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Simple House Slippers

simplehouseslipper

These house slippers are my comfort knitting. They are the the kind of thing you cast-on while contemplating the next big project, no worries just easy practical work. Usually they only take an evening to make and because of this they are a brilliant project to practise one of my favourite things; modify, rinse, repeat.

When I start making these I dont stop until I have at least 3 pair. This whole process of knitting the same thing several times is a joy I discovered late. I attacked knitting very hungrily when I first found it, wanting to learn everything and preferably last week. So for a long time I only knit things I had never tried before. It was all very no pain – no gain.

Ok so maybe mostly gain and not that much pain, but never the less it is great to have a little arsenal of go-to patterns that you know by heart. Somehow it feels like that is what I am working on now. These slippers are always needed in my wardrobe and making them provides a simple basic canvas for experimentation and immersion. By now I feel like I have all the kinks worked out, this leaves a lot of space to just play around with the colors, marl and different textures. I find the whole process incredibly meditative and almost a bit ritualistic.

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To me this model is something of a classic. I know an amazing 93 year old woman who says she’s been making similar ones since the 50’s, at least, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve been around for longer. There are several great versions out there; The awesome cultish color schemes of Mieke Willems, The moccasin-like toe of Anna Mcclurg, Handepande’s Simple Garter Stitch slippers, although constructed differently has a similar feel and then there is Meg Strong and Karen Templers remake of a 60’s pattern Tootsie Toasters.

I’ve looked at all of them, but over time I’ve developed my own method. The simplicity of the garter and stockinette stitch is initially what attracted me to them, so I’ve tried to keep it as minimal as possible, with a few little twists of course! Initially I knit these for my boyfriend, but found that a regular toe didn’t work well with his long feet. So after trying a few different approaches I ended up with a model inspired by a standard mitten top. The extra decreases in the middle means that the toe is finished over fewer rows and has that nice little X pattern. They are very rounded, which makes them look cute on my size 36 feet and not overly pointy on my Boyfriends 45’s. It might be a bit of a weird idea but to me it is perfect.

The pattern is knit flat for the heel and then gathered in the round for the rest of the foot. This means a lot of pull on a few stitches at the top of the foot,  and as a result there can be quite a bit of laddering. I experimented a bit and found that switching the first and last stitch on the row before gathering worked wonders.

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As per usual this is not a super precise pattern in regards to gauge and needles. They are so quick that knitting a gauge swatch would be total overkill. If you use something like a 4 – 4,5 mm (6-7 US) needles and a Sport/Light Worsted yarn or even 2 fingering yarns held together, you will most likely be in the clear. Another thing to remember is that these, like all socks, have to be able to take a beating, so it is better to knit them too tightly rather than too loosely. This is a standard size, if you have very wide/slim feet you can add or subtract stitches in increments of 2, you would then have to modify the toe decreases a bit, or simply try with a larger needle and thicker yarn.

 

 

Simple House Slippers

MATERIALS

Needles: 4-4.5 mm (6-7 US) Circulars for magic loop*
Yarn: Ca. 70 – 100 gr. of Sock/Light Worsted weight yarn (or a combination of lighter yarns)
Tapestry Needle
1 Stitch Marker (optional)

*The pattern is NOT written for Dpns, but you can adapt it pretty easily.

 

ABBREVIATIONS

K: Knit
SSK ( Slip Slip Knit): Slip 2 stitches knitwise, knit together through the back loop (decreases 1)
K2TOG: Knit 2 together
CDD (centered double decrease): Slip two stitches knitwise (at the same time), K1, Pass the two slipped stitches over the newly knit stitch.

 

THE HEEL AND THE FOOT

Cast on 40 stitches with a regular long tail cast-on.

Knit for 32 rows (garter stitch), slip the first stitch purlwise on every row. On the 32nd row knit until you have 1 stitch left.
Gather in the round while switching the last (unknit) stitch of the current row with the first stitch of the next row ( to prevent laddering), place marker in between those 2 stitches.

After knitting the first gathered row, rearrange your stitches so that you have the top of the foot on one needle and the bottom of the foot on another, using the marker as a guide. You can now remove the marker or place it in the new 1st stitch of your row.

Knit stockinette in the round  until you are 2,5 centimeters (1 inch) from where you want the toe to end.

 

THE TOE

Row 1: *K1, SSK, K3, SSK, K5, K2TOG, K3, K2TOG. Repeat one more time from *

Row 2: Knit

Row 3: *K1, SSK, K2, SSK, K3, K2TOG, K2, K2TOG. Repeat one more time from *

Row 4: Knit

Row 5: *K1, SSK, K1, SSK, K1, K2TOG, K1, K2TOG. Repeat one more time from *

Row 6: Knit

Row 7: *K1, SSK, CDD, K2TOG. Repeat one more time from *

FINISHING

Cut yarn leaving enough for weaving in. Thread yarn onto tapestry needle, bring it through remaining stitches, slipping them off the needles. I usually start by covering the little hole in the tip with a cross stitch, then weave in on the wrong side.

Mattress stitch the back of the heel. Working from top to bottom, make sure to leave a little hole at the bottom of ca. 4 st. (2 from each side). Weave your ends through them. This will keep the back from being too stiff.

Repeat if you have 2 feet. Done!

 

97 Replies on

Simple House Slippers

  • Thanks for the pattern! Am doing some traveling and think the slippers would be a perfect knit and then I could wear them.

  • Simone, I found your site through following Karen Templar’s “Fringe” site… and since I’ve been looking for a really good, basic slipper pattern, I was really happy to find this page on your site… which is fantastic by the way… easy to read, very professional, just superb. I also love your story bit, about being born in a hippie commune in the middle of Cophenhagen… being a photographer, traveler, and tarot reader.
    Thank you for posting this pattern and the directions.
    Jo

  • These slippers are just like the ones my Grandmother used to knit for us every Christmas. Her mother, my great grandmother, came over on the boat from Sweden in the 1800’s so maybe that is where they originated. I have been looking for a pattern for these for ages! Thank you so much for posting, they will bring back such memories for my sisters and I.
    Kristi

  • I’m a new knitter and am having trouble at: On the 32nd row knit until you have 1 stitch left.
    Gather in the round while switching the last (unknit) stitch of the current row with the first stitch of the next row ( to prevent laddering), place marker in between those 2 stitches.

    After knitting the first gathered row, rearrange your stitches so that you have the top of the foot on one needle and the bottom of the foot on another, using the marker as a guide. You can now remove the marker or place it in the new 1st stitch of your row.”
    Could you do a video and post?
    Thank You!

    1. Hey Lori! Congrats on your new knitting venture!
      I’ll consider doing a vid but I might not be able to get to it straight away. A thing you can do now that might make it easier is to skip switching the stitches in the first paragraph and just gather in the round placing a marker in between the gather. This will take away a bit of the finesse of the pattern but sometimes it’s better to get acquainted and then add on stuff. You can always knit them again with the switch when you feel comfortable.

      When rearranging stitches you want 20 stitches on each needle one for the top of the foot and one for the bottom. Use the stitch marker you just placed as a guide and count ten stitches to either side of it, pull out loops here. This is your new top and the beginning of every row will now be at the first stitch of that needle (move the place marker to that stitch).

      I hope that helps!

  • I’m confused! Why the circular needles when it seems as though the slippers are knitted back and forth as with regular needles?

    1. Hey Aurora! The heel is knit flat, but the work is then gathered in the round for the rest of the foot hence the circulars. Hope that helps!

  • I am confused too. I just finished knitting the garter stitch part. I gathered it in the round. Why do you have to put 20 stitches on one needle for the top and 20 on the bottom if you are knitting in the round? Also don’t you have to use dpns as your are getting towards the end rather than circulars? thank you so much :)

    1. No worries! The reason why I want you to place 20 st. on the top needle and 20 st. on the bottom is so that when you start decreasing for the toe you do the decreases at the right spot. It doesn’t have anything to do with joining in the round, I just find it easier to fix the positioning right away rather than waiting until you’re at the toe, at that point I know I am likely to forget. Thank you for asking about the dpns, I am so used to magic looping stuff, that I totally forgot to clarify this in the pattern! I’ve added a little line to the pattern now.

  • These look so cute, I’m going to knit some for my mum for Christmas. Thank you very much for the free pattern. I was just wondering though (my counting might be really bad but . . . ) When you start to decrease on row 1 I can only count 15 stitches there, wouldn’t it be 16 if there’s 32 to start with? Or have I missed 1?

    Zoe

    1. Hey Zoe, Glad you like the pattern! You should have 40 stitches when you start to decrease at the toe. You will then have 32 stitches when you are on Row 3 and to my count the numbers fit… Maybe you missed a K2tog somewhere :)

  • Oh god sorry, I must’ve been reading this tired or something ha, I somehow mixed up the cast on number with the knit for 32 rows hehe sorry. . . . Thank you for replying :)

  • Thanks for the pattern! Will the heel be slightly pointy at the bottom after I sew it up? Is there a way to flatten ? I’m not sure I understand that part.

  • Ok I’m knitting these and I’m also having issues with “gather in the round” and the whole top va bottom needle. I feel like something is missing from the instructions…I’m a veteran knitter and this just isn’t clicking for me. I’ve joined the ends and switched he first and last stitches, but that still leaves the start of the row in the middle of the top of the foot.

    Can you elaborate some more on how we would get fro. The to having the start of the rows where they’re supposed to be for decreasing? Maybe I’m missing something, but I’m pulling my hair out trying to make Hesse for my brother lol

    1. Hey Brandy. This is the part of the pattern you need: “After knitting the first gathered row, rearrange your stitches so that you have the top of the foot on one needle and the bottom of the foot on another, using the marker as a guide. You can now remove the marker or place it in the new 1st stitch of your row.”
      I can elaborate a bit. You have 40 stitches total, you want 20 on top and 20 on the bottom. Use the marker you’ve placed in between the switched stitches and just count 10 stitches on either side of it. Those 20 stitches are now your top needle, the rest is the bottom. I hope that helped!

  • I love these & I think I understand the construction. I’m in the UK so I’m thinking DK weight yarn given the stitch count?

    Sock is equivalent to 4 ply (or fingering) & I think would knit up way to airy on a 4mm needle, which is the usual size for our double knit. Or would a firmer fabric be better, using aran weight with the 4.5mm?

    Hmm – I guess I’ll have to try them out & see!

    1. Hey Claire. glad to hear you like the pattern!
      The black slippers shown are knit with a DK weight yarn and 4 mm needles. The white/marled ones are knit with Aran weight yarn and 4.5 mm needles without changing the numbers of the pattern. I’d definitely recommend using heavier yarn knit tighter rather than the opposite. If you ask me slippers should be warm, cozy and as sturdy as possible you wont get that with light yarn.

  • Can you take a picture of how your would arrange the stitches on the double pointed needles? I was reading the above comments. Can you explain a bit more on dividing the stitches on the needles? I understand the 20 stitches on 2 needles but unsure of where you say to pick up 10 stitches .
    Thank you

  • I would love to try this pattern, but as a beginner (even though I’ve been knitting for several years, I haven’t really been able to push past the beginner place) I’m having some difficulty with the directions. Is there any way you could post a video tutorial?

    Many thanks!

  • What length cable is circular needles are used?

    If dpns are used , there are 20 stitches on only 2 needles and you knit with a third needle?

    This part of the pattern is very confusing!

    BUT, the slippers in the picture look great!

    Hope someone can clarify this.

  • I have just learned to knit with the magic loop. What I think you are saying is that as you start knitting in the round the first half (20 sts) are forming the bottom of the tube (sock) and the second half(20 sts) are forming the top of the tube (sock). The placement being the top needle is the top of the foot and the bottom needle is the bottom of the foot. Not that you are knitting the top seperately from the bottom. Correct or no? Maybe this may not work the same for dpn’s.

  • For finishing the heel you say leave a little hole at the bottom of ca. 4sts……. I don’t quite understand that set of instructions. Could you explain to a not so experienced knitter?

  • Thank you so much for sharing this pattern!! I have a question, when I get to the point where I am knitting in the round with only two DPS, where you knit in stockinette (k all around), I am actually knitting it wrong side out. The purl side is facing me. Will this affect the finished slipper or can I just turn it inside out- or is it suppose to be knit this way?

  • Like Diane (see 12/13/15 comment), I’m confused about dividing those 40 sts. I knit with dpns, and would normally just divide the 40 sts 10 ea. on 4 dpn needles, but not sure because of the top and bottom sts. Please clarify for me. I love these slippers and really want to make them for family and friends. Thank you.

    1. Im glad you like the slippers :)
      I originally wrote the pattern for magic loop because that is what I use myself, and to be honest I don’t have much experience knitting with DPNs. My best guess would be to use 3 needles and place the bottom stitches on one needle and divide the top stitches on 2 needles. That way you will know where to place your toe decreases and you wont have to struggle with the yarn. You could also take a look at how other people did on Ravelry, plenty of people knit them with DPNs in various constellations, maybe you’ll find some visual aid. Hope that helps!

      1. Thank you so much for your reply to my question about the house slippers; it really helps a lot. I have used magic loop only once (the Twinkle Twinkle Blanket) and it did turn out beautiful. But, obviously, I’m not comfortable with that method yet. Thanks again for your reply – I am so anxious to knit up those great slippers of yours!

  • Just completed slipper no. 1 – love it!! Will be making several pairs to keep by the front door. Thanks :)

  • I love these slippers!! I am between big projects right now and this pattern has kept me busy :) I made a pair for myself and my husband today. And tomorrow I’ll be making them for my three boys (thinking of adding cute animal faces) and I think I’ll have to make a pair for my whole family they are just so sweet! I’m also teaching a friend to knit and she is tired of making dish clothes and scarfs so I modified this pattern to be worked flat and she is happily making a prior right now! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  • I absolutely love the look of these, but I am a little confused. I’ve followed all directions, but haven’t gotten to making the toe yet. What part is the heel? Mine doesn’t look like it will end up looking like yours.

    1. it will, no worries :) You simply stitch the cast on edge together using mattress stitch once you’ve finished the toe. The garter stitch portion will then be the heel. It definitely looks a bit weird until it is done so I can understand the confusion!

  • Hi there! I love this pattern and am currently working a slipper on size 7s. I have a few questions, how much smaller does the slipper turn out on 6s & if I go down another needle size would it be small enough for a kid? Should I still complete the pattern as is, or start to decrease stitches?

    1. Hey Annemarie!
      I’m glad you like the pattern :) There are so many variables that I find it hard to answer your question with any kind of precision. It all depends on the yarn you are using and how tightly/loosely you knit. It is a small and quick project though so I think you best bet is to simply try it out! Remember to make notes ;)

  • I am assuming that if I want to use DPN instead of a circular needle I would simply put ten stitches on each needle just like when I knit socks. Is this correct?

  • Thanks for the lovely pattern! I am so inspired by all the variations folks have knit up and I am loving the way mine are coming out so far! I have two questions about the instructions for the heel…. I looked up mattress stitch and came up with so many techniques….can you be more specific? Also, what does ” leave a little hole at the bottom of ca. 4 st. (2 from each side) mean? What does “ca” stand for? Thanks in advance for your assistance.

    1. Hey Beth

      Here’s a video that might be helpful. In regards to leaving a hole; when you seam a heel like this it has a tendency to become a little stiff and pointy. To relieve this you can do as described (it is totally optional though) and simply stop seaming before you reach the bottom and just pull those last few stitches together as you are weaving in your ends. I promise it will make sense when you do it :)

  • I am super excited to knit these, but I’ve read all the comments and am still a little confused at the stitch division. Let me know if I’m correct:

    A) switch first and last stitches
    B)knit 1 row
    C) divide stitches 20 and 20 top and bottom

    My question is where would I start knitting again? Should I knit 10 from the original start of round and then move the marker as if that is the ‘new’ start of the round?

    Thank you!!

  • Hi Simone,

    Thank you so much for the pattern. It looks like some I used to make….yet different.
    I can’t wait to try these and, if easy for me, I’ll be making some for Christmas gifts.

  • Wow! I’m dense! Starting to make these ( a grandsons request), am having the same thought process problem others have had… using a 32″ cable on 7s, now onto the 32nd row. Am I correct to say I should physically switch the last stitch knitted with the first stitch of the next row? Then knit the 32nd row PLUS 10 more to start the divide? I know I’m overthinking this, but!!! Thanks for your patience!

  • Thank you so much for the pattern. I love making these and all ready have made four pair. Everyone loves them do you live in Copenhagen. I visited there in 2015, as I have a niece who lives there.

  • Hi Simone,
    I’m a novice with knitting and would love to try these slippers, but am more of a visual learner. Do you have a video?

  • would love a video…I’m ready to start the toe decreasing & I’m totally lost….no more stitch marker to find my place….20 st on top needle w/the slit of the cuff after the 1st 10 st so I’m assuming the beginning of that top ndl is where I do the k1,ssk,k3,ssk,k5,k2tog,k3,k2tog and so on???

  • Hi Simone
    Love this pattern, made them for myself and now my husband wants a pair. For a man’s slipper – would you still cast on 40 Stitches?? Maybe use a size 7 needle??
    Thanks

    1. Hey Rachel
      I have made them for both me and my big footed partner using the same Cast-On count. To compensate I used slightly heavier yarn and larger needles accordingly.

  • I am new to knitting and this is my first time using circulars and joining in the round. I understand how to join in the round (I think), but I’m confused about how to switch the first and last stitches while joining. On my first slipper the join ended up very lumpy (but at least tight), on the second slipper the join is very loose and gappy (I believe that’s laddering) so I’m guessing I didn’t switch the stitches properly. That’s a long-winded way of asking if could you break that move down for me, or point me towards a good tutorial on how to do it. I do love this pattern and can’t wait to make more. Just want to get this joining technique sorted out.

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  • Have just made my first slipper. Used some 8 ply sock wool and size 5mm needles – my feet are size 42.
    I tried with 22cm circulars to do the rounds – it’s great but not so great at the end.
    Now my 18 year old wants a pair in microfibre- to help her clean her floor!

  • Just made myself a pair! They are SO cute! I used a 4mm needle with very sheepy aran yarn (New Lanark in Cobalt if you’re curious! https://www.newlanarkshop.co.uk/cobalt-aran-wool.ir) which made a very thick fabric and they are incredibly warm and comfortable! I have size 11 (US 12) feet so I cast on 42 stitches instead of 40 at the start but otherwise did the pattern as written and it worked perfectly.

    Thanks so much for sharing this pattern! Can’t wait for winter to try them out.

  • Hi there. I have knit three pairs of slippers for women. And I love them all. Now I’d like to knit a pair for my sweetheart. His foot size is a 43 Wide. How many stitches should I cast on? Thanks you.

  • I love this pattern, i always use wool and wore the heels of my 1st pair out in a month. Since then I have been knitting the garter stitch with uphostery thread along with my wool. They don’t wear out anymore and you can’t tell. I have a couple of pair and i like to shrink mine so they fit extra snug and are really warm.

  • Just wondering how many stitches are top and how many are on bottom. It doesnt say how to divide and this is my first magic loop project! Thank you!

  • I’m wearing my first slipper ever, and am working on it’s mate. Love the pattern, the shape, the feel. Thank you so much for working the kinks out and sharing! Friends/family want these slippers!
    What’s also great is that it is easy to adapt—I’m a male US size 10/EU 41. I just wrapped the first few knitted rows around my foot; with my medium worsted on 5mm needles, I needed to cast on an extra 4 stitches (then added in an extra decrease row in toe pattern (K1 SSK K4 SSK K7 K2G, K4 K2G, k bottom), and knit an extra 8 rows of the heel section for wrapping around the ankle. I also added an ankle-warming border: cast on 8 additional stitches, and then bind off 4 on each of the last 2 rows before gathering in the round. On the bottom toe section, to create a continuous squooshy foot pad, I alternated knit & purl to continue the garter stitch down the middle 12 stitches. Again, THANK YOU!

  • I’m stuck in the same spot many seem to be but my question is a little different
    I got the stitches divided between the two needles to creat the top of the foot and the bottom, but my working yarn is now in the center of the stitches on my needle
    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated : )

  • Very pretty slippers. I am just curious to know if there was a how-to tutorial video made on these slippers as so many had questions. Some of us I am sure are self taught knitters and also visual learners so it can take some time to wrap our heads around it. It can be discouraging at times when you are stuck in limbo and can not proceed forward to complete a project. Thanks for sharing your free pattern.

  • This is the first time I have added a comment to a pattern. THIS IS A GREAT GIFT. I recently had brain surgery and I had 8 women in my neighborhood that were awesome in how they helped me. I made them each a pair of slippers for a thank you that I gave them for Christmas. They were overjoyed. The different sizes were a little difficult, but I used shoe sizes in inches and adjusted the rows after the heel by subtracting or adding rows. Thank you so much for sharing this pattern.

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