14 Free Boot Cuff/Topper Patterns to Solve the Single Skein Puzzle

Have you purchased a single skein of yarn on impulse… again? Here are 14 fabulous ways to use that yarn – and make your boots cute, to boot!

Boot cuffs & toppers

Have you ever purchased a single skein of gorgeous yarn on an impulse… and then had no earthly idea what you would do with it?

I must confess that I have done this more often than I probably should! It’s especially dangerous when I’m in a yarn shop. The yarn shop closest to me is a good 35 to 40 minutes away, so I can’t just pop in while I’m running errands. I have to plan my excursions.

And, honestly, after traveling for that kind of time, I always feel compelled to buy something. (It doesn’t help that I feel a personal responsibility to help keep local yarn shops afloat.)

This usually results in my buying a single skein of something that just looked too good to pass up… without any idea as to what I’ll do with it. 👀

Fortunately, I have the perfect solution to the impulse-single-skein purchase: Boot Toppers/Cuffs!

These may very well be the ultimate instant-gratification project. Not only do they knit incredibly quickly, but you can also then slip them right over your boots (or just under and above the tops of them). In an instant, you add interest to whatever you’re wearing.

I’ve knitted a few pairs of boot toppers, and I really loved how warm they kept the tops of my legs. I also enjoy how they make my boring black boots bright and cheerful.

Boot toppers and cuffs have another fun benefit: you can try out new stitch patterns and see how you like knitting them and their result. It’s almost like swatching, only you end up with a product that’s both fun and practical.

In short, boot toppers and cuffs are a fantastic way to use an impulse single-skein purchase. So how would you like a collection of free patterns?

A quick note on the words “boot toppers” and “boot cuffs.” Though they’re often used interchangeably, they are actually two different types of patterns.

You’ll slip boot toppers over your boots and position them at the top. Boot cuffs, on the other hand, rest on your leg — under the tops of your boots. You’ll then position them so that they extend above the boot.

I’ve divided this list into the two classifications to make it easy to find the type you want!

Boot Cuff Knitting Patterns

Easiest Boot Cuffs: True to its name, this is probably the simplest kind of boot cuff you can make. You’ll rib the entire cuff for a snug, secure fit.

Color Block Boot Cuffs - Alice Humbracht
Color Block Boot Cuffs
Photo: Alice Humbracht

Color Block Boot Cuffs: These couldn’t be simpler: an equal amount of each of two colors of yarn gives you cuffs that can be worn two ways, depending on which color you want showing. (They’re called “cuffs” but the way they’re worn make them appear to be more like toppers.) A fun idea!

Lacy Boot Cuffs: These cuffs are a little longer than most and feature a pretty textured lace pattern. Skacel bills them as “boot socks without heels to turn.”

If you continue scrolling down the page, you’ll find two additional patterns. There’s a cute cuff with a fuzzy (sheep-like?) top called “Baa Baa Boot Cuff.”  You’ll also see a brightly-colored and textured pattern called “SimpliStylish Boot Cuff.”

Double Kick Boot Cuffs: These charming cuffs have two different sides: one side has seed stitch, the other farrow rib, with stockinette in between. The fun is that you can switch the side you want peeking out of your boots, depending on your mood.

Double Kick Boot Cuffs
Double Kick Boot Cuffs
Photo: Kim Gourieux
Hali Boot Cuffs
Hali Boot Cuffs
Photo: Heather Walton

Hali Boot Cuffs: At first glance these appear to be a simple ribbed cuff, but when you look closer you realize it actually features a mock cable stitch. Quite stylish!

Boot Cuff “Love”: The seed stitch pattern used in this pattern creates tiny “hearts” that provides its name.

Crested Boot Cuff: This may be the smallest cuff on the list, but its beautiful fan-and-feather design packs quite a punch!

Simple Cable Boot Cuffs
Simple Cable Boot Cuff
Photo: Sarah Leslie

Simple Cable Boot Cuffs: As the name implies, these cuffs feature a fairly basic — but still very pretty — cable pattern. If you’ve never knit cables before, this pattern would be a great place to start! (Scroll down a little to access the pattern.)

Aran Braided Boot Cuffs - Luke Waltrip
Aran Braided Boot Cuffs
Photo: Luke Waltrip

Aran Braided Boot Cuffs: Finally, for an even more complex cable, check out this exciting pattern. I just love the gorgeous look of these braided cables!

Boot Topper Knitting Patterns

Boot Toppers - Brown Sheep
Boot Toppers
Photo: Brown Sheep Company

Basketweave Boot Toppers: I just love basketweave stitch patterns; they look so clever, yet they’re so simple to knit. This basketweave pattern gives a lovely kick to these boot toppers.

Boot Toppers: A lovely colorwork design gives this simply named pattern a tremendous kick. (You might want to check out some of the other projects to see the beauty of the colorwork pattern, as the yarn colors shown here make the design a little difficult to see.)

Helmikuu Boot Toppers
Helmikuu Boot Toppers
Photo: Sunshine Ravioli on Ravelry

Helmikuu Boot Toppers: I love the look of these toppers, with its layers of cables. This is a great pattern in which to try tackling a more complex cable.

Owl Boot Toppers
Owl Boot Toppers

Owl Boot Toppers: One thing you should know about me: I love owls. Absolutely love them. So to me, these boot toppers are the cutest thing. I couldn’t resist knitting a pair (with another of my impulse-yarn purchases), and I love them!

UGG Hug Boot Toppers
UGG HUG Boot Toppers
Photo: Alexandra Davidoff

UGG HUG Boot Toppers: These are named for the kind of boot they were made to fit on top of, but I think they’d work well for any chunky boot. I love the dueling set of cables featured in this topper.

I hope you’ve found some delightful new patterns that caught your eye. These make great gifts as well, and they’re likely to make exceptional fundraising projects, too. So get knitting and let’s make some boots pop!

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