic white.

The knitting part:
  1. CO 32 sts for size 10 womens. Added 2 rows at beginning.
  2. On piece A I short-rowed the rows 9 and 11 to get an even slant instead of stairstep bind off. I did the same on the mirroring rows of piece B.
  3. On piece B, I made the SSK instead of K2tog to go with the slant.
The shoe part:

  • I cut the uppers and tongues off of Champion flat tops, then put several layers of gesso on the surfaces to whiten them up. I finished this with a few coats of matte sealer.
  • Heavy duty yarn is hard to find. I found it at Joann Fabrics, finally.
  • Since the Champion shoe material was leather and not fabric like Converse, a sewing needle didn't go through easily. I used a bookbinding awl to punch holes through the layers of leather around the sole before sewing. Still, it was tricky.
  • The Champion heel was shorter than the Converse heel, so I seamed the pieces rising above short heel.
  • Running out of time, I sewed using running stitch, which actually holds up.
The results:

The shoes are wearable, walkable, but floppy. Partly because the heel is too short. I could have just followed the instructions for a size 8 for a more snug fit. They're messy looking, due to my rush to finish, but I'm not going to change a thing. I never wore those shoes anymore, but now they're just for special occasions. :)

faux high-tops


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 10th, 2008 10:45 am (UTC)
omg, that is amazing! ♥
May. 11th, 2008 11:55 pm (UTC)
You think that's neat-- check out these cute knitted baby chucks.

May. 12th, 2008 12:02 am (UTC)
...I wish I could knit.
May. 18th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
Heya Paxie, the shoe pattern's simple shapes can easily be converted to crochet. And of course, WE know that crochet is known for being sturdier than knitting for this type of thing! Use your old uppers and shoe tongue as a template. For eyelets holes, you could try skipping a stitch and making a chain instead, or sc2tog, ch 1.

May. 18th, 2008 08:18 pm (UTC)
Okay =D
May. 10th, 2008 11:19 am (UTC)
That's a fantastic idea! I love them!! :D
May. 11th, 2008 11:57 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I can't resist novelty, it seems. :) Now that I've tested it out, I think it would be interesting to try doing color work, like fair isle, chevrons, simple intarsia pictures.
May. 12th, 2008 10:24 pm (UTC)
You got boing-boinged! How cool!

May. 13th, 2008 01:36 am (UTC)
Re: Congrats!
Hey Amy, thanks for the notice. Weird! I was just looking at Boing Boing yesterday. Did you see the comment that they are "ugly as sin"? Ha, ha. Right, well I did say they were messy... it was an experiment. If I did it again I'd do it in a solid color with real high-tops, and a little fair isle so that you can really see it is knitting. :)
May. 13th, 2008 11:01 am (UTC)
pretty cool
May. 16th, 2008 03:56 am (UTC)
Thanks! I like your avatar muchly!
May. 13th, 2008 05:43 pm (UTC)
Found you via Boing Boing... I'm adding you because it's always nice to find someone else who crochets. (I can't do anything but scarves, and after this semester I'm terribly out of practice, but I'm learning!)
May. 15th, 2008 07:33 am (UTC)
Hi there sarahbrand! If you're interested, there are a couple of nice online communities for crocheters, including weloveamigurumi for toys. Crochetville.com is very popular, as is Ravelry.com. Long live the hook!
May. 17th, 2008 11:34 pm (UTC)
you're so crafty!
May. 18th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC)
Aww, thanks for the comp! ^-^
Jun. 1st, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)
wow that's awesome!!!!! can you give specifics on how to resize the pattern? my feet are size 6 and i don't want to wait until they grow
Jun. 13th, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
Resizing knitted high tops
I don't know how to contact you as your post was anonymous. Find out how the length in inches for a size 6. Using the stitch gauge of the pattern, figure out how many stitches you would need to cast on for that # of inches. I think I cast on slightly fewer because the knitted fabric stretches. Then I think I bound off more stitches for the first bind off over the toes.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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