Pattern of
the Month

On the Needles
(...and Off the Needles)



Vintage Patterns

About the
Idle Hands

Archive entry for December 2012

« November 2012 | Main | January 2013 »

December 2012

Nursery Slippers


Toddler slippers for a quickly knitted Christmas gift. The top of each slipper is knitted, and is designed to be attached to a purchased leather sole. You could make your own out of leather (but be prepared to line it - perhaps with quilt batting and fabric, fleece fabric, or a shaped piece of knitting. If you design your own knitted sole you can make it non-slip by sewing on sole-shaped cut-outs from cushioned fabric ("slip-a-grip"); various brand options can be purchased on a roll from kitchen suppliers, or you can buy specialist sewing fabrics for this purpose.
Below I've added a great You Tube link for instructions on how to make your own non-slip soles.


Both slippers are worked alike. The following special abbreviation is used throughout the pattern, making a wide ribbed cable.

Tie 5: Insert right-hand needle between 5th and 6th stitches from point of left-hand needle, draw loop through and place on point of left-hand needle, then k2tog, p1, k1, p1, k1.

Both slippers are worked alike,

Slipper (make 2)

With No 11 needles, cast on 45 stitches and work 2½ inches in k1/p1 rib, rows on right side having a k1 at each end.
Break wool.

Slip first and last 6 stitches on safety-pins for heel.

With right side facing, rejoin wool to the centre 33 stitches and with No 9 needles continue in pattern for instep as follows:-

1st row: p4, (rib 5, p5) twice, rib 5, p4.
2nd row: k4, (rib 5, k5) twice, rib 5, k4.

Repeat the last 2 rows once more.

5th row: p4, tie 5, p5, rib 5, p5, tie 5, p.4.
6th row: as 2nd row.

Repeat 1st and 2nd rows twice more.

11th row: p4, rib 5, p5, tie 5, p5, rib 5, p4.
12th row: as 2nd row.

These 12 rows form pattern.

Repeat, them once more, then rows 1-6 inclusive again.

Continue in pattern decreasing 1 stitch at each end of next and following 2 alternate rows: 27 stitches remain.

Now decrease 1 stitch at each end of every row until 15 stitches remain. Cast off.

Join side edges of ribbing to form back seam.

For the heel:
Place the two sets of 6 stitches on a No 11 needle. With No 9
needles and right side facing, work in reversed stocking-
stitch as follows:-

Next row: p twice in 1st Stitch, p to last stitch, p twice in last stitch.
Next row: knit. Repeat the last 2 rows until there are 26 stitches ending with a knit row. Cast off.


Pin out patterned part and heel of each slipper and press on wrong side under a damp cloth, avoiding ribbing.
Sew slanting side edges of heel piece along side edge of instep piece as far as they will go without stretching; press seams.
Join back seam.

Pin tops to slipper soles and sew firmly in position.


2oz Double Knitting yarn in Lipstck Red.

One pair each No 11 (3mm) and No 9 (3¾mm) needles.

A pair of size 8 soles (about 25 or 26 european size).
[Editor's note: You can try a search for "knitted slipper soles". I came up with this one.


23 stitches by 31 rows to 4 inches over stocking stich on 3¾mm needles

Size matters

Designed "for a toddler" with some flexibility as to the size of sole chosen. For a larger slipper, experiment with thicker yarn and fit to a larger sole.

A word on the wool.

The original yarn recommended was a standard double knitting. Despite the tension being very slightly tighter than usual due to the 3¾mm needles used, I think a slightly heavier weight - an Aran weight perhaps - would be quite acceptable. A tighter fabric for slippers is probably more desirable.


In transposing any pattern it is always a risk that errors will be introduced, in spite of dedicated proof reading.
If you have any problems with this pattern, please and I will try and assist.

© Christina Coutts 2007

Helpful Stuff

Pattern Archive


Yarn Links

Fabric etc

Stuff to do

  • Little rabbits
  • V&A 1940s Patterns
  • Monkey Socks
  • Necktie Bag
  • Posh Gloves
  • Criss-cross coasters