To be clear, right off the top, these tiny feet have not yet materialized. Bed rest is continuing (successfully), and it turns out I wasn’t as done with the baby knits as I thought. I was pretty focused on knitting a new sweater for L until the end of last week when the weather turned chilly and I realized the baby didn’t really have any warm footwear.
Well, no warm footwear made by me, anyway. We of course have some cotton baby socks, tiny pants and sleepers with built-in feet, and a little fleece suit with fold-over hands and feet. But, since we’re having a winter baby, I felt like maybe some warmer footwear was in order.
So, I started with little shoes. These are definitely not going to fit the baby anytime soon (I would guess 6 months at the earliest), but they are very cute and there’s no harm in being prepared. Also, they took rather a lot of concentration — in part because they require crochet, which I am definitely not good at — and I don’t think I’ll have it in me to be that focused when I have a small baby to look after. So just as well that they’re ready to go!
I bought the sheepskin soles at Gaspereau Valley Fibres (which I deeply wish was my LYS) when I was visiting my family in Nova Scotia on Labour Day weekend. The soles came pre-punched (thank goodness) and I also got a pattern with them, since the shop had several pairs of these little slippers on display. The pattern, I’m sorry to say, was almost entirely useless to me (which is why I’m not naming it — no amount of Googling led me to a digital copy). It was photocopied from (I think) an issue of Interweave Knits, but did not come with the table that explained all the abbreviations. It also lacked a photo, and I neglected to take one of the shop samples, so I was kind of working blind. Not a huge deal for a basic knitting pattern, but the crochet portion, which starts everything off, was a very real challenge (for me. If you have ever crocheted before, I suspect it’s about as difficult as a knitting ribbing). I ended up just kind of crossing my fingers and going for it, and when my stitch counts didn’t come anywhere near the pattern’s, I just worked out my own numbers. I did have to knit and reknit the first slipper three times before I was happy with the shape (and, looking at the pictures, should probably have ripped out and redone the crochet, which is maybe a bit loose), but the end result seems like it will be cozy and warm, which was the whole point.
The yarn is all leftovers from a pair of socks I knit for my mum. My scale needs a battery, so I don’t know the exact amount of yarn I used, but I’d guess about 30 g for the main and maybe 10 g for the contrast. Definitely not very much. I added the i-cord ties (the pattern just has the ribbing) because babies are notorious for losing socks and shoes, since their feet are really too little to keep them on, and then once they discover they have feet, they delight in pulling socks off. In theory, the ties will help keep these on, but we’ll see.
After I finished the little shoes, and realized they’d be too big for the first little while, I decided to whip up some little socks. I went with tube socks, since there’s a way better chance of having those fit, and grow with the baby, than trying to guess a foot length and making a tiny gusset. That can come later, when I actually have a little foot to measure.
These were a bit tedious to knit, but are very satisfying to have finished. They are so small and adorable. These tiny tubes are also a great way to use up the leftover bits of sock yarn that are too big to throw out, but not really big enough to do anything with. I’d estimate these took about 12 g of yarn, which is not very much at all, and I for sure have enough of the yarn left to knit a third should one go missing (which it almost certainly will).
Despite being a bit tedious (small circles don’t grow as fast as it feels like they should), I so love the finished ones that I’ve already cast on for a second pair. These ones (in more leftover Fleece Artist, in the Blackberry colourway) will be slightly bigger, since babies grow pretty fast and I want to at least make myself think I’ll be ready for that. I actually cast on the same number of stitches, but I went up a needle size and this yarn is slightly heavier than the Alegría. I’ll also add a quarter inch or so to the length. I pulled a couple of other leftovers out of my stash and if this tiny sock bug sticks around I will be ready!
While I’m on this kick, are there any bootie/bootee patterns I should be looking at? Somehow, I’ve never knit any until now, but I am finding them so delightful that I suspect there are more in my near future. Please let me know your favourite baby footwear pattern(s) so I can add them to my list!