December 13, 2008

simple mary jane style booties, part 2!

update 4/14/09: i made some slight changes to the decreases in the pattern, which are in italics (some k2tog’s have been switched to ssk’s).  the ravelry pdf, and download links here and on my pattern page have all been updated.

pattern news! first, the patterns bar of my patterns + yarn page is up to date now, with haka added at the top as well as the free pdf download for the mary jane booties, so you can get all my patterns directly through that page now.

simple mary jane style booties simple mary jane style booties

so the big news is that i finally slightly redesigned the booties a little to make them fit better, so the pdf download of the pattern is the new version.  the only change really is that i added 2 stitches to the whole slipper, so the side comes up higher on the foot, and the whole thing stays on better.  also, i added more info about gauge and how the booties really work best if you use several strands of yarn for a super thick fabric.  i think some people’s sizing issues were a result of too-fine yarn, so this is pretty important.

simple mary jane style booties

speaking of sizing issues, knitter elisa was extremely awesome and commented on the original booties post with some very detailed changes she made for her particular feet, which are wide size 10/11, so i’m going to repost that comment at the bottom of this post for easy access.  if anyone else makes successful adjustments for their feet, that would be great if you wanted to post a comment here, so other knitters could use your advice.

simple mary jane style booties

other exciting booties update: to go with the redesign and pdf release of the slippers, they are on craftstylish with a detailed how-to for making the bottle cap buttons!!

bottle cap buttons! bottle cap buttons!

some useful links: mary jane style booties ravelry page, and download the pdf directly.

it just occurred to me that some might prefer to see the new version of the pattern here on the blog instead of downloading the pdf.  since i’m putting this all out there to the world for free, i’m just going to cut and paste the whole pdf text.  but please do only use this pattern for personal knitting/gifting, and charity knitting is fine with me.  here it is!

Whereas many slippers patterns are meant to be felted for a dense fabric, these are knit with extra bulky yarn on size 11 needles, making a super dense knit fabric, with no need to felt.  I like using up fuzzy yarn for comfy slippers – I recommend one strand of a fuzzy yarn with 2 or 3 strands of non-fuzzy.  They may be pretty silly looking, but they will keep your feet toasty!

sizing:  written for sizes small(medium, large) which are approximately shoe sizes (US women’s) 5-7(8-9, 10-11) – the booties stretch, and exact size will depend on exact gauge and yarn stretchiness.  (see the do stuff! blog post about this pattern for size adjustment suggestions.)

yarn:  super bulky or several strands held together (equivalent to about 4-5 strands of worsted).

gauge:  4.5 sts per 2 inches.  (a little more than 2sts/inch)

you need:
1 pair size US 11 straight needles
1 set (4) size US 11 double pointed needles
a crochet hook
a tapestry needle

note: updated 10/21/09 to add some stitch count numbers in italics.

cast on 18 stitches (leave at least 1 foot tail)
knit 4(6,6) rows
k4, k2tog, k6, k2tog, k4 (16)
knit 1 row
k3, k2tog, k6, k2tog, k3 (14)
knit 1 row

start strap section:
-LEFT-
cast on 12, knit across (26 stitches)
knit 3 rows
bind off 12, knit to end
knit 1 row (14)
-RIGHT-
knit 1 row
cast on 12, knit across (26 stitches)
knit 3 rows
bind off 12, knit to end (14)
(end strap section)

knit 2(4,6) rows
k1, make 1, k12, make 1, k1 (16)
knit 1 row
k1, make 1, k14, make 1, k1 (18)
knit all onto dpns – k7 onto 1st needle, k9 onto 2nd needle, k2 onto 3rd needle
cast on 4 (so that there are 6 sts on 3rd needle), join around, and knit 2 rounds. (22)

start toe decrease section:
(1st needle – k2, ssk, k3) (2nd needle – k7, k2tog) (3rd needle – knit all – 6 sts) (20)
knit 1(2,3) rounds (20)
(1st needle – k2, ssk, k2) (2nd needle – k6, k2tog) (3rd needle – knit all – 6 sts) (18)
knit 2 rounds (18)
(1st needle – k2, ssk, k1) (2nd needle – k5, k2tog) (3rd needle – knit all – 6 sts) (16)
knit 1 round (16)
(1st needle – k1, sk2p) (2nd needle – k4, slip 1 from 3rd needle to 2nd, k3tog) (3rd needle – knit all – 5 sts) (12)
(1st needle – ssk) (2nd needle – k2tog, k2tog, slip 1 from 3rd needle to 2nd, k2tog) (3rd needle – k1, k2tog, k1) (7)

cut yarn, thread through all stitches with a crochet hook, pull tight, tie, and weave in ends.
use the cast on tail to sew up the back, and weave in ends.
sew the straps over on the other sides and add a button, bottlecap, or whatever you want for embellishment.

a few notes:
you can use whichever cast-on methods you prefer; i use a long tail initially, and a single cast-on for the strap and toes.
the buttons are purely decorative – the straps are sewn down because it’s easy to get the slippers on and off with them.  if you wanted functioning buttons, you could add buttonholes at the ends of the straps.

and now for elisa’s redesign for her feet:

First, I cast on with 20 stitches and follow the large pattern. I have wide, size 10/11 feet and using only 16 stitches makes the area sort of above my arch too narrow (the six rows right after the strap). I also had to totally re-write the toe portion. I’m not entirely sure what I was doing wrong, but I always ended up with a super-pointy toe that was badly crooked (because of the knit all on the third dpn, which was one of the sides for me.)

When I knit onto the dpns, my first and third needles are the two uppers of the slipper, while the second needle is the sole. I’m not sure if this has to do with how I knit onto the dpns or what. But this is how I make the toe, if other people are having problems with offset toes:

knit onto dpns. k7 onto 1, k7 onto 2, k6 onto 3 (remember, I start with 20 stitches. If you’re working from 16, k2 onto the third needle and then cast on 4, like in the original instructions.)

join around and knit 2 rounds.
1st: k2, k2tog, k3. 2nd: k7. 3rd: k3, k2tog, k2.
knit 3 (1, 2, depending on size) rounds.
1st: k2, k2tog, k2. 2nd. k7. 3rd: k2, k2tog, k2.
knit 2 rounds.
1st: k2, k2tog, k1. 2nd: k7. 3rd: k1, k2tog, k2.
knit 1 round.
slip one stitch from 2nd onto 1st and 3rd, ending up with 5 stitches on each dpn.
k2tog, k1, k2tog on all three dpns.
knit 1 round.
cut yarn, thread through and pull tight, as in original instructions.

thank you so much elisa!!

and a note about my yarn choice for these booties – i’m guessing most knitters have some silly fuzzy/furry yarn in their stash from their early knitting days like i do.  i dug out some of this fuzzy reject yarn (no idea what it is, label is long gone) and combined it with an unearthed bulky acrylic and a strand of dk-ish unknown recycled to get my superduper thick fabric, and the booties are so soft and comfy.  i like to use yarns i don’t care too much about for slippers, yarns that can be thrown in the washing machine, since, especially with a kitten in the house, there’s a definite possibility of stepping in something.  so, a nice alpaca/angora/cashmere yarn would be even softer and nicer, but i prefer the silly fuzzy soft option that can be machine washed to the extra soft, be careful where i step, and hand-wash only option.  dig out that forgotten fuzz and make some slightly-ugly but way comfy house slippers!

Filed under: craftstylish,knitting,tutorials — leethal @ 9:12 pm
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  • Hess

    The left and right sections confuse me. It looks like they’re identical except an extra row on the left, and knitting an odd number of rows between cast-on and bind-off means that I’d be binding off from the opposite end of where the stitches were cast on…right? That doesn’t seem to make sense.

  • ELAINE FALK

    I’M HAVING A SIMPLIER PROBLEM AS HESS HAS EXPLAINED IN HER COMMENT. WHERE DO YOU CAST ON THE 12 STITCHES AND DO I USE A DIFFERENT SET OF NEEDLES? THE PATTERN IS A LITTLE CONFUSING. I HAVE EVERYTHING DONE UP TO WHERE YOU START THE STRAP AND CAN’T DO ANYMORE. I WOULD APPRECIATE ANY HELP YOU CAN GIVE ME. POLKAQUEEN

  • http://SIMPLEMARYJANESTYLEBOOTIES,PART2! ELAINE FALK

    I’M HAVING A SIMPLIER PROBLEM AS HESS HAS EXPLAINED IN HER COMMENT. WHERE DO YOU CAST ON THE 12 STITCHES AND DO I USE A DIFFERENT SET OF NEEDLES? THE PATTERN IS A LITTLE CONFUSING. I HAVE EVERYTHING DONE UP TO WHERE YOU START THE STRAP AND CAN’T DO ANYMORE. I WOULD APPRECIATE ANY HELP YOU CAN GIVE ME. POLKAQUEEN

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  • Hess

    The left and right sections confuse me. It looks like they're identical except an extra row on the left, and knitting an odd number of rows between cast-on and bind-off means that I'd be binding off from the opposite end of where the stitches were cast on…right? That doesn't seem to make sense.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/WCXLRVMIYJTDHQK5I5LV753OUY fuzzyfriend

    Thank you for this pattern. I made a pair for myself, but ended up with 2 of the same foot. It doesn't matter though. I love them. I want to send you a picture of them, but I don't know how to in the comments, so I am posting the link to my blog post with the picture.
    http://tanyastreasuresshescrafty.blogspot.com/2

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/WCXLRVMIYJTDHQK5I5LV753OUY fuzzyfriend

    Try using this method: http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2008/12/castin… .

    That is how I cast on th additional stitches. Your left and right strap will be 1 row different from each other, but you won't notice it.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/WCXLRVMIYJTDHQK5I5LV753OUY fuzzyfriend

    Try using this method: http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2008/12/castin… .

    That is how I cast on th additional stitches. Your left and right strap will be 1 row different from each other, but you won't notice it.

  • april

    I made these for myself and love them! I have been trying to figure out how to make them for my two daughters for christmas (ages 4 and 6), but I have not had any luck sizing down the pattern. Any tips for doing this? They have been begging me to make some slippers for them too :)

  • http://www.leethal.net/ Lee

    Hmm I would try just working with a smaller gauge – go down a few needle sizes with a finer yarn… I haven’t done it, but it should work in theory. Good luck!

  • Lynn

    I discovered your Mary Jane pattern a year or so ago and have made dozens! They are adored by all who I knit them for. I too (fuzzyfriend comment) made several same foot slippers till I came up with an easy guide. When you start to knit onto the dp needles, have the slipper strap on the right hand side of needle you are working them off of, then have the strap on the left side for the next slipper. Works for me every time. Thanks Lee for all your lovely and inspirational patterns. (((HUGS)))

  • Bporter795

    I made these slippers for myself and my daughter really liked them so i modified the size a bit.  Following the exact pattern I downsized the needle to 6mm and doubled my yarn.  This made a slipper that will easily fit a size 11 toddler foot.  It is a snug fit which she prefers so they don’t fall off

  • Sara White

    Is there a way to do this in the round?  I didn’t realize it was for four needles until I got to the place in the directions with it, and I already did so much in the round!  Thanks!

  • Bporter795

    I just continued with 2 needles and sewed the toe together at the end…it turned out well and you cant see or feel the seam because the slipper is bulky

  • seamstresss

    well I had to write it all out as my printer went out  also Im moving so dont know when I will start but im looking foreward to making also do we have to put  a foot sock in or nothing at all

  • http://www.facebook.com/killyourband Jaquelyn Symone Lambert

    what does knit 4(6,6) rows mean?

  • http://www.facebook.com/killyourband Jaquelyn Symone Lambert

    what does knit 4(6,6) rows mean?

  • Lynn

    It has to do with instructions for the size you are knitting. The sizes for this pattern are small, medium and large. For all sizes you cast on 18-stitches.

    Now, let’s say as an example you choose to make the small size. You would then throughout the pattern pay attention only to the first number, the one before the parenthesis 4 (6,6).

    If you chose to make a medium, you would watch the second number 4 (6,6).

    And, for the large size, the 3rd number 4(6,6). Pay attention because these numbers can change at points of the pattern.

    Hope that helps some. :)

  • Lauren

    I would love to try this pattern but I am confused by the strap section directions. Do you knit both slippers at the same time or do you knit left and right separately?

    Thanks.
    Lauren

  • http://www.leethal.net/ Lee

    Use the -left- pattern segment while making the left slipper, and use the -right- pattern segment while making the right slipper :)

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