The best thing about these booties is that they stay on baby’s feet. You know how you always find baby socks and shoes in public places? You won’t see these lost at the grocery store or at the zoo! The design of these booties naturally helps them stay on really well without binding the baby’s ankles.
Next to that, my favorite things are that (1) they are really cute and (2) home made gifts say “I love you” like nothing else. Grandma first taught my mom how to make them, then Mom taught me. At one time most of my aunts made them, too. I think I’m the only one keeping the legacy alive now.
I was thirteen when I made my first attempt at this pattern, following Mom’s verbal directions step by step, and turned out two little pink shoes that I am sorry to say were not really the same size. Grandma taught me to knit both booties on the needles at the same time so they’re more uniform. I highly recommend it, even though it means you have to keep two skeins of yarn from tangling while you alternate between booties row by row. I picked up other tricks and variations on my own, like using circular needles instead of straight ones. I’ll never make them on straight needles again if I can help it! I’ve also adjusted them for children and adult sizes and have embellished them with cables.
Skills required (click on each link for my favorite tutorials on each stitch)
- Casting on (I make one change to this method. Cast on using both needles together, then slip one out before beginning to knit. This helps keep the tension looser to begin with.)
- Knit Stitch
- Purl Stitch
- Yarn Over
- Knit Two Together
- Purl Two Together (same as knit 2 together, just using the purl stitch)
- Picking up stitches from the side
- Kitchener (Grafting) Stitch I use a modified version of this, described in the pictures, but following this link will get you there, too.
- Seam Stitch (it’s sort of like this, but not exactly. The idea is to go back and forth so there’s a little stretch in it.)
- crochet chain.
As you can see, I love verypink.com tutorials!! But I hope the pictures will be pretty self explanatory if you have basic knitting skills down.
Here we go!Booties Using baby yarn and size 0 or 1 knitting needles. Cast on 36 stitches. Rows 1-4:Knit, Purl, Knit, Purl Rows 5-8: Purl, Knit, Purl, Knit Rows 9-12: Knit, Purl, Knit, Purl Rows 13-16: Purl, Knit, Purl, Knit Rows 17-20: Knit, Purl, Knit, Purl Row 21: purl Row 22: Knit two together, yarn over, Knit one. Repeat to end of row. Row 23: Purl Row 24: Knit 12, remove to stitch holder, knit 12, then remove the rest of the row to another stitch holder, leaving the middle 12 stitches on the knitting needles. *From this point you continue on one bootie at a time until the instep is completed and you take the stitch holders off, finishing row 24. (Instep) Continue working the twelve (middle) stitches in the stockinette stitch (Purl, Knit, Purl, etc.,) until you have 24 rows (the last row will be Purl) Cut off yarn with approximately 12 inches for weaving in. Row 25: Replace stitches on the stitch holder (from row 24) to knitting needles. (*Continue on to the second bootie at this point, then continue alternating row by row.) Row 26-29: Knit, Purl, Knit, Purl Row 30-33: Purl, Knit, Purl, Knit Row 34-37: Knit, Purl, Knit, Purl Row 38-41: Purl, Knit, Purl, Knit Row 42: (first decrease row) Knit two together, Knit 30, Knit two together twice, Knit 30, Knit 2 together.
Row 43: PurlRow 44: (second decrease row) Knit two together, Knit 28, Knit two together twice, Knit 28, Knit 2 together. Row 45: Purl Row 46: (third decrease row) Purl two together, Purl 26, Purl two together twice, Purl 26, Purl two together. Row 47: Knit 28 (halfway across) Cut yarn about 24 inches long and thread onto a tapestry needle. Starting at the toe, and holding the bootie in your left hand with the tail trailing from the back stitch, begin weaving and pulling stitches off using the kitchener stitch (grafting stitch.) Continue up the back, and weave in the end, turn and weave in the ends from inside the instep. Crochet ties with a double strand of baby yarn 110 chain stitches long. Knot the ends of the ties Finish off by weaving in and out of lacing holes and tying bows at the front of each bootie. Now you’re ready to make a pair in every color. . . !
Update January 28, 2014
In the months since I first posted this pattern I have been amazed at it’s popularity. You, my readers, come from countries all over the world! I would love to see pictures of some of the booties you have made from Grandma’s pattern! Thank you for stopping by. I hope you’ll come again.