They’re warm, they’re free, they’re stylish, and they’re perfect for charity knitting projects. Check out these delightful slipper patterns
A reader once wrote to me that one of her favorite charity knitting projects was house shoes, or slippers. She added, “I put puffy paint on the bottom to make them non-skid… usually I knit a pile of shoes, paint them, then mail them.”
She added that she usually sends these to cancer patients.
It struck me what a wonderful charity knitting project slippers can be. They are magnificent indulgences that, at the same time, are tremendously beneficial and practical.
Many charities and service organizations welcome knitted slippers:
- Cancer treatment centers and charities
- Domestic violence and homeless shelters and charities (like the Pink Slipper Project)
- Native American reservations (find knitting charities for reservations here!)
So, in this spirit, let’s take a look at a variety of free knitting patterns for slippers. You’ll find two categories: worked flat and worked in the round.
Slipper Patterns Worked in the Round
- What you’ll need to make them: 100 to 300 yards worsted weight yarn; US Size 6 DPNs and/or circular needles (depending on how you prefer to knit in the round); US Size 6 straight needles (optional–part of the pattern is knit flat, but you can always work back and forth on circular needles)
- Why you’ll want to: These slippers are knitted from the bottom up and are completely seamless. They stretch to fit a variety of feet, and the pattern includes several different sizes.
- What you’ll need to make them: 202 yards worsted weight yarn; US Size 9 DPNs and/or circular needles (depending on how you prefer to knit in the round)
- Why you’ll want to: I love the moccasin-like styling of these slippers! It’s an especially great pattern for beginners, particularly those who are new to circular knitting.
- What you’ll need to make them: 315 yards worsted weight yarn; US Size 7 circular needles and/or DPNs (depending on how you prefer to knit in the round; these are knit toe-up, so you’ll need circular needles for the set-up even if you generally prefer DPNs); stitch markers
- Why you’ll want to: Since it is knit toe-up, this you can try on this slipper pattern while you’re knitting it. I love the starburst-like design around the foot and the fact that it comes in multiple sizes. And it looks amazing in variegated yarn!
- What you’ll need to make them: 250 yards sport weight yarn (about 188 yards for main color and 62 for contrast) or 460 yards fingering weight yarn to be held double (about 345 yards for main color and 115 for contrast); US Size 4 DPNs and/or circular needles (depending on how you prefer to knit in the round); stitch markers
- Why you’ll want to: Available in both English and Finnish, this traditional pattern originated in the 1950s to 60s in Finland. It features an attractive striped design that’s unlike any slipper pattern you’ll see!
- What you’ll need to make them: 465 yards worsted weight feltable wool yarn; US Size 11 DPNs and/or circular needles (depending on how you prefer to knit in the round)
- Why you’ll want to: If the clog-like design of these slippers isn’t appealing enough, consider the durability and warmth factors. Felting the finished products nearly always makes woolen items last longer, and felted wool keeps toes toasty!
Flat Patterns for Slippers
- What you’ll need to make them: 500 yards worsted weight yarn; US Size 9 circular needle (this is to hold the many stitches, worked back and forth); stitch marker
- Why you’ll want to: This slipper pattern was created specifically for the Seamen’s Church Insitute-Christmas at Sea program. It serves hard-working mariners during the Christmas holidays. They look very much like heavy socks with their lengthy cuffs, and you can feel good knowing that they’ll keep chilly feet warm!
(To access the pattern, scroll down toward the bottom of the page, where you’ll find a list of links to several PDFs, including Nola’s Slippers.)
- What you’ll need to knit Women’s size: 306 yards bulky weight yarn; US Size 9 needles
- What you’ll need to knit Newborn size: 105 yards worsted weight yarn; US Size 6 needles
- Why you’ll want to: These adorable moccasin-styled slippers feature an unusual crocodilian-textured cuff that kick the style up a notch! I also love that it can be made for both baby and Mom.
- What you’ll need to make them: 2 to 7 different colors of DK-weight wool yarn (for a total of about 200 yards); US Size 10 needles
- Why you’ll want to: This pattern is the most portable on this list, and the knitting is definitely the simplest. You’ll simply knit 8 squares/diamonds and seam them together. (The seaming is the trickiest part because you’ll need to follow a specific pattern to do so.
For an especially endearing design, you can knit the squares in complementary colors.
With this collection of slipper patterns, you’ll never need to suffer cold toes again–and you can help folks in need all over the world stay warm too!