Simple Knit Slippers {Free Pattern}

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Making your own slippers is a fast and fun little knitting project that’s practical too. It only takes a couple hours to whip up a pair of knitted slippers and when you’re done you’ve created the equivalent of cozy little sweaters for your feet. If your feet are cold, the rest of you will feel cold too, so let’s solve that problem with some homemade slippers!

Knit slippers with pom poms

The knit slipper pattern I’m sharing here today is one I’ve been making for almost 30 years. It’s my slight adaptation of a pattern I got from a magazine back before the internet days when I had to send a self-addressed stamped envelope and wait for them to mail it back to me. My goodness, that seems like ancient history now! And over the course of all these years as I’ve looked at other knit slipper patterns, I don’t think I’ve ever come across another one that uses the same method as this pattern. I’ve always liked that this pattern can easily create different styles too depending on if you want stripes, pom poms, or just something basic.

Knit slippers made two different ways

What seems to make this knit slipper pattern a little different is that it uses short rows for the shaping. This is a simple way to create a flat finished piece made on two needles that’s narrower on one end than the other. The narrower end can then be easily sewn to create the toe of the slipper. If you’re not familiar with how to do short rows, here’s a quick little video of knitting these short row slippers:

The short rows also give you a way to add stripes if you wish. Having a way to add a second contrasting color in the pattern is a good way to use up leftover yarns too. (You can also make them in favorite team colors – here I am with my feet propped up, all warm and comfy, watching the big game in my University of Michigan slippers!)

Homemade knit slippers in University of Michigan colors

This pattern uses basic 4 weight yarn (worsted weight) and is also a bit forgiving when it comes to the gauge because the slippers will stretch to fit around your foot. As long as you are getting about 3.5 to 4 stitches per inch, all turns out well. You want your finished piece to be about 5″ tall at the toe edge, 7″ tall at the heel edge, and about 8.5″ wide.

How to knit slippers

You will need about 2 ounces of yarn to make a pair of slippers (I figure about 1 oz in total of whatever colors I am using per slipper).

Finally, you can finish up with a decorative pom pom if you wish. I just bought myself a new Pom Pom Maker and found that I like the 1-3/8″ size with these slippers. Sometimes I add a pom pom, but other times I prefer them without because then they feel more like a “slipper sock” to me.

My favorite time to wear these slippers is when I’m just sitting around in the evening watching TV, web surfing, or knitting. Even though the basic bootie version might not look so fancy, it’s the one I tend to grab first for just sitting around!

Homemade knit slippers

My elderly Dad likes to wear these slippers to bed because he said his feet were always cold at night. Several times he has asked me to make him another pair and I would say, “Dad, don’t your feet get way too hot at night under the blankets with those slippers on?”, and he tells me “No, they’re perfect!” (See notes in the pattern below to adjust for Mens size).

So enjoy the creativity that comes with this pattern. You can make striped slippers. You can make plain slippers. You can make variegated slippers. You can make pom pom slippers. When you make your own, it’s up to you! 🙂

More Knitting Ideas:

Simple Knit Slippers

Keep your toes toasty with these simple knitted slippers that use short rows for easy shaping. The short rows can be worked in a second color to create stripes if you wish, and pom poms can be added for a finishing touch too.
Gauge: Because these slippers stretch around your feet, gauge is not too critical, however you will have best results with a gauge of about 3.5 sts to 4 sts per inch.
Author: Beverly

Materials:

  • US Size 7 Knitting Needles
  • 2 ozs "4" weight yarn (worsted weight)
  • Large eye blunt needle

Instructions:

  • Cast On:
    Cast on 32 stitches
  • Begin Pattern:
    Rows 1 – 4: Knit
    Row 5 (short row): Knit 20, turn.
    Row 6: Slip 1 purlwise, Purl 19
    Repeat rows 1 through 6 seven more times. (This will give you a total of 8 short row stripes).
    Then work rows 1 through 4 one more time.
    Bind off, leaving a long tail when cutting the yarn.
    You should now have a flat piece that measures about 5" tall at the toe end, 7" tall at the heel end, and is about 8½" wide.
  • Sew the slipper together:
    Thread the long tail of yarn into the large eye blunt needle, and then run the yarn through the end of the rows at the toe edge and pull to gather together. Then sew the cast on edge and the bound off edge together for 4½" to create the instep. Tie off yarn, cut, and weave in the end.
    Fold slipper in half, and with a separate piece of yarn, sew the back edges together to create the heel.
    Optional: Using a pom pom maker, create a pom pom of about a 1½" size and sew to the top of the slipper.

Notes:

To make striped slippers:  Work rows 5 and 6 of the pattern in a contrasting color.
To make Mens slippers:  Use a size 8 needle, cast on 38 stitches, and work 25 stitches for the short rows. Work the pattern rows one additional time (so that you have nine short row stripes). You may also wish to sew the instep for 5″ for a mens slippers.

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12 Comments

  1. I want to make these slippers, but I need a little more cushion on the bottom. Can I make them larger and insert a foot insert? Or attach them somehow to the bottom of “flip flops?

    1. Hmmm, I’m not sure if that will work. You could perhaps try inserting something like the Dr. Scholl inserts but I think they might slide around unless you secure them somehow with a few stitches sewn through them and onto the slipper.

  2. I remember my grandma making these every year for me for Christmas. I loved them and I am so happy to have found the pattern. However I also remember that the slippers always seemed to stretch out of shape and not fit after awhile. Is there anyway of preventing that?

    Thank you,
    Cherie

    1. About the only solution I could think of would be to have the slipper knit to a size that it has to stretch a bit to get on your foot, but not stretch so much that the yarn loses its elasticity over time. If you find the slipper fits very tightly, maybe go up a needle size so that it fits without too much stretching being needed.

  3. In the pattern it says a yarn weight of 4, what ply is that. In Ew Zealand the yarn is 4 ply, 8 ply, etc

  4. Thank you for this pattern. I have been looking for it for a while. My neighbor gave me a pair knitted by her mum some time ago but now she’s too old to knit so I’d like to return the favour and I need some new ones for myself.

    1. When it comes to the stitch count for the slippers you want about two thirds of the stitches used for the short rows (the body of the slipper) and about one third of the stitches for the toe area. So for example, if we are going to make a child’s slipper about 6″ in length and our gauge is 4 stitches per inch, we’ll need to cast on about 24 stitches. Then I would try doing short rows of maybe 16 stitches (which would be about 2/3 of the stitches). You would probably not need to repeat the pattern as many times as for the adult slippers either. So that is how I would go about calculating to adapt the pattern for different sizes if you want to give it a try.

    1. Yes, this pattern is a 6 row repeat. The first four rows are knitting all 32 stitches in the row, and the 5th and 6th rows are the short rows. So after the 6th row, the pattern sequence begins again (knitting all the stitches in the row in garter stitch for 4 rows, followed by the 2 short rows).