Doesn't everyone want a pair of slippers for Christmas? The Birchbark Slippers would make a wonderful gift for yourself or someone else. (I'm wearing mine right now.) They stitch up quickly and are very straightforward: just an easy rectangle of Tunisian Simple Stitch. One end is seamed to create the heel, and the other end is folded to form the toe. Adornments are up to you and are limited only by your imagination.
Because this pattern is customizable, the instructions may look a bit wordy. Don't let that put you off - this project is really very simple and quick. The hardest part is deciding how to embellish the slippers.
Since the slipper is made from a rectangle, you can use any stitch you like - you could even knit it. I chose Tunisian crochet because it yields a thick and sturdy crochet fabric - perfect for cozy slippers. (If Tunisian Simple Stitch is new to you, see my tutorial here.)
Stitches used: Tunisian Simple Stitch, single crochet, slip stitch
Adult slipper is made from a rectangle, 6" wide by 1" longer than the foot it's destined for.
Note: This slipper will stretch out with wear, especially in Tunisian stitch - some crocheters have had a better result with making their rectangle the same length as their foot. (Thanks to all the Ravelry project gals who included this info in their project notes!)
Children's slipper: I'd guess 5" wide for a child, and a bit smaller for a toddler. Trying the rectangle on the foot is the best method.
If you're making gift slippers and you don't know how long the recipient's foot is, try to find out her shoe size. Then click here for a handy shoe size conversion chart.
Yarn Requirements for Adult sizes:
About 100 yards of a Bulky (#5) yarn
(May also be made with 2 strands of a #4 yarn held together)
OR about 70 yards of Super Bulky (#6) yarn
Yarns I used:
Premier Serenity Chunky Weight (Bulky), Red Bayou, 1 skein with yarn left over
Patons Melody (Super Bulky), Rainbow Run, 1 skein with yarn left over
Size N & K for Bulky (#5) yarn
Size P & N for Super Bulky (#6) yarn
Bulky yarn, Size N hook - 18 stitches = approximately 6".
Super Bulky yarn, Size P hook - 14 stitches = approximately 6".
Note: Do a few test rows, then measure the width of your swatch. It should be 6" wide. Adjust number of chains if necessary to achieve gauge. (You may also adjust the width of your rectangle to fit very narrow or very wide feet. When your rectangle is about 3" long, try it on by pinching one end together and holding it up to your foot. It should cover the heel and come about halfway up the side of the foot.)
This pattern is so simple, no chart is needed.
I've decided to combine the instructions with the photos
I've decided to combine the instructions with the photos
and write the whole thing in plain English.
The only abbreviation used will be Tss for Tunisian Simple Stitch.
Super Shorthand Pattern
Make a rectangle in Tunisian Simple Stitch (or stitch of your choice), measuring 6" wide (or a width that will cover the bottom of your foot and come about halfway up the sides), by length of foot, + 1" (or whatever amount is necessary for a snug slipper). On last row, shape heel by making decrease of 2 stitches (or 3 if your rectangle is an odd number of stitches wide) in center of row. Bind off, then follow edging and assembly instructions below.
Pattern Instructions with Photos
Numbers in parentheses refer to slipper made with Super Bulky yarn.
Base Row, Forward Pass: Use larger hook. Leaving a 12" tail, chain 18 (14 if using Super Bulky yarn). Working in the back bump of each chain, pick up 17 (13) loops. (See the Tunisian Simple Stitch Tutorial if you need a refresher on this part.)
Do not turn the work. This is the right side; keep it facing you at all times. The base row will become the toe of the slipper.
Return Pass: Yarn over, pull through 1 loop. *Yarn over, pull through 2 loops. Repeat from * until 1 loop left on hook.
All return passes will be made like this one.
|Here's the rectangle with 1 row done,|
and the loops for the second row
drawn up and sitting on the hook.
Regular Rows: Starting with second stitch, work Tss in each stitch across (Tunisian Simple Stitch - insert hook from right to left under vertical bar, yarn over, and draw up a loop). In last stitch, insert hook under vertical bar AND strand behind it. You should have 18 (14) stitches on the hook. Make return pass as above = 18 (14) stitches.
Adjust number of stitches as necessary to get proper width.
Continue making rows of Tss until rectangle is just under desired length (foot measurement + 1"). Decrease for heel as follows:
Final row (decrease): Tss in 2nd vertical bar from hook AND next 5 (3) stitches. You should have 7 (5) loops on your hook.
|Ready to decrease|
Tss 2 together (insert hook under next 2 stitches; draw up loop - decrease made).
|Insert hook under 2 bars at once|
|Yarn over, pull through|
Make 1 more decrease (Tss 2 together), then Tss to end of row.
|2 decreases made|
Make return pass = 16 (12) stitches.
Note: If you changed the number of stitches in the rectangle,
adjust as necessary to place your decreases in the center of the final row.
(If your rectangle is an odd number of stitches wide, make 3 decreases instead of 2.)
Bind off final row. (Forgot how to bind off? Instructions are in the tutorial. Click here.)
Change to size K hook for bulky yarn, or size N hook for super bulky yarn.
|Change to regular size hook, and get ready|
to crochet down the side of the slipper.
Border: Chain 1. With right side still facing you, turn rectangle and work down the side. Single crochet 1 in each edge stitch until there are 3 stitches/rows left.
|Single crochet edging has been added to 1 side.|
Stop when there are 3 stitches left.
Look at the opposite edge of the rectangle and find the 3rd row edge stitch. Overlap first side of rectangle (the one with the border) over the opposite side, aligning the 3rd row edge stitches. This will form the pointy toe. The corners of the rectangle now look like flaps - one on the inside and and one on the outside of the slipper.
Make next single crochet through both 3rd row edge stitches at once to connect the two sides. (The starting tail of yarn will be on the outside of the slipper.)
Note: You can join the front edges at any stitch you like - I pinned the tip of my slipper together and tried it on, and the 3rd rows seemed like a good joining place. Feel free to join the edges higher up, or even at different rows on either side, to get the best fit.
|Insert hook in next edge stitch, AND 3rd edge stitch of opposite side.|
Single crochet both stitches together.
A reminder: When making the border on the second slipper,
remember to place the OPPOSITE side of the rectangle on top,
so toe flaps will be mirrored when slippers are worn.
(Starting tail of yarn will be on the inside flap of second slipper.)
Now single crochet up the other side of the slipper, 1 in each edge stitch, until you reach the end. The right side of the work is still facing you.
|Stitching continues up the other side.|
|Last single crochet. Ready to cut yarn and sew heel together|
Cut yarn, leaving a 12" tail. Pull yarn up through last stitch. Thread yarn on darning needle and whipstitch heel ends together from the outside.
|Hold the edges together for whipstitching.|
Stitch the very top stitches together first.
|Stitch through the back loops of the stitches until you reach|
the bottom of the heel.
Hide yarn end in slipper and trim excess. Admire the neat heel with its little ridge of stitches and the zigzagging seam between.
At toe end, using the long tail of yarn, sew the flap edge down with a shallow running stitch until you reach the tip.
|Shallow running stitches|
Pass needle through fabric and down through the very tip of the toe...
...then bring the yarn around a stitch and back up through the tip to gently hold it closed. Do not pull too tightly. Keep your hand down inside the slipper to ensure that you don't accidentally sew through the space reserved for your toes.
Pass yarn back into slipper fabric to hide end, secure, and trim. And you're done!
Embellish as desired, and enjoy your new Birchbark Slippers. (Here I am, relaxing in mine. Notice the stylish socks and leggings.)
|What the Wisconsin Blogger is Wearing This Winter.|
Or make a pair for someone else, and share the enjoyment.
|This pair is a gift for a dear friend.|
You may do whatever you like with the slippers you make from this pattern, but you may not sell the pattern. If you have any questions, feel free to use the comment space below, or contact me in Ravelry.
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