Tuesday, November 16, 2010


One day, while reading 'my' blogs, I came across an adorable pair of baby booties. A quick scan of Ravelry projects confirmed their cuteness, and suddenly I had to make booties. I'm very particular when it comes to bootie knitting. No seams, no buttons, prefer no long i-cords. I like the patterns to state what size it's going to make. I'm not even keen on picking up stitches around a bottom 'sole' like the ever popular "stay on" booties (you know the ones, knit a rectangle, pick up sts around the sides, knit in bands of reverse stockinette stitch....). I had never seen a baby bootie pattern using sock yarn that I liked either....usually sock yarn is just too flimsy and should be just for baby socks. But this pattern has been great!

The original written pattern is not great, however. The English translation does not seem to have been done by a knitter. Even I struggled a bit with the instructions. This is when Ravelry is great, because other people had posted what they had done too. I thought it might be nice to post an easy to understand English translation of the pattern, changed slightly to make it an easier knit.The first pair I knit are not here but were done with 18gr of leftover Kroy, in the red/orange/blue/green print. Easy peasy; to maximize the yarn (it's knit from the sole up), I knit the first one, but did not cut the yarn after casting off. Then I started the second one, knit till I ran out, then undid a couple rows of the first one, and evened them out. I gave them to our neighbour's 2 week old baby on Hallowe'en, along with a pumpkin hat for next year and a knit toy ball.
The next pair I did was the ones on the bottom left. It's brown Kroy 3 ply on the soles and Trekking XXL for the top. I had only a small amount of it left, and I tried to maximize it by doing the arch panel in the brown, but that was a bit of a bust. Being knit in the round, it makes intarsia difficult (not impossible though), but I was also doing two at a time magic loop...The top two pairs are done in Bernat Baby Soft...the last of the giant ball of yarn. I made a machine knit baby outfit (not sewn up yet) and needed booties for it (I'm also working on hats for it). I used 3.5mm needles, and made the pair on the right. I added a crocheted cord as they seemed a little loose around the top. They tie at the back because that's just how the holes worked out. I wanted a smaller pair, so instead of using smaller needles, I cast on 4sts less and knit 2 rows less in each section. The pair on the bottom right have been my 'purse knitting' and are done in an unlabelled sock yarn that I got at the Spinrite outlet so it's Kroy. They're a grey, white, blue marl. Very sophisticated.
So, here's my version of the Blue Steps baby booties:
18grm sock yarn, 2.75-3mm needles (base this on your yarn and whatever needles are empty),
2 markers make life easier.
Cast on 40st using Judy's Magic Cast On. If you haven't tried it, please do. It's a fabulous cast on. You'll have 20st on each needle. If you're using dpns, you might want to use a set of 5--these instructions will be for magic loop though.
Purl the first round. Mark the bumpy side as the 'right' side. It's easy to get a little confused in the first few rows, esp. if doing magic loop.
Knit 1 st, inc 1, knit to end of needle (or, the first 19st), inc before the last st, knit last st. Repeat with other needle. You will have increased 1 st at each end of each needle, 4st over the round.
Repeat these two rows, until you have 28sts on each needle; 56st total. Purl one row (optional--I just can't recall right now if I did or not).
Pattern Stitch:
Round 1: For the first stitch of the round, bring yarn forward. *sl1, YO, p1. Repeat from * (You need to bring the yarn forward at the start of the round, but from then on, after you do the YO, the yarn will be at the front for the purl st, and you slip that sl1 as if to purl. So, from the start of the round: yarn forward between needles, slip one as if to purl, yarn OVER the needle and bring it forward to purl 1. Slip 1 purlwise, yarn over and back to front, purl one....)
Round 2: Knit the stitch with the yarn over strand, purl 1. Repeat. These is often written as brk1, p1, as to mean "Brioche Knit 1".
Repeat these two rounds 7 times, for a total of 14 rounds. I find it easiest to count them from the inside.
Arch Decrease section:
Work the first 14st in pattern (row 1), place marker. *Sl1, k2tog, PSSO, p1. Repeat from * until there are 14 sts left, place marker and work last 14st in pattern (starts with a p1).
Round 1: Knit in pattern to first marker. Purl to second marker. Knit in pattern till end.
Round 2: Knit in pattern to first marker. K1, SSK, knit to 3 sts from next marker, k2tog, k1. Knit in pattern to end.
Repeat these two rounds until there are 16 sts on each needle (14 in the pattern, and 2 left from the decreasing section).
The next round will be a round 2 of the pattern st, so purl the 4 sts (2 on each needle) between the markers, removing the markers as you go.
Continue in the pattern stitch for 14 more rounds. Switch to knitting every round for 6-8 rounds (depending on how much yarn you have left and how much of a cuff you want), then cast off loosely. Weave in two ends!
I hope y'all make some little booties! It's an easy pattern to memorize once you make a pair and know the pattern. Again, I did not create the pattern; I'm just offering an English, slightly altered, version. Let me know if it works out, cause sometimes it's easy to over look little things when you're too familiar with it :)

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