I recently undertook an endeavour to knit some baby apparel and toy for a colleague’s expecting wife. I finished the project last night (after just finding out) she had given birth to a baby boy.
For the gift I decided to make some knitted booties, hat and toy puppy (my mum and I also jointly made a sweater).
I enjoyed every minute of knitting up the hat, constructing the puppy and sewing together the sweater (including the knitted buttonholes) but my goodness did the booties drive me nuts.
I don’t know why I had so much difficulty with them. Perhaps it is because I generally knit with only 2 needles (my next mission is to master circular knitting) or because all the patterns I consulted had very poor instructions; nevertheless I made so many test booties that I was forced to throw away. However, only a poor worker blames their tools. I think I just had a real block with these little things – how could something so cute become so problematic.
Anyway it took me several attempts (and many trials and books) but I finally found a bootie pattern I could follow. Hazzah! After doing a very quick test bootie in one colour, I was able to tweak the pattern a fair bit for my desired style (stripes) and size (0-3 month old).
I must admit I am not totally in love with this pattern, and they definitely will not become my “go-to-booties”. The shape is quite rudimentary and is not quite as cute as some other patterns I have seen. However for a beginner or someone new to booties (like me) they are perfect. Not too hard, very simple knitting techniques required and a really easy make-up. I added little buttons for some extra detail.
Easy Knitted Baby Booties
Skill Level: Easy / Beginner
Gauge: 24 stitches / 48 rows = 4”/10cm in garter stitch (adjust needles to get required gauge)
Size: 0 – 3 months
Needles: US Size 5 (3.75mm)
Yarn: 100 yards / 95 meters / 50g – 4 ply baby yarn in two colours of your choice (or one)
Materials: Tapestry needles for sewing
Decoration: I used a button detail, but you could add a ribbon, or leave them plain
Techniques & Abbreviation
- Cast on
- Bind off
- B&T Tightly – break off yarn leaving a long end. Using tapestry needle thread it through the stitches left on the knitting needle, pull to gather tightly and then fasten off.
- Knit – K
- Purl – P
- Knit 2 stitches together – K2tog
- Increase by knitting into front and then back of stitch – inc
- A is main colour
- B is contrast colour (it is possible to just use one colour)
- I change colours every 4 rows (you can make stripes narrower or wider)
Method (make 2)
- In A cast on 46 stitches
- Row 1 – K
- Row 2 – P
- Row 3 – K22, inc1, K2, inc1, K22 (48 stitches)
- Row 4 – P
- Row 5 – In B K22, inc1, K4, inc1, K22 (50 stitches)
- Row 6 – P
- Row 7 – K22, inc1, K6, inc1, K22 (52 stitches)
- Row 8 – P
- Row 9 – In A K22, inc1, K8, inc1, K22 (54 stitches)
- Row 10 – P
- Row 11 – K
- Row 12 – P
- Row 13 – In B K22, inc1, K10, inc1, K22 (56 stitches)
- Row 14 – P
- Row 15 – K
- Row 16 – P
- Row 17 – In A K22, inc1, K12, inc1, K22 (58 stitches)
- Row 18 – P
- Row 19 – K
- Row 20 – P
- Row 21 – In B K14, inc1, K10, inc1, K10, inc1, K10, inc 1, K14 (62 stitches)
- Row 22 – P
- Row 23 – Bind off K wise 13 stitches, K to row end (49 stitches)
- Row 24 – Bind off P wise 13 stitches, P to row end (36 stitches)
- Row 25 – In A K
- Row 26 – P
- Row 27 – K
- Row 28 – P
- Row 29 – In B K2, K2tog, [K4, K2tog] 5 times, K2 (30 stitches)
- Row 30 – P
- Row 31 – K1, K2tog, [K3, K2tog] 5 times, K2 (24 stitches)
- Row 32 – P
- Row 33 – In A K1, K2tog, [K2, K2tog] 5 times, K2 (18 stitches)
- Row 34 – P
- Row 35 – K2tog until end of row (9 stitches)
- Row 36 – P
- B&T Tightly – break off yarn leaving a long end. Using tapestry needle thread it through the stitches left on the knitting needle, pull to gather tightly and then fasten with a little stitch. This closes the toe stitches
- With wrong side facing out continue to back-stitch across the row end from the gathered B&T stiches (the toe) until the binding off area. This shapes the instep of the bootie
- Do not sew bind-off edges as these flip over
- With wrong side facing out fold the bootie in half and back-stitch all the way across cast-on stitches. This makes up the back of the bootie, along the heal
- The bound off stitches should remain unsewn so they can be folded over to form a cuff
- With the wrong side facing out fold the edge of the bind-off edges slightly and pin into place. Sew this each down from the wrong side (so it is not visible in the front). This will make the cuff of the bootie neater
- Thread all yarn ends into wrong side of work and weave through several stitches to secure
- (Optional) sew little buttons onto the cuff for some extra decoration
For those new to knitting (or booties) I hope you enjoy this pattern. I would love to see what you come up with if you try it for yourself.
Also if anyone has any great bootie patterns I would love to start building up my collection. Or even just see some pictures of booties you have made.