Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Page 81 Booties

Hi Knitters,

Here is a peek at the cover for my second book, Itty-Bitty Nursery! I am so happy with the cover. The bear is made from all garter stitch squares, much like the booties I am about to share with you. This same bear is pictured in Itty-Bitty Hats above the dedication at the beginning of the book. I have been asked and emailed more times than I could count for this bear pattern. Well, soon it will be available in the new book. Also on the cover is a knitted tea set called The Cupcake Tea Set. This is one of my favorite all-time projects, so I am glad it made it to the cover. The other baby set is a hat, cardigan and bootie ensemble all made super easy, but with great style. It is set to be released in October 2007. Fun, fun, fun!

The other two patterns that I get requests for almost daily are both projects pictured on page 81 in Itty-Bitty Hats. Today I am going to give you a tutorial on how to make these booties. Let me start by saying I have seen variations of this same style of bootie done many times and many ways over the years. I didn't invent the folding technique for the toe and cuff. Anyway, here is my un-vented variation of these shoe-like booties.
Rowan Handknit Cotton, 2 skeins (the sample is knit in Shell #310)
Small amounts of cotton for rosebud embellishments (the sample has Rosebuds in Tahki Cotton Classic in peach and rose, and the leaves in Rowan Handknit Cotton in Celery, but any worsted weight yarn will do)
Size 3 needles
Yarn Needle

6 stitches per inch

Size: newborn (0-3 months, 3-6 months)

You will be knitting 6 garter stitch squares. Three squares are used for each bootie. I wanted to make a tightly knit fabric so when seamed together the squares would hold the form of the shoe. If you would like a looser fabric, you could use a larger needle when knitting your squares, just be sure to measure your gauge to figure out the square measurements. You need to have an exact square for all three pieces when putting each bootie together.

With Shell cast on 21 (24, 27) stitches. Work in garter stitch (knit every row) until the piece measures 3 1/2 (4, 4 1/2) inches from the cast on row. Bind off.

Repeat until you have 6 squares completed.
Take a look at the seams from the side. Let's start the sewing together of the squares and the folding.

1. Take 2 squares and lay them directly on top of each other. With a length of matching yarn and a yarn needle, whip stitch around all four sides of the square seaming the two squares together. Now you have a square that is a double thickness. This piece will be the toe and foot of the bootie.

2. Take one more square and fold it in half to form a triangle (see below). With a length of matching yarn and a yarn needle, whip stitch around the two edges to seam together. Now you have a triangle with one folded edge and two seamed edges. This piece will be used for the cuff of the bootie and is now a double thickness.
3) Take the double-thick square and fold 3 of the corners into the center, leaving the fourth corner alone. Sew these 2 seams together. You now have a toe that looks like an open envelope.
4) As shown above, the fourth corner will match up with the sewn corner of the triangle. The folded edge of the triangle is the cuff-edge of the bootie.
5) Because you have knitted equal sized squares these side edges will match up perfectly. Line up the sides of the foot piece with one of the sewn edges of the triangle, as shown above. With a yarn needle and a length of matching yarn, sew these edges together on both sides of the foot opening.
You have done it. Now you know the secret to these cute little booties. The patterns for the rosebuds and leaves are in Itty-Bitty Hats on pages 79-80. I am not allowed to re-print those patterns here.
Here are a couple of variations for you:
Tied booties:
Before you sew the triangle together, you could lay a length of ribbon, i-cord or braided yarn through the cuff before sewing the sides together. I pictured a pair of white booties with a braided tie a couple of posts ago.

Double-knit square for the foot:
For the foot piece of the bootie, instead of making two separate squares and sewing them together, you could use the double-knitting technique as follows:
Cast on 40 (48, 56) stitches.
(k1, slip 1) across the row. (For the slip 1: slip as if to purl with the yarn held in back)
Work every row like this until you have a piece measuring 3 1/2 (4, 4 1/2) inches from the cast on row.
Bind off.
Complete the cuff as described above. Fold and complete seams as described above.
I hope you enjoy. Please send me pictures if you get a chance.
best, susie