4 balls of yarn. 34 rows of stitches. That’s all you’ll need to knit a pair of children’s slippers fast!
Years ago, my family went to a Christian music festival with our church. It served as our first-ever camping trip as well.
One might think that a camping trip would not be difficult to pack for, and yet, I found I had not anticipated a few things. Like, for instance, how very cold it became at night. (It was a summer festival, but it was also a summer festival in Ohio.)
During the first night, I realized that my younger daughter–who, at the time, was only about 9 months old–suffered from very chilly feet.
I had recently become a knitter, and in a rather delightful coincidence, my latest knitting project was a pair of flat-knitted tube socks made with worsted weight yarn. I finished that project rather quickly, and guess who those socks fit perfectly?
That’s right: my younger daughter! Yes, the tube socks weren’t actually designed for a baby, but that made them all the better for her. They fit over her feet and her sweet baby calves, all the way up to the knee. From that night on, she slept with toasty tootsies.
That experience served as a constant reminder to me of just how even the simplest knitting projects can truly save the day in difficult circumstances. It also continues to remind me of the importance of foot-warmers for young people!
Children’s Slippers: Too Tricky for a Beginner?
Children’s slippers are a highly sought-after knitting project for charity. Homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, and service organizations on the Pine Ridge Reservation all love receiving slippers.
But you may have heard that slippers are too difficult for a beginning knitter to make. Or, you might be a more advanced knitter who believes that you can’t make a bunch of slippers in a short amount of time.
Or you might be eager to knit for children, but you want to be able to zone out with your knitting. Surely you can’t do that with slippers.
…or can you?
I’m here to tell you that you can!
What You Need to Make Slippers–and What You Don’t Need
Here’s a brief list of what you don’t need to knit slippers for children.
- A lot of yarn
- Circular needles or DPNs
- Knitting in the round
Yes, you read that last one right. You don’t even need to purl to create these slippers!
Now here’s a list of what you will need to knit slippers for children.
- 8 oz worsted weight yarn. This is for both slippers. And it does not have to be all the same color!
- US size 15 knitting needles – these can be straight or circular, whichever you have.
- Knowledge of how to cast on, create knit stitches, knit two together, and bind off.
- Yarn/tapestry needle
(Note that the cast-on can be any method. So can the bind-off.)
Directions for the Easiest Children’s Slippers Ever
Excited yet? I hope so! Gather up your yarn and your needles, and let’s get knitting! (You may want to grab either a row counter or a notebook and pen or pencil to keep track of your rows.)
Also, note that if you have a nice long set of circular needles, you can easily knit these slippers two at a time! And you don’t have to do anything fancy; just cast on one set of stitches, move them to the circular cable, and then cast on the second set of stitches. Then, simply knit across each slipper.
(Just be sure you drop the yarn for one slipper before picking up the yarn for the second!)
1. From your 4 balls of yarn, hold together the 4 yarn ends as if it were one strand–one big bulky strand of yarn! Cast on 30 stitches.
2. Rows 1 – 13: Knit all stitches.
3. R14 and 15: Bind off 5 stitches, knit to end.
4. R16 and 17: Bind off 1 stitch, knit to end.
5. R18 – 25: Knit all stitches.
6. R26: Knit 5, knit 2 stitches together (K2tog), knit 4, K2tog, knit 5.
7. R27 – 32: Knit all stitches.
8. R33: K2tog across.
9. R34: Bind off all stitches. This creates the toe portion of the slipper.
10. Fold the slipper together. You’ll bring the short edges together and fold the cast-on stitches (which make up the back seam of the slipper) in half. With your yarn/tapestry needle, seam together the top of the foot and up the front of the leg. Then seam the back of slipper.
Repeat this process for the second slipper. (Of course, if you’re knitting both slippers at the same time, you get to skip this step!)
If you’re an experienced knitter, you’ll find that a set of children’s slippers might take a few hours. In a couple of weeks, you could have several pairs of slippers to donate!
As you gain experience with this incredibly simple pattern, you can make adjustments. You could, for instance, cast on more stitches to create a broader slipper. You could repeat steps 2 and/or 5 for more rows to create a higher cuff and/or a longer foot.
To make smaller slippers, you could do the opposite. Or, you could use 100% wool yarn and felt the slippers after knitting them.
I hope you’ll agree that this slipper pattern is perfect in so many ways. It’s perfect for the beginning knitter. It’s perfect for the more experienced knitter. And it’s perfect for anyone who wants to knit children’s slippers for charity and help keep little feet from getting frosty!