jane’s growed up booties experiment

Every since I knit Saartje’s Bootees for the first time, I’ve wanted to try to make a larger version of the pattern for myself.  I finally got around to trying this last month – just in time to make them as Christmas presents!  I am posting the pattern mods here and linking it to my project on ravelry.  One day, I might write this up as a “real” pattern.

I started with the larger bootie pattern and altered it.  On attempt number one, I just scaled the pattern up (photo included in rav project).  Unfortunately, the resulting toe was far too boxy for my foot and the proportions (length:width:height) were all wrong for what I believe to be a normal, adult foot (my foot!).  Therefore, I altered the pattern as follows (by knitting the slipper over, and over, and over again):

  • I reduced the toe increases so that the toe isn’t nearly as wide
  • I appropriately altered the toe decreases based on the increase modifications.
  • I extended the length of the foot.  The resulting slipper is longer and and less “boxy” than proportions of the original baby bootie.
  • Finally, I modified the straps so that I knit a button hole directly into the ends rather than adding a button loop during finishing.  I love the button loop, but it just added to much to the finishing time and, frankly, I hate finishing.
  • I knit this all in one yarn.  I’m just too lazy to switch colours!  That’s why I love variegated yarn for this pattern.

The pattern below gave me a slipper which is 8.75 inches from heel to toe when lying flat.  This stretches comfortably to fit a size 7 or 7.5 women’s foot in the yarn that I used.  It could probably go up to a size 8, but I noticed when I knit some of my prototypes too short the heel would be pulled down and start to slip off, making the slipper a little uncomfortable.

I usually wear a women’s 6.5 and have very narrow feet and I feel like the pattern below is just a little too long for me.  Of course, if knit with a different yarn, this may be just right.

I used 90% (90 of 100 g) of a skein of Katia, Peru yarn and size 9 needles.  I originally tried this with some Lion Brand Homespun, but the yarn just didn’t have enough rigidity to hold the shape of the slipper and the results didn’t fit well and were unattractive in my opinion.

In an attempt to create more affordable slippers (<$5/pair), I have also purchased some Paton's Shetland Chunky.  The Katia yarn made the slippers end up at about $11 per pair.  I'm hoping to find some washable, variegated yarn with little acrylic to use for knitting several pairs of these to use as Christmas gifts.  I think the variegated yarn just gives the baby booties a little extra cuteness...so I'm going to see if it does the same thing for the grown up version.

Gauge:  15 stitches and 16 rows (garter stitch ridges) = 4 inches in garter stitch on US 9, 5.5 mm needles.

Other Notes: Where it says “k to m”, you should knit to the marker, move the marker and then do the next stitch listed.  When I knit this pattern for the first time, I had to think about that one. Also, I’ve never seen kbf in a pattern before, but I’ve seen kfb.  In any case, I’ve actually been doing a kbf for this pattern – I’m not sure if it makes a difference or not!

This pattern is knit flat and then seamed down the back of the heel and along the middle of the sole.


CO 47
Row 1: k23, pm, k1, pm, k23 (47 stitches on needle)
Row 2: kbf, k to m, m1, k1, m1, k to last st, kbf (51 st)
Row 3: k
Row 4: kbf, k to m, m1, k3, m1, k to last st, kbf (55 st)
Row 5: k
Row 6: kbf, k to m, m1, k1, m1, k3, m1, k1, m1, k to last st, kbf (61 st)
Row 7: k
Row 8: kbf, k to m, m1, k9, m1, k to last st, kbf (65 st). From now on you don’t need the markers.
Row 9 to Row 21: k
Row 22: k23, ssk 4 times, k3, k2tog 4 times, k23 (57 st)
Row 23 to Row 25: k
Row 26: k16, bo25, k16

Strap #1: Turn your work normally and start to work on the first set of 16 stitches.  The other 16 stitches (for the second strap) will just hang out on the far end of your needle, harmlessly.

Row 27: k16, co 14
Row 28: k2, bo2, k26
Row 29: k26, co2, k2
Row 30: bo30
cut yarn

Strap #2:

Row 27: co14, k16 (This can be confusing.  You cast 14 on to the extra needle and then keep knitting through the 16 st that were left on the other needle.)
Row 28: k26, bo2, k2
Row 29: k2, co2, k26
Row 30: bo30

Please leave a comment if you knit these!  I’m will knit them in a few different yarns and establish some different sizes and yarn suggestions.  Then I will publish the pattern on ravelry for free (after I ask Saartje!).  I would love to know how the pattern worked for you and what yarn/needles you used.     

Disclaimer:  I am by no means a pattern designer, and this is the first time I’ve really experimented with my knitting!  Use this pattern at your own risk!

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