9/20/2013 – I’ve cleaned up this pattern and put it in pdf format. I’m not removing the original write-up here, but if you want the edited version, please go here and download the pdf version.
11/8/2011 – Note – I’ve updated this pattern to fix two errors in the original pattern.
I loved the way Saartje’s bootees look, but they have a ton of ends to weave in and sewing, especially for such a small object. A couple of other people have also come up with other ways of knitting these, but they are either fiddly or still have some sewing up to do. Instead, I figured out a way to knit them so that they are knit in the round from the top down with no sewing up to do whatsoever. In addition, the tail from the cast-on is used for part of the knitting so that there are only two ends (the starting and ending one) to be woven in at the end.
Cast on 40 (46) stitches using a cable cast-on, leaving a long-ish tail (don’t use the long-tail cast-on, you need the tail end to be on the opposite side after you cast on. And a “long-ish” tail is probably about 16 inches long if you were wondering…you could probably get by with 12, but I’d always prefer having too long a tail than cutting it short).
Slip the last stitch you cast on onto a crochet needle and chain 6 stitches. Slip the last loop chain-stitched back on the needle.
Work back and forth for the strap:
Row 1: K20 (23), P20 (23)
Row 2: P20 (23), K20 (23)
Row 3a: Take the long tail end from the cast on. Working from that end (i.e. the opposite end from where your working yarn going to the full ball is), slip the last stitch from that end onto a crochet needle and use the long tail to chain 6 stitches. Slip the last loop back on the needle. Then, continue to use the long-tail to BO 9 (11) stitches knit-wise. Take the 10th (12th) stitch (which has been knit at this point) and pass it over the 11th (13th) stitch. You should now have 30 (34) stitches remaining.
Row 3b: Go back to the end with the working yarn. BO 10 (12) stitches knitwise, K10 (11), P10 (11), then cast-on 21 (23)stitches (I use a cable-cast-on so it matches the cast-on for the top of the shoe, but any cast-on will work). Join and P10 (11). PM here. This will now be the beginning of the row (at the center of the heel). You now should have a circle of 41(45) stitches with the two straps flapping).
Main Part of Shoe worked in the round:
Row 4: K all sts.
Row 5: P all sts.
Row 6: K all sts
Row 7: P all sts
Row 8: K16 (18), * make 1 using backward e method , K1. Repeat from * 9 more times. K15 (17). 51 (55) sts in all.
Row 9: P all sts
(If you want to do two color booties, switch colors here)
Row 10: K all sts
Row 11: P all sts
Row 12-19: Repeat rows 10 & 11 four times.
Rows 20-21: For large booties only, repeat rows 10&11 one more time. For small booties, skip these rows.
Row 22: K2tog, K15 (17), SSK, K1, SSK, K7, K2tog, K 1, K2tog, K15 (17), SSK. 45 (49) sts in all.
Row 23: P all sts.
Row 24: K2tog, K14 (16), SSK, K1, SSK, K3, K2tog, K1, K2tog, K14 (16), SSK. 39 (43) sts in all.
Row 25: P all sts
Row 26: K2tog, K14 (16), SSK, K3, K2tog, K14 (16), SSK. 35 (39) sts in all.
Row 27: P all sts
Row 28: K2tog, K13 (15), SSK, K1, K2tog, K13 (15), SSK. 31(35) sts in all.
Row 29: P sts
Row 30: K14 (16), K2tog (will only have knit about 1/2 the stitches – this is to make grafting in garter st possible).
Put the 15 (17) sts just worked on one needle and the remainder of the needles on a second needle. Graft your stitches together garter-wise. Weave in ends and sew on buttons.