If you like to knit quick projects for the littles, then you’re going to want to check out my review of a new pattern book by Helga Spitz. My review also includes an excerpted knitting pattern for infant Basketball Shoes booties and your chance to win a copy of the book, so read on for details!
This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. A free review copy of Classic Kicks for Little Feet: 16 Knitted Shoe Styles for Baby’s First Year by Helga Spitz was provided to me by Sixth&Spring Books. Although I accept free products for review, I do not accept additional compensation, nor do I guarantee a positive review. My reviews are based entirely on my honest opinions.
Classic Kicks for Little Feet: 16 Knitted Shoe Styles for Baby’s First Year by Helga Spitz is a knitting pattern collection of what used to be called “booties.” However, Helga’s designs go beyond the classic little envelope style into trendy shoe territory.
The book opens with Knitting Instructions, which includes all the background information you need before getting started. The Basics includes yarn substitutions from European brands to yarns that are easier to find in the United States. Sizes explains how to adjust the size of each project using thicker or thinner yarns and a different size of needles. This chapter also includes a chart of the Standard Yarn Weight System so you can find an appropriately sized needle when changing yarns.
The next chapters include patterns. For Tiny Dancers includes four patterns for feminine shoes such as Mary Jane’s and ballet slippers; The Big Outdoors includes four patterns for cozy boots in various styles; Eye-Catchers includes four patterns for casual shoes including mock sneakers and loafers; and Summer, Sun, Sandals includes four outdoorsy projects including espadrilles and moccasins.
Each pattern includes at least one full page picture (often with the adult-sized shoes that inspired the pattern in the background), along with a materials list including the yarn, needles, and notions required for the pattern, instructions for getting gauge, and the size. Each pattern is available in one of three sizes: 0-3 months, 3-6 months, and 6-9 months (with approximate measures for the sole of each size listed in the Sizes section of the Knitting Instructions chapter). Many of the patterns also include whimsical illustrations of playful animals.
The book ends with Helpful Information, which includes a list of knitting pattern abbreviations, written instructions for double stitch to avoid holes when working short rows, and an index.
None of the patterns include difficulty levels, but since most use several increases or decreases and the book doesn’t include any knitting instructions, I would recommend the book for intermediate or advanced beginner knitters who enjoy making projects for newborns and infants. Like all pattern books, your enjoyment will be increased if you find plenty of projects you’d like to make in this book. You can see all 16 patterns from Classic Kicks for Little Feet on the book’s Ravelry source page. I liked that the book is hardcover, because it seems like it will be sturdy enough to become that “go to” baby pattern book that you return to again and again for quick but satisfying projects.
Knitting Pattern by Helga Spitz
Pattern and Photos © 2018 Sixth&Spring Books. Shared with permission from Sixth&Spring Books.
- This pattern uses Craft Yarn Council knitting abbreviations. A full list of abbreviations is available here.
- You can find a helpful video tutorial for the k2tog decrease by LoveKnitting here.
- This pattern is designed to fit a 0-3 month old with a sole length of 3.5″ (9 cm).
Just because you don’t have the height yet doesn’t mean the gear can’t make you look like a star.
- 3.5oz/100g ball (220yd/200m) of Cascade 220 Superwash (wool) – 1 each in white, red, navy, and royal blue
- 1 set (5) size 5 (3.75mm) dpn
- Crochet hook size E-4 (3.5mm)
- Stitch marker
- Yarn needle
- 22 sts and 44 rows to 4″/10cm over garter st using size 5 (3.75mm) needles.
- TAKE TIME TO CHECK GAUGE.
- With white, cast on 32 sts. Divide sts evenly over 4 needles (8 sts per needle). Join, taking care not to twist sts, and place marker for beg of rnd (back of shoe).
- Work in garter st in rnds (purl 1 rnd, knit 1 rnd) as follows:
- Rnd 1: Purl.
- Rnd 2: Needle 1: K1, M1, knit to end; Needle 2: Knit to last st, M1, k1; Needle 3: K1, M1, knit to end; Needle 4: Knit to last st, M1, k1—1 st inc’d on each needle; 4 sts inc’d in total.
- Repeat last 2 rnds 3 times more—12 sts per needle; 48 sts in total.
- With white, purl 4 rounds, knit 1 round.
- Cut white.
- Join navy. Purl 1 round. Cut navy.
- Sl first 5 sts on Needle 2 to Needle 1; sl first 7 sts on Needle 3 to Needle 2; sl rem 5 sts on Needle 3 to Needle 4—17 sts each on Needles 1 and 4, 14 sts on Needle 2.
- Keeping sts of Needles 1 and 4 on hold, join red from RS and work in rows on Needle 2 as follows:
- Rows 1–4: Work in St st in rows (knit on RS, purl on WS).
- Row 5: K2, k2tog, k6, k2tog, k2—12 sts.
- Rows 6, 8, and 10: Purl.
- Row 7: K2, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k2—10 sts.
- Row 9: Knit.
- Row 11: K2, k2tog, k2, k2tog, k2—8 sts.
- Row 12: Purl.
- Bind off all sts.
Sides and Back
- Set-up row 1: (RS) With RS facing and first ball of royal blue, pick up and k 1 st in each of last 2 red sts of toe, then k2 sts from Needle 4; with navy, k30 sts from Needles 4 and 1; with 2nd ball of royal blue, k last 2 sts on Needle 1, then pick up and k 1 st in each of first 2 sts of toe—38 sts.
- Note: Do not carry unused yarns. When changing colors, twist yarns on WS to prevent holes in work.
- Row 2: (WS) With royal blue, k4; with navy, purl to last 4 sts; with royal blue, k4.
- Continue to work first and last 4 sts in garter st (knit every row) with royal blue and center sts in stockinette stitch with navy, as follows:
- Dec row 3: (RS) With royal blue, k4; with navy, k2tog, k to last 2 navy sts, k2tog; with royal blue, k4.
- Row 4: Work even in pats.
- Dec/eyelet row 5: With royal blue, k2, yo, k2tog (eyelet); with navy, K2tog, k to last 2 navy sts, k2tog; with royal blue, k2tog, yo, k2 (eyelet).
- Row 6: Repeat row 4.
- Repeat rows 3–6 for 3 times more.
- Cut navy. With 1 ball of royal blue, knit 4 rows over all sts.
- Bind off as follows: *K2tog, return st to LH needle; rep from * until all sts are bound off.
- Sew sole seams. Weave in ends.
- With crochet hook and white, chain 100.
- Fasten off.
- Thread shoelace through eyelet holes.
Repeat from beginning for second shoe.
Now that you’ve read my review of Classic Kicks for Little Feet: 16 Knitted Shoe Styles for Baby’s First Year by Helga Spitz and tried out the Basketball Shoes, are your ready to win your own copy?