Improvement for the Pattern
If you want 8 holes for your ties instead of 7 (and you should), just add a yarn-over at the end of the eyelet round, then a knit 2 together at the beginning of the next round. It will then work out perfectly and also be more balanced-looking.
How This All Started
A friend of mine messaged me about this Knitting Project a little while ago. I decided to cook up my own version of Christine's Stay-On Baby Booties, which I first read about in this book. As always, the pattern is completely free, but please consider also making a pair for charity if you make some for a baby you know.
I was living in the wilds of North Carolina for the summer in 1999, and devouring every knitting book and magazine I could get my hands on. I scored a copy of Knitting Around at a PTA thrift store, but Knitting Tips & Trade Secrets also made a big impression on me. It was a small, well-thumbed paperback from the local library. The title alone made knitting sound, well, as important as it felt to me.
Thank goodness for libraries, because I can actually tell you about the book, in detail, because they have a copy here. If you want quick, well-illustrated pointers on making a long-tail (also called a half hitch) cast-on, getting started in the round, using a crochet hook to bind off, and about a metric ton of all sorts of things, this is the little book for you.
On page 26: If you slip the first stitch as if to knit and the second stitch as if to purl, your ssk will lie a little more neatly.
Page 46: Seamless Intarsia
Page 51: Using short rows to knit a button band at the same time as a sweater.
Page 52: Perfect Placement for Knit Buttonholes by The Right Reverend Richard Rutt, Bishop of Leicester, Leicester, England, who you may know about.
Page 68: The World's Simplest Knitted Slippers by Barbara G. Walker. Barbara Walker, people!
But, to focus on the booties for a second, page 66 includes the story of Christine's Stay-On Booties, complete with the same drawing on the webpage I linked to above.
I do love these booties and I have made many pairs of them over the years, usually in doubled sock yarn. However, this time, I had some leftover worsted-weight yarn from my Mostly Sideways Raglan Baby Sweater, and I thought it would be nice to have some booties to go with it.
I couldn't find a gauge for the booties, but fingering weight often works up to around 7 stitches/inch. I estimated 5 stitches/inch for my worsted-weight yarn on #7 needles. In this case, I skipped the gauge swatch because the project was so teeny-tiny. The next steps involved a little math, a little scribbling, and a LOT of rounding up and down. It was an easy pattern to convert in gauge because all of the measurements are given in rows and stitches instead of inches. I also made the top of the bootie in garter stitch, instead of stockinette. I think it looks great.
It all starts with 7 stitches, knit back and forth in garter stitch, until you have 12 ridges (24 rows). That makes the adorable, so-super-cute sole, and you go on from there. Complete instructions are linked with the PDF on this page.
I don't have a baby to check sizes, but I found a great chart with foot lengths to help serve as a guide.
The next change came from 2 factors.
1) I did not want to make i-cord for ties.
2) I did not remember how to make mitten cords for ties (My library has this book, too, but I wanted to finish these booties on that particular night, and the library was already closed. Also, I'm not sure what circle of which disorganized afterlife is reserved for people who get library copies of books they own but can't find in their big pile of unopened knitting book boxes. So, I'd rather not risk it.)
I made a video tutorial for those of you who have forgotten how. There is a link just below the podcast on the upper right of this page.
This week, I talk with Sara Heller Baldwin, who goes by shbknits on Ravelry. We talk about fiber dyeing, experimentation and Brioche Ribbing.
A First Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker