Posted by: Diane | March 9, 2008

Baby Booties in Worsted Weight Yarn–Pattern

After searching the web for a pattern I liked and finding none, I used a pattern I already had that was written for a smaller gauge yarn and adjusted it for worsted. I didn’t like the look of the resulting bootie, so I devised my own pattern. This is a good pattern for someone learning how to knit in the round because it’s quick and it doesn’t use tiny yarn and needles. Here it is:

Yarn: Any worsted weight yarn you like, I prefer wool
Needles: U.S. 5 double pointed needles, set of 5
Gauge: I don’t know. I knit kinda tight, and the booties I made look like about newborn size.

Cast on 28 st onto three needles – 9 st, 9 st, 10 st.
Join without twisting the stitches. K2 P2 for 12 rounds (or a few more if it looks good to you).
Eyelet round: K1, yo, K2tog and repeat around. End with K1.
Knit 2 rounds even.
Move the last stitch from the last needle (the one with 10 sts) to the first needle. (If you are a perfectionist, you may want to unknit that last stitch and then purl it before you move it over. But it’s not a big deal.)
Purl across first needle, then knit across needle #2 and #3.

Instep (the top of the foot part):

Work back and forth on the first needle only. Begin with a knit row and work in stockinette st for 14 rows, ending with a purl row. (tip: don’t pull the 1st stitch of each row too snug [as I have a tendency to do]. It will make the next step much easier.)

Next row, K2tog, K6, K2tog. (8st remaining)

With a new needle, pick up 7 st along the edge of the instep you just knit.

For those of you who might be new to this, I’ve written more detailed instructions:
If you look down on the edge of that long knit section, you’ll see that it looks something like this:
where the hyphens are one long thread running with the edge and the slashes are another thread or two wrapping around the edge.
You’re going to pick up stitches (along the edge closest to your working yarn) from R to L by inserting the needle point under that long thread (the hyphens) from front to back, and then go to the next long thread and pick it up from front to back and repeat this down the edge.

Now, purl those 7 st just like you would any normal stitch (it will twist so there won’t be a hole), then using the same needle purl 5 st from the next needle (12 st).
With a new needle, P4 remaining st and using the same needle P4 from the next needle (8 st).
With the next needle which has 5 st remaining on it, pick up 7 st along the side of the instep.
Purl the first 5 st plus the 7 you picked up (12 st).
P8 on the last needle.
So you now have four needles: #1 with 12 st (long side), #2 with 8 st (heel), #3 with 12 st (long side), and #4 with 8 st (toe). Back to knitting in the round:

Purl one round.
Knit 3 rounds.
Purl one round.


Knit 2 decrease rounds, knit 1 round even (no decreases), knit 1 decrease round.
Decrease round: Needle #1-knit across; needle #2- K2tog, knit to last 2 sts, K2tog; needle #3-knit across; needle #4- K2tog, knit to last 2 sts, K2tog.

You will end up with two stitches left on the heel and toe needles. Put one stitch on each of the side needles. Graft the stitches from the last two needles together.

I’ve heard a lot of people comment that they HATE grafting or Kitchener stitch. It got a lot more fun for me when I finally figured out the technique. For those who want to know:

You hold the last two needles parallel to each other, with the working yarn on the right end of the needle closest to you. Cut your yarn and leave a nice long tail to sew with using a large tapestry needle.

Put the tapestry needle thru the first st on the front needle as if to purl and pull the yarn thru.
Put the tapestry needle thru the first st on the back needle as if to knit and pull the yarn thru.

For the rest of the stitches it goes like this:
Put the needle thru the first st on the front as if to knit and pull it off the needle, then put the needle thru the second st on the front as if to purl and pull the yarn thru.
Put the needle thru the first st on the back as if to purl and pull it off the needle, then put the needle thru the second st on the back as if to knit and pull the yarn thru.

I go down the row thinking “Front-knit off-purl, back-purl off-knit, front-knit off-purl, back-purl off-knit…”

The last two stitches you simply knit off the front and purl off the back. Now is that so hard?

Make sure that you pull your stitches snug. When you’re done, it will look like you have knit the bottom in one piece. Gorgeous!

If you want to adjust the size of the bootie, change the number of st cast on (multiple of 4), the length of the ribbing, and the length of the instep. You may also want to increase the number of rounds you do between the instep and the sole. Design your own with a decorative pattern on the instep!



  1. […] but not being followed up on or added to.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that one of my posts, knitting instructions for a pair of baby booties, has 2500 views!  Wow!  Of course, I think I did share that one on […]

  2. I pick up the stitches as described in the pattern (loading the needles with 'unworked' stitches) and then purl them. As they are worked, they are twisted, thus avoiding any holes.

  3. I have a question about the picking up stitches point. From your explanation it appears as though you do not wrap the working yarn around the needle as you go through each stitch to be picked up, is that correct? I understood that picking up stitches requires this to be done, but who am I? 🙂 My stitches along this row are a bit holey. Thanks.

  4. Oops! Sorry…meant to say “Purl the remaining 4 stitches on that needle…”

  5. Ok, you should still have three needles in your work. You have picked up stitches on what will be the side of the booty, going towards the heel. You have 7 loops on the new (fourth) needle–purl them and then continue purling 5 more stitches from the next needle. You're at the back of the heel now, just off center.
    Purl the 4 last stitches on the needle, and 4 more from the next needle. You'll have one needle left with 5 unworked stitches on it. Pick up 7 stitches on the remaining long side of the instep and then purl all the stitches on that needle (the 5 unworked + the 7 you picked up).
    Continue with the instructions from there.

    Knitting is one of those things you simply have to take at face value sometimes. I can read the instructions and think “What the heck? That won't work!” But if I just follow the directions EXACTLY, it almost always does! In other words, don't let confusion stop you–just carefully take the directions word for word.

    Let me know if this helps!

  6. I'm knitting a pair of booties using your pattern. I've made it past the instep and picked up 7 stitches along the side. What do I do now? I'm confused. (P.S. I've never knit booties or socks before.)

  7. I love this pattern!!!

    I knitted four pair in various colors and gifted them to a first time mom at a baby shower.

    Everyone at the shower loved them. As for the Mom, she was thrilled that someone cared enough to knit her baby a gift. And, as for me, I was ashamed at how easy they were to knit.

    Now, I would like to find a pattern for a little cap to go with the booties.

    Thank you so much for sharing your great pattern.

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