Here I’ll explain the principles I use to make the basic bootie shape, which you are then welcome to adapt to the size and yarn of your choice. I came across this tutorial for anatomical crochet slipper soles and have applied it in a simplified form. This pattern has developed with time and I vary it slightly for each pair that I make. Please suggest edits or ask questions if anything is unclear, as it’s quite a challenge to put this in writing!
The measurements you will need to work from are:
sole length (essential)
sole width (useful)
height from sole to top
maximum calf circumference (if making longer booties, e.g. knee high for babywearing)
Tools required: tape measure or ruler, crochet hook to suit yarn
Yarn suggested: chunky (bulky) weight; almost any yarn can be used but finer yarns will require more rounds of stitches, and more stitches per round to make the same size. I generally use wool or a wool blend. The examples in the collage are worked in Texere City of Wool Chunky, Twilleys Freedom Spirit Chunky (sadly discontinued) and Freedom Purity Chunky.
htr: half treble (US half double/hdc)
htr2tog: half treble 2 together
htr3tog: half treble 3 together
sl st: slip stitch
yoh: yarn over hook
To work out the length of the starting chain, subtract the desired sole width from sole length, chain to this length, and chain two more.
Round 1: Work 1 htr into the second hook from the chain and into the back loop of each stitch along the chain until the last-but-one, 4 htr into the last stitch (by the slip knot) to form the toe, then one htr into the front loop of each stitch, to take you back to the heel.
Join with a sl st at the heel.
Round 2: Ch1, htr into the same stitch, then 1 htr in each stitch around until you reach the toe. 2 htr into each of the 4 toe stitches, then 1 htr in each stitch until the one before the heel and 2 htr in the last stitch. Slip stitch to join the round. For larger sizes, you may wish to repeat round 2, with alternate 2htr -htr-2htr… in the stitches around the toe as increases.
Round 3: ch1, work htr into the back loop of the same stitch and each stitch around; join with a sl st at the heel. This raises the sides of the bootie and it looks like a little boat at this stage:
In the next round, decreases are used to form the toe.
Round 4: Ch1, 1 htr in next st and each stitch until the toe portion is reached. 2htrtog four times around the toe: yoh, insert hook into stitch, draw through a loop, yoh, draw through two loops on hook, repeat, yoh, draw through all three loops on hook.
(NB: this is perhaps more typically a decrease used with trebles (dc), ie tr2tog (dc2tog) but the extra height given seems useful here)
Htr in each stitch around to the heel, sl st to close round.
Round 5: Ch1, htr in next and each stitch up to and including the 4th stitch from the toe.
Htr3tog twice (once each side of the toe), htr in each stitch to the heel and sl st to close the round
Round 6 to end: Ch1, htr in each st around. Repeat until desired height is reached. Finish with a slip stitch, pass the yarn end through and weave in ends. I usually work a chain and weave it through between stitches near the top of the bootie, as shown below and in the collage, knotting the ends to keep the chain in place. You could use ribbon or a contrasting yarn if you prefer.
If you’re making longer booties then you may wish to work some increases to account for the calf circumference (hence needing this measurement). The ecru pair here would suit a baby with narrow ankles and chunky calves but all sorts of variations are possible.