Family Slippers Using Tahki Donegal Tweed
A basket near the front door heaped with these Family Slippers makes for the warmest of welcomes. Our version of these nostalgic slippers evolved from several versions of the pattern found in every auntie’s knitting bag. We finessed the toe a little, but left the heel in its simplest form. Embellish your slippers with pom-poms, tassels, or buttons—or try our split cuff for a preppy Oxford shirt look!
We chose to knit our slippers in worsted-weight Tahki Donegal Tweed, held double throughout—this means double the durability, double the cushy comfort! A 100% pure wool yarn, it’s spun with coordinating flecks and bits of wool to give the knit fabric that signature, tweedy look. Your slippers will be sturdy, naturally warm, and handsome in Donegal Tweed’s palette of earth, sea, and sky tones.
Small: 6½"/16.5cm length, fits up to 8½"/22cm foot.
Medium: 8"/20cm length, fits up to 10"/25cm foot.
Large: 9½"/24cm length, fits up to 11½"/29cm foot.
Note: These slippers actually fit a wide range of sizes but the more they stretch to fit, the better they stay on! If you’d like to adjust the length, the heel should be about two-thirds of the total length and the toe about one-third.
Directions given for small size; medium and large sizes in parentheses ( ).
1 (2, 2) skeins Tahki Donegal Tweed (183 yds/167m each).
Sample shown: size medium in color 890, black with 1 5/8"" pom-pom.
Or approximately 150 (200, 300)yds / 137 (183, 274)m of a medium or heavy worsted-weight yarn.
If you opt for the split cuff (not shown), remember to purchase more yarn; the cuff requires 25% more yardage.
Note: yarn is held double throughout, so you can mix colors and yarns.
NEEDLES & NOTIONS
US 8 (5mm) or US 9 (5.5mm) needles, or size to obtain gauge.
Blunt darning needle to finish.
2 stitch markers.
Pom-pom maker (optional).
Approx. 16 sts = 4"/10cm in garter stitch.
The Free Pattern
See "The Details" tab for size, yarn, needle, and gauge information.
GLOSSARY: Dec = decrease; K = knit; K2Tog = knit 2 together; KFB = knit into front then into back of same stitch; P = purl; PM = place marker; RS = right side; St(s) = stitch(es); WS = wrong side.
Cast on: With yarn held double, using long-tail cast-on method, cast on 27 (33, 39) sts, leaving a 12" tail for sewing up later.
Garter heel: Row 1 (WS): K8 (10, 12), PM, P1, K9 (11, 13), PM, P1, K8 (10, 12). Note: Markers will remind you when to purl on WS rows; on subsequent WS rows, slip marker then purl next stitch.
Row 2 (RS): Knit.
Repeat Rows 1 & 2 until piece measures 4 (5, 6)"/10 (13, 15)cm, ending with a WS row.
Ribbed toe: Row 1 (RS): (K1, P1) to last st, K1. Note: Remove markers on first ribbed row.
Row 2 (WS): (P1, K1) to last st, P1.
Repeat Rows 1 & 2 until piece measures 6 (7½, 9)"/15 (19, 23)cm, ending with a WS row.
Toe shaping: Row 1 (RS): K1, then K2Tog 13 (16, 19) times. [14 (17, 20) sts remain]
Row 2 (WS): Purl.
Row 3 (RS): K2Tog across row; for medium size only, knit last st. [7 (9, 10) sts remain]
Finishing: With a darning needle, thread tail (both strands if using yarn doubled) through all remaining stitches and draw up tightly. Run the ends through these same stitches again for strength. Use one of the ends to sew edges of ribbed toe together using mattress stitch and taking a half-stitch seam, so one full K1 rib remains. Take a couple of small stitches at the end to secure.
Using one of the cast-on tails and mattress stitch, sew heel seam all the way down to the end. Don’t worry—the little heel ‘corner’ will flatten nicely and disappear as you wear the slippers.
Weave in all ends on the inside.
Blocking: Wet- or steam-block if desired. To wet-block, soak for 20 minutes in tepid water with a little no-rinse wool soap. Gently squeeze out as much water as possible. Roll in towels and squeeze out more moisture; or run through spin-only cycle in washing machine in lingerie bag or zippered pillow case. Dry flat or stuff with crumpled newspaper and shape slippers. To shorten drying time, place on a baker’s cooling rack.
Embellishments: Embellish with two small pom-poms, tassels, or crocheted flowers, if desired. Or add buttons or bows to the toes.
Split cuff: For a handsome cuff, turn your slipper wrong side out. Pick up and knit into each garter ridge around ankle edge.
Rows 1-3: Knit.
Row 4 (increase): KFB, knit to second to last st, KFB, K1.
Repeat Rows 1-4 twice more.
Repeat Rows 1-3 once more.
Bind off loosely.
Turn slipper right side out and fold cuff over.
Tack down corners with buttons if desired.
COLOR: 2 skeins of 874 Wine. Rich plum wine.
COLOR: 2 skeins of 807 Redwood. Between brown and orange.
COLOR: 2 skeins of 863 Dark Red. Rich cool red.
COLOR: 806 2 skeins of Amber. Amber honey.
COLOR: 900 2 skeins of Wheat. Tarnished brass.
COLOR: 2 skeins of 895 Dark Khaki. Medium army green.
COLOR: 2 skeins of 894 Dark Gray Green. Dark muted forest green.
COLOR: 2 skeins of 869 Dark Taupe. Between brown and gray.
COLOR: 2 skeins of 875 Gray Blue. Warm brownish grey, with tealy blue flecks.
COLOR: 2 skeins of 801 Tan. Oatmeal with dark flecks.
COLOR: 2 skeins of 848 Cream. Natural cream with flecks in shades of brown.
COLOR: 2 skeins of 884 Light Gray. Cool pale gray.
COLOR: 2 skeins of 890 Black. Black softened with pale flecks.
COLOR: 2 skeins of 833 Dark Chocolate. Cool dark chocolatey brown.
COLOR: 2 skeins of 872 Embers. Muted brown-gray with orange flecks.
COLOR: 2 skeins of 862 Denim. Medium blue jeans blue.
COLOR: 2 skeins of 844 Midnight Blue. Dark navy blue with pops of brighter blue.
COLOR: 2 skeins of 815 Navy Blue. Bright blue.
COLOR: 2 skeins of 911 Ash. Ashy grey with specks of burgundy, navy, brown, and cream.
Pom-Pom Maker - Extra Small (¾" & 1" / 20 & 25mm)
Pom-Pom Maker - Small (1⅜" & 1⅝" / 33mm & 45mm)
Free digital Family Slippers pattern. (Download)