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Felted Baby Booties

These knitted and felted Baby Booties are quickly knitted, toasty warm and very practical, because they are closed with a velcro fastener and thus stay on foot.
I have made them for my son and many other babies, and I haven't found a mother yet who did not love them.

I always use a handspun two-ply yarn with which I knit to a gauge of 18 stitches per 10 cm and 28 rows per 10 cm with a needle #4 (European size) before felting.
Please remember that every yarn felts differently according to different ways of spinning or dyeing. Luckily, these booties are such a fast knit that you can experiment which yarn or size you like best, and I'm sure there is always a baby somewhere whose feet have the right size. ;-) But of course, it's always better if the booties are bigger than needed rather than too small.
Please be sure that your knitting is not too dense before felting in order to give your knitting space to actually felt. If it's too dense before, the felt will become very very thick. This may be desired, but keep it in mind.

You need:

ca. 50 gr yarn of a good felting quality
set of # 4 (European) dpns or size to get desired gauge
1 stitch marker
blunt tapstry needle
velcro fastener to sew on booties
strong sewing thread

Smallest size

Start at the upper edge.

1. With two dpns, cast on 17 stitches. Knit in stocking stitch for 16 rows. Break yarn.
Cast on 17 stitches and knit in stockinette stitch a second yarn. Do not break yarn and take both knitted parts on one needle. Knit two rows of stocking stitch over 34 stitches.

2. For the instep, put the first and last 11 stitches on a stitch holder or spare needle and knit 24 rows of stocking stitch over the 12 middle stitches. Break yarn.
Start knitting again in stocking stitch at the beginning of the row. Knit 11 stitches from first stitch holder, pick up and knit 12 stitches on right side of instep, knit 12 stitches from upper edge of instep, pick up and knit 12 stitches from left side of instep, knit 11 stitches from second stitch holder. 58 stitches altogether.
Knit another 9 rows in stocking stitch, ending having just knitted a purl row.

3. Place a stitch marker between stitches 29 and 30 to mark the middle.
In the next row (front row), begin decreasing as follows:
Knit first and second stitch together using ssk. Knit the two stitches before middle marker together using ssk. Knit first and second stitch after middle marker together. Knit next to last and last stitch together. 54 stitches.
Purl next row.
Continue to decrease 4 stitches every front row, using ssk in the first half (first two stitches and last two stitches before marker), and k2tog in the second half (first two stitches after marker and last two stitches of the row). That way you decrease 4 stitches every front row and purl every back row until there are 34 stitches left on the needle.
Cast off. Sew together sole seam and back seam.

4. To knit the closure flap, count 5 rows down from upper edge, and 5 stitches either to the left or to the right of the middle gap ( to the left: right bootie, to the right: left bootie).
Pick up and knit 12 stitches downwards. You can change the amount of stitches depending on how broad you want the flap to be. Knit ca. 30 rows in stocking stitch. Cast off.
Sew up all yarn ends.

To felt, I use my washing machine at a heat of 50° C with a mild detergent.
If you want more felting but no higher temperature, throw some tennis balls in, too.
Booties for newborns should be ca. 10 cm long. When booties are felted to the desired size, pull them into shape and let dry thoroughly.
Cut desired length of velcro tape and sew one side to closure flap, other side to matching place on bootie shaft. Remember that the bootie should not close too tight.

As I said above, newborn size is ca. 10 cm. 3-6 months old babies need ca. 11,5 cm and 6-12 months old babies need 12,5 cm.
You can vary size by going up with needle size or using thicker yarn. If you want to make a major size change, do not only cast on more stitches, but also the instep should be considerably longer and more stitches have to be picked up from the instep sides.
I also used liquid latex for the soles of my toddler in order to prevent slipping.

I have some ideas about stitching on felted booties or adding pearls and things.
It would be nice to knit booties in garter stitch and make a Baby Surprise Cardi from the same yarn to match.

Feel free to use and enjoy this pattern in any way you like.
Please contact me if you have questions or comments!

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