Monday, January 4, 2010

DIY: Crochet Bazooka Boots Part 1

Yay! I got some sheep's wool yarn for X-mas (Thanks Gretta & Kathy!), bought locally in downtown Asheville at the Earth Guild. I decided since it is freeeeezing cold out, the wool would be great for a pair of warm Bazooka Boots. You might be wondering what the hec a 'bazooka boot' is... all I can say it is a name born of the imagination of 1990's teenagers in New Orleans to describe yarn knitted boots from a store in the French Quarter called Kruz. I owned and loved a pair of bazooka boots for many years, even once they sagged and became known as "quitters" after running through an airport to catch a plane. Long gone now, I decided it is time I make my own, DIY style. :)
Step one: I started with a crochet chain (ch) - you can make it whatever length you need to get around your size calf/leg. Bazooka Boots generally run a little large, they are big and not tight fitting.

Step two: I looped my chain (ch) stitch together to make a full circle. This is where you should make a "slip stitch" to continue on. I don't know exactly what I did (a possible slip stitch hybrid?) but i looped it together and kept going upward in a spiral pattern after.
Step three: Once I got the slip stitch to hold the circle together I did one full circle of single crochet stitch (s) and then continued up the spiral with a double crochet stitch (d).
I used the double crochet stitch (d) all the way to the top till I got to the end of the yarn ball and did one last row of single crochet (s).
Step four: Once I tied off the end, I folded down the top and ran a red ribbon in and out the stitches.
Half DONE! What I need to do next is make the footie bottom part for both of the bazooka boots, then attach either a strip of leather or some type of thin shoe sole. That will be in PART 2!!! For now we (me and Lily) needed a break... it was making us cross eyed and wonky... ;)
To BE COnTinUed.....



linda said...

Nice! I like the boots you are wearing too! I wonder if anyone makes them or moccasins chem free?

Mokihana and Pete said...

Those boots are going to be wonderful. It's wet cold today, those bazooka boots make me feel cozy warm. Nice stitching.


Panne said...

linda> you probably won't find suede leather that is chemical free, most of it is chrome tanned. it would also have to be undyed. you can get vege-tanned, brain tanned and oil tanned in smooth leather, but the price is roughly 3 times higher. brain tanned isn't a true tan since it doesn't make the necessary chemical changes to the hide. brain tanned leather will revert to rawhide after it gets wet and needs constant rebraining. you can get brains at a local butcher shop, but they may ask if you have a pet zombie.

i would contact minnetonka and ask about the chemicals. their prices are fair and they stand behind there products. one thing to remember is that moccasins wear out really fast if worn daily. you'll wear through the bottoms of a single layer pair in roughly 3-4 weeks. less if you're on rocky and/or wet ground.

i don't see bazooka boots, i see moccasin liners.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Thanks - i have had those boots for about 5 years now, they are my best winter boots surprisingly - they do well on snow and ice and cover half my leg. I had to air them out for a year before wearing them though, they stunk like chemical leather junk pretty bad. Older or natural tanned would be better, but thrifted stuff can come with other chemical smells too - maybe you can get a pair now in preparation for 5 years from now. lol
Also - When i find some good local spun wool here that is scent free, i can make you some bazooka boots too!

It's been so wet and cold here - this morning the pipes finally froze (i felt lucky cause everyone elses froze since yesterday... but it finally caught up in spite of heaters and dripping.) We are going to have to stoke up the basement wood stove to try and melt them. Very extreme weather this week!

That is a bunch of good info...
Would rawhide be better for the bottoms of shoes, then tanned hide? I have a goat skin and brain in my freezer waiting to be tanned (the neighbors had killed the goat to eat it), but maybe it's better for non-shoes items - or not the bottom of shoes but maybe the leg part?

Here is the link the the company Panne recommended:::
They have boots that look almost exactly like the ones I am wearing in the pictures here.

Bort said...

what did you do to the cat she looks sofa king we todd ed!she needs to be on the short bus to the pizza party!

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Bort - ya mean developmentally disabled? You know how they say animals start to look/act like their owners. And she is your cat. he he

Liberty said...

awesome Leslie! thank you for posting this.
I crochet and have been daunted as to how to make leg warmers and can use this for those!

also very cool comment discussion about safe-for-mcs leather.
I was just reading about this 2 days ago and hadn't realised that brain-'tanned' leather usually (always?) has a stage where they smoke it - which would not be safe for most with MCS - so I'm thinking bark tan is the way to go.
my understanding is that most commercial 'veg-tanning' still has chemicals - just less of them.
there is, however, an awesome website that has tons of resources for people who do both brain tanning and bark tanning (more brain than bark unfortunately though they do have a section for info on how to bark tan).

There are a number of folks listed in the resource section who do make moccasins (one with buffalo skin with hair side in - warm!)
the site is
and the resource page is

another neat site is

they have *winter* moccasins for only $165 which is a great price when you consider how expensive good winter boots are.
also have buffalo wool to stuff pillows!

sorry... I got off on a tangent totally unrelated to crocheting :-)

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Another cool way to make leg warmers, is to make a flat rectangle that can be laced up with a ribbon to form a tube- kinda like a corset leg warmer. :)

That is some great info on brain tanned and bark tanned leather - totally on topic cause the bottoms of bazooka boots are generally a thick piece of leather. I am trying to decide how to make the sole part of the shoes still - while working on the footies... i want to upcycle leather or an old shoe sole but am debating how to attach a rubber one it in a non toxic way.

Thanks for those awesome links!!! I am loving the website...

linda said...

thanks for the info everyone
: )

Panne said...

native americans used rawhide in the southwest for the bottoms of their mocs. it helped prevent cactus thorns from punching through. in a wet climate they won't fair well.

most mocs don't fair well in wet climates. the natives in southwest LA didn't even bother to make any due to the climate. kind of like walking around in wet socks.

the reason they are so warm is due to the extra room for air inside. anyone wanting some for winter should buy them a size larger. i don't care for the ones with the thin shoe sole on them, but they do last a lot longer.

the sole is kind of pointless if your foot hangs over the sides like my indian feet do. size 9 eeeee is as wide as a men's 12 1/2 wide. most shoes on the market are made to fit skinny european feet, lol. new balance is the only company that makes sizes up to 4e. nike has a line that goes wider but they are only available to obese native americans on reservations.

Panne said...

forgot to mention that brain tanning and any other tanning methods are highly intensive during the breaking process. most leather is tanned using vegetable tannins and it can take up to 6 months for the tannins to get into the middle of the hide. brain tanning is more like oiling it to keep it from rotting and will wash out and get stiff requiring rebreaking.

i'd use the goat hide for a drum skin. physically i don't see either one of us having the stamina it takes to break and work the hide over a beam the whole time it's drying. two athletic individuals could get it done, but won't be feeling too athletic at the end of the day.

one thing "back-to-the-landers" often don't take into account is that people in developed countries are wimps compared to humans from 100+ years ago. most men that hunt with a self bow today use bows under 80# draw. the average draw weight of a 10-12 year old kid's longbow 200 years ago was 120# draw. the average 12 year old country boy from 100 years ago would be a good contender for UFC.

modern medical and manufacturing advances have made us weak and quite sickly.

Wild Canary said...

Most interesting post. I have been fussing with shoes since being injured. I did settle with two pair of minnetonka mocs each time I bought them..due for another pair and trying to figure out what to make instead...and working on leg warmers out of sweater sleeves??? I don't have trouble with the mocs and keep one pair for outside and one for inside...when I remember...
love the yarn and work you are doing...and the pics are great, too...

Anonymous said...

did you ever make part 2 of your bazooka boots? so curious! please please post! i want to make a pair... :)