Saturday, December 27, 2014

Mother's Christmas Slippers

Grandma (“Mother” to my dad and his siblings) has become a bit difficult to gift for. She has been working for a few years on disposing of some of the piles of stuff she had taken to hoarding over the last twenty years. While the project is slow-going she is serious about it and about not wanting more stuff that she doesn’t really need coming into her house, so any gifts for her need to be of the use-it-up or wear-it-out variety. I didn’t want to just give her a gift card, but I only had a couple of days to produce a gift for her. What to do?


This is a simple single-crochet pattern that makes up in just a few hours. Each slipper is worked in one piece with just a short seam at the back of the heel. Rounds are not joined; the toe boxes are crocheted in a spiral.

You’ll notice that I specify turning the slipper inside-out to crochet the edging on. This is because I found that the novelty yarn stayed fluffy on the back of the work while the front of the work had the fluff all caught under the loops of yarn. By putting the edging on “backwards” I didn’t have to fluff it much once it was turned right-side-out. If you use a different kind of novelty yarn (or skip it altogether) you may want to work the edging with the slipper right-side-out. Experiment and decide what you like best.

There are lots of easy ways to change the look. You can skip the novelty yarn for a smoother design. They can be easily dressed up by adding bows or flowers, or by using a contrasting yarn for the edging around the opening. Exchange some rounds above the toes for back-and-forth rows and you’ll have room to add a strap for Mary Janes. The slippers are worked identically; there is no specific left or right. (But if you go the Mary Jane route remember to work the straps from opposite sides.)

Sizing: This slipper is stretchy enough to fit a wide range of sizes well. I would guess they’d fit about a size 7 up to a 10 or larger in U.S. women’s sizes as written. Grandma’s size 8 ½ feet are modeling the slippers below. Men’s sizes are roughly two numbers lower for the same measurements. To adjust for smaller or larger sizes just subtract or add rounds from above the toes and rows from the mid-section. I recommend decreasing or increasing in both sections evenly to keep the proportions from getting weird. It’s best if you can actually measure the length of the foot you’re making these for, then make them about an inch shorter than that when the slipper is not stretched.

Gauge: I actually forgot to note this before giving them away. I used a J hook with bulky (size 5) yarn, but I have a very tight tension and usually wind up going up 2 hook sizes when working from someone else’s pattern. Sorry, this is the best I can tell you right now. I’ll try to ask Grandma to measure the gauge for me.

1 skein Lion Brand Tweed Stripes [100% acrylic, 3 oz./85 g, 144 yds/132 m] color 206 Woodlands
small amount Bernat Disco [67% acetate/33% polyester, 1.75 oz./50 g, 52 yds/47 m] color Aqua Velvet
1 split ring stitch marker or a scrap of contrasting yarn
a yarn needle

See “Gauge,” above, for notes on hook size.

Make 2.

With Lion Brand Tweed Stripes make a magic ring.

Rnd 1: 6 sc into ring. Draw ring tight. Do not join.
Rnd 2: Work 2 sc into each st. [12 sts]
Rnd 3: *2 sc in the next st, 1 sc in the next st. Repeat around from * five times. [18 sts]
Rnd 4: 18 sc. [18 sts]
Rnd 5: *2 sc in the next st, 1 sc in the next st. Repeat around from * eight times. [27 sts] Place marker to help you count the next rounds.
Rnds 6 - 16: 27 sc.
Row 17: 9 sc. Turn. (Marker can be removed at this point.)
Rows 18 - 31: 20 sc. Turn.
Row 32: 6 sc, sc2tog, 4 sc, sc2tog, 6 sc. Turn.
Row 33: 6 sc, sc2tog, 2 sc, sc2tog, 6 sc. Turn.
Row 34: 6 sc, sc2tog twice, 6 sc. Turn.
Row 35: 5 sc, sc2tog twice, 5 sc.

Bind off, leaving a long tail. Use this tail to sew the back of the heel closed. Turn the slipper inside out to weave in ends.

Edging: With the slipper still inside-out, attach both the Lion Brand Tweed Stripe and the Bernat Disco at the top of the seam you just sewed. Holding the two strands together, sc around the opening of the slipper, crocheting 2 together at the corners where the rounds become rows. Slst the last st to the first st of the round. Bind off and weave in ends. Turn slipper right-side-out and gently fluff Bernat Disco as needed.

Happy Holidays!


  1. May have to try these. Thank you!

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  4. Aha! A good plan to use up some novelty yarn- doing edging like this is my usual "do" on projects (whether they are in the pattern or not, I almost always alter the published pattern somewhat for better fit, larger sizes, adding on embellishments etc) and I am a new crocheter. Once you learn how to crochet, you don't have to go by the pattern exactly round by round/row by row, you can adjust it to your liking, add novelty yarn edgings, etc. Yes I make my own patterns, and no to copyright a crochet pattern to me is just silliness- for the same reason they don't allow recipes to be copyrighted. I believe the same law should apply to crocheting as well. After all, its not rocket science! Thank you so much for this VERY EASY pattern. I may use it this year myself for gift making.

  5. I understand your viewpoint, Analog, and I haven't worried about copyright or licensing any crochet or knit patterns I've published yet. (Technically I hold copyright anyway, by law, but I mostly don't care.) But I haven't published much of any great difficulty level or likelihood that it would be picked up as a for-profit production piece. These slippers are nothing special in the way of design. No fancy stitches, no specialty yarn, and I'm not going to be producing them in quantity for sale myself. I'm happy to share the pattern. I will likely publish many more free patterns in the future, too.

    I do, however, have a couple patterns still in development (which is my way of saying they're somewhere between a WIP and a UFO) that I will eventually offer for sale on some level, either directly or to a newsstand/subscription magazine. Those pieces I might get a bit bent out of shape if someone started claiming it was their original design, because it could impact my sales.

    Yes, the patterns will probably be altered a bit by each person who follows one of them, but they will still be derivative of my design, my specific set of instructions. I'm not likely to mind people selling finished crocheted products from my design (that's not really my thing), but I would like to be credited for that design. Someone putting their name as designer on the piece (or worse, selling the pattern outright with their name on it) takes away from people who might see the piece or pattern and want to see what other patterns are available from the person who designed it.

    My work is my advertising. Someone else putting their name on my work is like stealing potential sales from me, at least on the patterns for which I care about that. :)