Every baby needs a few pairs of wool booties to keep little toes warm and snug during the first year before shoes are needed, writes Hadley Fierlinger in "Vintage Knits for Modern Babies" (Ten Speed Press). These easy-to-knit booties stay on kicking little feet with the help of tiny pom-pom ties. (See instructions at the end of this piece for how to make the pom-poms.) After baby has grown out of them, save them in a memory box for the child to see how tiny his or her feet once were.
Skill Level: Beginner/intermediate
0–3 (3–6, 6–12) months
1 (1, 1) 50 g ball RYC Cashsoft Baby DK (57% extra-fine merino, 33% microfiber, 10% cashmere; 143 yds [130 m]) in #801 Horseradish
US 3 (3.25 mm) straight needles
US 6 (4 mm) straight needles
2 twisted cords 12" (30 cm) long
4 (1" [2.5 cm]) pom-poms
Needle and thread to match yarn
22 sts and 28 rows make 4" (10 cm)
on larger needles in garter st
BOOTIE (Make 2)
Begin at center of sole.
On larger needles, CO 27 (33, 39) sts.
Row 1 and all odd rows: Knit.
Row 2: K1, *inc1, k10 (13, 16), inc1; rep from * once—31 (37, 43) sts.
Row 4: K1, *inc1, k12 (15, 18), inc1, k1; rep from * once—35 (41, 47) sts.
Row 6: K1, *inc1, k14 (17, 20), inc1; rep from * once—39 (45, 51) sts.
Row 8: K1, *inc1, k16 (19, 22), inc1, k1; rep from * once—43 (49, 55) sts.
Knit 5 (7, 9) rows.
Row 1: K24 (28, 30), k2tog tbl, turn.
Row 2: (K1, p1) 2 (3, 3) times, k1, p2tog, turn.
Row 3: (P1, k1) 2 (3, 3) times, p1, k2tog tbl, turn.
Row 4: (K1, p1) 2 (3, 3) times, k1, p2tog, turn.
Repeat Rows 3–4 until 31 (33, 37) sts rem.
Next row: (P1, k1) 2 (3, 3) times, p1, k2tog tbl, knit to end—30 (32, 36) sts.
Change to smaller needles.
Knit 2 rows.
Next row (eyelet row): K2, *yo, k2tog; rep from * to end.
Knit 15 (17, 17) rows.
Join back, heel, and sole seam. Thread twisted cord through eyelets of each bootie, and sew pom-poms to ends of cords.
Pom-poms are easy to make and add a vintage element to the tops of caps and hoods or the ends of cords.
To make them, cut 2 circular pieces of cardboard the width of the desired pom-pom (cereal boxes are a good source of cardboard), and cut a center hole in each. Holding the two circles together, insert your yarn needle and desired yarn through the hole and around the outside of the cardboard many times, working around the circle. When you can’t fit the needle through the hole any longer, you are finished.
Pull the two cardboard circles apart, and cut the yarn between them around the circle. Tie a length of yarn tightly around the strands between the two circles. Remove the cardboard, and trim the pom-pom to size.
Reprinted with permission from "Vintage Knits for Modern Babies" by Hadley Fierlinger (Ten Speed Press). Photo Credit: Angela Lang.