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!
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.
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!)
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.
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!
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! 🙂
Here’s the complete printable pattern.
Simple Knit Slippers
- US Size 7 Knitting Needles
- 2 ozs of "4" weight yarn (worsted weight)
- Large eye blunt needle
- 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.
- Cast On:Cast on 32 stitches
- Begin Pattern:Rows 1 – 4: KnitRow 5 (short row): Knit 20, turn.Row 6: Slip 1 purlwise, Purl 19Repeat 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.
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