Sturdy Slippers – Pattern

I have been meaning to post something here for a while thinking I hadn’t done so since May. It is only now I realise my last post was actually May last year – shameful!

Anyway, I took some notes on these little slippers when I first made them for Laira in January 2012. A month ago I had a lovely email asking for the pattern and so I began typing it up. Doing so was much harder than I thought, I ended up knitting two pairs just to make sure I had it right.

Now that I have it written up, it makes sense to share it with the world, though I certainly cannot guarantee that it make any sense.  Please do get in touch when you spot any of the inevitable mistakes/nonsense or if you have suggestions for improvements.


I like to knit these with quite rough or tweedy yarn and needles slightly on the small size to give a ‘sturdy’ effect. The size given is roughly 3-6 months. You can vary the size by changing the yarn and needles. Alternatively, once you have knitted a couple of pairs you can vary the length of the sole and number of stitches to get the desired size.

The sole is knitted flat, beginning at the heel. Without binding off, you then pick up the stitches all around the edge and knit in the round to build the upper. The only decrease is on either side of the toe. The strap is cast on either side of a few stitches at the back of the ankle without binding off.


  • 20g 4-ply / DK
  • 2.5 – 3.5 mm double pointed needles x 4 or 5
  • Darning needle
  • Stitch markers, if desired
  • 2 small buttons

CO – Cast on
BO – Bind off
s1pw – slip 1 purlwise
k – knit
p – purl
st – stitch
inc1 – make one by knitting through the front and then the back loop of the same stitch.
k2tog – knit two together
ssk – slip one, knit one, pass slipped stitch over. (slip, slip, pass both back again and knit through back loop.
RS – right side
WS – wrong side

One row or round per line unless otherwise stated.

CO 7 (I use a long-tail CO).
s1pw, k to end (WS).
s1pw, inc1, k to last 3 st, inc1, k2.
Repeat the last two rows until you have15 st.
k until there are a total of 19 ridges on the RS, excluding CO, slipping the first stitch of every row purlwise and ending with a WS row.
s1pw, ssk, k to last 3 st, k2tog, k1.
s1pw, k to end.
Repeat last two rows four times omitting the final knit row. (5 st).
With RS facing, pick up and knit one stitch from each slipped edge stitch all around the edge of the flat oval you have just made, plus 6 stitches across the cast on section (toe). This should give you 56 st. You should distribute the stitches across 3 or 4 needles, whichever you find more comfortable. If it helps, place a marker to signify the beginning of the round. Personally I like to have 10 st on one needle across the toe and then 23 st each on two needles for either side. If you prefer you can place the stitches across the heel on another needle though be sure to mark the beginning of the round with a stitch marker if you do this.

Round 1: p.
Round 2: k21, k2tog, k10, ssk, k21.
Round 3 and all following alternate rounds: p to end.
Round 4: k20, k2tog, k10, ssk, k20.
Round 6: k19, k2tog, k10, ssk, k19.
Round 8: k18, k2tog, k10, ssk, k18.
Round 10: k17, k2tog x3, k2, ssk x3, k17.
Round 12: k14, k2tog x3, k2, ssk x3, k14.
Round 14: k11, k2tog x3, k2, ssk x3, k11.
Round 15: p to end.
Round 16: p2, BO 34 purlwise, p2, k the 2 remaining stitches on to the same needle. (4 st)

Working flat:
CO 28, turn.
k5, YO, ssk, k25, CO 5, turn.
k to end, turn.
BO 32 knitwise, k to end, turn.
BO 5 purlwise.

Second Slipper
Work sole and upper as for first slipper.

Strap for second slipper
Working flat:
CO5, turn.
k9, CO 28, turn.
k5, YO, ssk, k to end, turn.
BO 5 knit wise, k 2 end, turn,
BO 32 purlwise.

Weave in ends and block. I like to cut out ovals of plastic (ice-cream tub lids) a little larger than the sole and block them over those. Sew a small button to each of the shorter strap ends.