Gansey Booties

pic3I designed these booties for my son who is three months old. I wanted something that would keep a baby warm, look good on either boys or girls, didn’t have any fiddly buttons or ties, and would stay on his feet for more than two seconds.

I used Lion Brand Cotton-Ease, because it’s machine washable, but any worsted-weight yarn would do. These booties would look great in real gansey wool, for a rustic look, or in a soft cashmere blend for a special gift.

Gansey Booties

Sizes: Newborn (Medium 3-6 months, Large 6-9 months)
Materials: less than 50 grams worsted-weight yarn (I used Lion Brand Cotton-Ease)
Needle: size 6 or size needed to obtain gauge
Gauge: 18 st/ 4 inches in moss st.

Notes: These booties may be made with DPNs or one long circular using the magic loop method.

CO 7(9,11) st.
Row 1: K1fb, work in seed st across to last stitch, k1fb.
Row 2: Work in seed st across.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 once. 11(13,15) st on needle.
Work 20(24, 26) rows in seed st.
BO 1 st at beginning of next 4 rows. 7(9,11) st on needle.

Pick up stitches:
Wk 1 row in seed st. Pick up stitches around sole, picking up one stitch for every two rows along side of foot, one stitch for each cast-on stitch, and one stitch for every two rows along other side of foot. 42(50,56) st on needle. Place marker to indicate the beginning of the round.

Row 1: purl around
Row 2: knit around
Row 3: purl around
Row 4: knit around
Row 5: purl around
Row 6: k7(7,9), ssk, turn.
Row 7: s1, p5, p2tog., turn.
Row 8: s1, k6, ssk, turn.
Row 9: s1, p7, p2tog, turn.
Row 10: s1, k8, ssk, turn.
Row 11: s1, p9, p2tog, turn.

Medium and Large sizes only:pic2
Row 12: s1, k10, ssk, turn.
Row 13: s1, p11, p2tog, turn.

Large size only:
Row 14: s1, k12, ssk, turn.
Row 15: s1, p13, p2tog, turn.

All sizes:
Next row: s1, k9(11,13), ssk, turn.
Next row: s1, p9(11,13), p2tog, turn.
Repeat these rows once more.

Next row: s1, p9(11,13), ssk, turn.
Next row: s1, p9(11,13), p2tog, turn.
Repeat these rows twice more.

Next row: s1, k9(11,13), ssk, turn.
Next row: s1, p9(11,13), p2tog, turn.

Next row:  s1, k around. 24(30,34)  st.

Work cuff around in k1, p1 rib for 2″, BO in rib loosely.

Weave in ends, fold cuff over.

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42 Responses to Gansey Booties

  1. Debbie says:

    I think these are adorable! Please tell me – do they stay on little feet as well as you hoped they would? Thank you for posting the pattern. Debbie

  2. Lorraine says:

    They stay on pretty well–I think they would even better if I had gone down to a size 4 needle for the cuffs. The only time they fall off now is if he’s being transferred in and out of blankets and things, because the blanket pulls them off.

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  4. Debbie says:

    Thank you for the tip. I have a new little niece I’m knitting these for. I will go down in needle size for the cuff. Very cute pattern. Thanks! Debbie

  5. Rita says:

    These look adorable. They will be perfect with the afghan that I’m making for my nephew’s first child. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Denise says:

    I’m working on making a pair of yellow booties for my niece’s new baby. However, I’m having trouble with the first two rows over the toes (instep rows 6 & 7 for size large). There should be 11 st on the needle over the instep, correct? Row 6 puts the first decrease (ssk) at the edge of the instep. Then Row 7 puts the decrease (ssk) 2 stitches in from the edge. What am I doing wrong?

  7. Lorraine says:

    Okay, I had to take out needles and yarn to try it out again myself! The pattern is correct–these are short rows. The instep in the large size is worked over 15 stitches total, but not until Row 16. Until then, it’s all short rows. Try it, and see if it comes out right in the end.

  8. Denise says:

    Thanks for your help! The bootie turned out fine!

  9. Deborah says:

    I am new to knitting, I wanted to try your cute booties for my grandson just born on Sept 1st. Anyway, I am unfamiliar the direction “K1fb” that is knit one fb?? front to back?? Please let me know….thanks

  10. Tracy says:

    Thank you! I just love this pattern. Baby number 4 is due in 6 weeks and I’m half-way done with a pair for him. One question…. When you s1, do you slip as if to knit, as if to purl or switch depending on the row (p on p row, k on k row) ? Thanks!

  11. Lorraine says:

    Deborah–see today’s post for the answer to your question.

    Tracy–I slip as if to knit on knit rows, and slip as if to purl on purl rows. That keeps the stitches from getting twisted.

  12. phebe says:

    I’m struggling to follow this pattern. i knit the sole on four needles and wasn’t sure if that was right? is the sole supposed to be double layered? when I picked up stitches I wasn’t sure what to do with the original cast on stitches, alternate them and put them on one needle(I left them on two the first time around and ended up with a lumpy section where it was all twisted)? in the confusion i lost the beginning of the round, where should it be? I tried it center of the heel and back corner of the heel. i’ve ripped and repeated rows 1- 12 three times now and it looks the same each time. i end up with a huge gap and two lonely stitches down one long side which I would expect to make a huge hole in the bootie when you start knitting around. this is my first time knitting booties, sorry if I am asking stupid questions, can anyone help?

  13. Whitney says:

    Hi. These are so cute! I wanted to write and say that I’ve modified the cuff ribbing to be a 2×2 rib in order to match the baby sweater I’m making these booties to match. In order for the ribbing to work out with 2×2 around the cuff (as it is in the sweater), I noticed I’d have to modify the last row (for the M and L sizes only, since 30 and 34 are not divisible by 4 – k2,p2) prior to the cuff starting. It’s an easy mod to increase 2 extra stitches, thought I’d share with your readers. :)

    Instead of doing: sl1, k around … for M and L you would do: sl1, k1, m1, k around to last 2 sts, m1, k2

    That will add 2 extra stitches so the cuff ribbing in 2×2 will work out evenly. :)

    I also did Row 1 of the sole with an M1 instead of “kfb”, just my preference.

    Anyway, hope you don’t mind me sharing. These are too cute!

  14. Whitney says:

    Just to correct my previous comment: I did the “kfb” of Row 1 of the sole, not an M1 increase.

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  17. pat says:

    Great looking bootee;well written pattern. Thank you so much for sharing!!

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  19. Maggie Pringlemeir says:

    These are darling — but — umm — I’d like a pair in MY size — womans L — especially for wearing in the evening and/or in bed during these cold winter nights. Any suggestions about upsizing??

  20. Lorraine says:

    Start with enough stitches to be about 3/4 the width of your foot, then follow the pattern, taking the instructions as general shaping guidelines, rather than specific numbers. As long as you remember how many stitches you cast on, so that you can to the instep short rows later, you should be fine.

  21. This looks awesome! Thank you so much!!!for sharing this pattern with us!

  22. Tresa says:

    I am hopelessly confused about the short rows on the instep portion. I’m really new to circular knitting (I’m doing magic loop) and this is the first project like this I’ve tried. From row 6 on until the row where it says “knit around” again, aren’t you working back and forth? Each row seems to have more stitches from instep row 6 on, but I only see decreases in the pattern. How are those extra stitches getting there? What am I missing?

    Thanks for your help & for this cute pattern!

  23. Lorraine says:

    Every row, you’re picking up more stitches from the edges while the decreases maintain the shape. Try just blindly following the pattern without understanding it–that’s what everybody has do to the first time for short rows!

  24. Tresa says:

    Thank you so much… I was thinking too hard about it! LOL It’s working now!

    These are going to be for my first grandchild that’s coming in May & they are adorable!

  25. Loretta says:

    Thank you for your cute pattern. I am having trouble printing all of it. I get the first page to the instep row 6 then all these comments. I was able to write the rest . wish I knew why I cant print all of it .
    Thank you again

  26. baby squirt says:

    I habe been knitting for over 60 yrs but I have never seen kifb. What does it mean. Thanks

  27. baby squirt says:

    I have been knitting for over 60 yrs but have never heard of kifb. Could you tell me what it is. Thankyou

  28. silviya says:

    I’ve knitted them at ones.I think I’ll do some embroidery to lighten them up.I really like the seed stitch sole and the no seaming idea you came up with.thank you for sharing it

  29. silviya says:

    at once ( I’m a Bulgarian you see and English spelling isn’t my strength, so pls excuse me:)

  30. Thank you so much for this pattern! I just finished making my first pair of baby booties ever (yours) so thank you! I just posted my project on Ravelry too. I added red ties to make them look like shoelaces :)

  31. Isabelle says:

    Thank you for sharing this design! I’m making some now for my baby to be, and they are turning adorable. Thank you!

  32. Alysia says:

    I don’t think the short rows work out for the large size. Starting with row 8, you need to take stitches from the right side of the bootie but not from the left for a few rows. That means you end up with significantly fewer stitches on the right side than the left side. For example, once I got through row 13 I had 13 stitches on the left side of the bootie but only 9 stitches on the right. There are still several rows of decreases after. Won’t this make the bootie come out lopsided/crooked? Maybe you need to purl and knit a different number of stitches for the short rows in size large than in the smaller sizes?

  33. bang says:

    Is there any detailed explanation or video of the section of picking up the stitches?

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  35. Madeline says:

    I really don’t like knitting in the round is there any way I could make these on 2 needles & stitch them up?

  36. Shirley Heller says:

    What does the Fb in k1fb stand for?
    Thank you.
    Shirley H.

  37. Christine Shaub says:

    So in a sense the instep is about the same as a heel turn when you are knitting? I’ve got to try this bootie pattern out, and I’d like to try to make a pair in my size too. Thank you for the nice looking pattern.

  38. Stephanie Shumway says:

    Hi, Knitting these cute little darlings and just wondering something. When finished knitting them does the sole run length wise or width wise along the bottum. Because mine are lenght wise and so far they just seem boxy is this right? Thanks for your help!

  39. Stephanie Shumway says:

    Sorry just read this and it makes no sense! What I mean to say is, does the row run lenght wise or width wise on the sole. Hope this makes more sense, thanks!

  40. Rosana says:

    Thanks for the pattern, Lorraine. It involves some stitches I haven’t learned yet but I’m up for a challenge. I noticed to lived in Brazil. I’m originally from São Paulo. It would be even nicer if I found out you lived in the Bay Area. Do you? :-)

  41. jo ann williamson says:

    first row of seed stitch is not working for me. what am i doing wrong

  42. Kathleen says:

    Hi, these booties are really cute thank you for sharing your pattern now if i can just wrap my brain around all the new knitting terms i might be off to a good start unfortunately the first 4 rows of the sole are really throwing me off. I get the k1fb unless i am doing it wrong should this stitch create 2 knit stitches or, k1 p1 do i knit the first 2 stitches of the next row before beginning the seed stitch this increase seems to throw off the stitches for the seed stitch of the next row i have ripped and redone many times now and just can’t seem to visualize my problem.

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