Basic Circular Seamless Baby Bootees from the Top Down

©Megan Mills, 17th February 2004     /SeamlessBootee

This bootee is very plain. It focuses on the technique of doing a circular seamless bootee and once you have done this you will be able to adapt most, if not all, other bootee patterns you have that are worked from the top down. It is very easy to adjust everything on this bootee. You can change the leg length, instep length and foot depth at will. With slightly more planning you can change the circumference and general size as well as adding any embroidery, colour or stitch patterns that may take your fancy. In fact there is no reason why you could not make an adult-sized bootee (slipper) with this method.

This sample was worked with size 2.75mm needles in 5-ply yarn that wrapped around my ruler 19 times to the inch (just shy of 2.5cm). The gauge was 7 stitches to the inch (2.5cm) measured over stocking stitch and the foot of the bootee measures 10cm (4 inches) long. If you just want to practice the method then do not worry about gauge for once - whatever needles and yarn you choose will still produce the correct shape even if the size is different.


st ststocking stitch
g stgarter stitch
OOver (or yarn forward)
K2Tknit two together
SSKslip one K-wise, slip one P-wise, insert the left-needle through the 2 just-slipped stitches from left to right and knit them together.


Cast on 36 stitches and join into a rnd.
Work 4 rows of g st (remember to alternate rows of K and P).
Work st st (every rnd K) for the desired leg length. I used 15 rnds.

Eyelet rnd:
(K1, O, K2T) 12 times.

K one rnd.

K24, turn, slip one stitch P-wise P11, turn. Work a further 10 rows st st on these 12 stitches slipping the 1st stitch either K-wise or P-wise to get a chain edge.

Loosely lay the working thread along the right side of the instep. Wrap it around the 12th st of this round. Pick up 12 sts along the side of the instep (2 for each chain on the edge) and while you are doing this, on alternate sts, duck the needle under the thread that was laid along the side of the instep. This will 'weave it in' so it is tidy and cannot hook tiny toes. K along the 12 sts at the top of the instep. Pick up 12 sts down the left side of the instep and K12 to the end of the rnd. You now have 60 sts.

Starting with a K rnd, do 10 rnds g st. On the first K rnd when you meet the 12th st that has the wrap work the wrap and the st together. This eliminates any hole. If you get a hole on the other side of the instep then work the st together with a st picked up from a rnd below (but this is not usually necessary).

Sole shaping:
Rnd 1:SSK, K22, K2T, K8, SSK, K22, K2T.
Rnd 2:P
Rnd 3:SSK, K22, K2T, K4, SSK, K22, K2T.
Rnd 4:P
Rnd 5:SSK, K22, K2T, SSK, K22, K2T.
Rnd 6:P24.

Leave a long tail and use it to graft (Kitchener Stitch) the sides of the sole together in g st.

To make grafting easier you can use a contrasting, smooth piece of waste yarn and work across all the sts again. Half will be purled and half will be knitted to maintain the g st pattern. At the halfway point leave a loose loop of yarn so that it will be easy to manipulate later. Now when you graft the two sides together the contrast yarn provides a guide on how to go in and out of the sts correctly. Pull the waste yarn out. Tidy away the ends.

You can use a ribbon for the tie or you can make a twisted, crocheted or knitted cord. I used a 2-st I-cord (made on double pointed needles by casting on 2. Then every row is K2, do not turn. Instead push the sts to the other end of the needle - or transfer them back to the left needle - pull the yarn firmly across the back and K2 again.) When I had made the cord the length I like I threaded the yarn ends on a needle and wove them up through the centre of the cord for a short distance before cutting them off.