En Pointe

- Ballerina slipper pattern


Translation by: Hasbu. Thank you very much!

I take no responsibility of the possible errors in the pattern, spoiled yarn or lost nerves, but I would love to receive feedback. If you notice any errors, please let me know.

I would also love to see pictures of finished slippers. I have set up a gallery and will publish your pictures if you give me permission to do so. Send your pictures to ilu at handu dot fi.

In the gallery Balleristgallerist you can see pictures of finished En Pointe Ballerina Shoes.

Woman: 39 / US 8.5
Child: 23 / US 6.5 (instructions in parentheses)
Remember that felting is no exact science and the size of the finished slippers might not be exact. Instructions are included to customize the slippers for your feet.

- Sandnesgarn Tove (100% wool, 160m / 175yd per 50g ball). One ball should be enough for a women's pair, but to be on the safe side, have two balls at hand
- 1 set 3mm / US # 3 douple-point needles (tight knitters: 3.5 mm / US #  4)
- 3 mm crochet hook (Note: 3mm crochet hook is between US C/2 and US D/3 in size)
- Tapestry needle
- 2 buttons
- Beads, sequins, pretty yarn or such for trim (optional)


Start the slippers by knitting the heel with 2 dpns:
CO 10 (6) sts and work in stockinette stitch (knit on RS and purl on WS):
Row 1 (WS): purl.
Row 2 (RS): m1, knit to end, m1. 12 (8) stitches.
Repeat rows 1-2 two times (one time). 16 (10) stitches.
Cut yarn. Do not bind off. The piece has one straight edge, and one long, curved edge (= semi-circle).

Using a third dpn, cast on 16 (9) sts. Work in stockinette stitch for 12 (9) rows). The piece measures now half of the length of the long, curved edge in the semi-circle piece.
Cut yarn. Do not bind off.
Using a fourth dpn, pick up and knit 16 (9) sts from the CO edge of the piece. Work in stockinette stitch for 12 (9) rows. The piece measures 24 (18) rows in total and has a dpn with 16 (9) sts at both edges. See picture.

Combine the two pieces you knitted so that the edges of the rectangular piece are on both sides of the straight edge of the semi-circle piece on one dpn. Right sides are facing the same direction. See picture. 16 x 3 (9 + 10 + 9) sts.
Work in stockinette stitch with 2 dpns for 16cm / 6.3in (9cm / 3.5in) . NOTE: If you want to make the slippers smaller or bigger, knit this part 1-1.5cm / 0.4-0.6in shorter or longer. The width of the slippers should be fine as it is for most feet.

You will need all 5 dpns to knit the toes.
On next RS row, knit to the end of the row, m1.
On next WS row, purl to the end of the row, m1.
Repeat these two rounds one more time. 2 sts added to both ends.
On the next RS row, knit to the end of the row, CO 5 (3) sts. 57 (35) sts on the needle.
Divide the sts evenly on 4 dpns. See picture. Continue to knit in the round for 4cm / 1.6in (2.5cm / 1in). Work toe decreases as you normally do.

I prefer this method of toe decreases in felted slippers:
Row 1: *k1, k2tog, knit to the end of the dpn.  Repeat from * until the end of round.
Row 2: *k until the two middle stitches on the dpn, k2tog, knit to the end of the dpn. Repeat from * until the end of round.
Row 3: *k to last three stitches on the dpn, k2tog, k1. Repeat from * until the end of round.
Repeat rows 1-3 until 4 sts are left. BO all sts.

The starting point for the strap is 28 (16) sts from the heel seam. The strap starts from the right side for the left foot shoe and from the left side for the right foot shoe.

Pick up and knit 9 (6) sts. Work in stockinette stitch for 13cm / 5in (9cm / 3.5in).
Decrease rounds: *SKP0, knit to end. Repeat from * until no sts remain.

Heel reinforcement:
CO 15 (8) sts. Work in stockinette stitch for 24 (18) rows and BO all sts.

Using the tapestry needle, weave in all ends.
Sew the hole in the heel closed, using, for example, mattress stitch. See picture. Instructions here.
Using the crochet hook, work sc around the edges (do not forget the strap!). A good, firm edge is created by working a sc into every two or three sts.
Sew the heel reinforcement inside the heel, sideways in the middle. See picture.

I use a fine mesh bag when felting, it protects the knit. Toss the slippers in the washer. Add a sheet or similar in the washer to help increase agitation. If you are brave, set the washer for medium hot wash (60° C), if not, then something lower (40 ° C).

When the washer is finished, check on the progress. If the slippers are too big, return them to the washer and felt again. If they are still huge, you can try hot wash (90 ° C), but that is quite extreme. When you are done felting, stretch the slippers and check the fit. You can use your own feet to make the fit perfect.

Tove does not felt very much, but the felted knit is beautiful.

Attach the straps to the other sides of the slippers with buttons. The wool is so stretchy that there is no need to make a button hole; you can just slip the ballerina shoes on your feet!

Finish with trimmings. You can embroider the slippers, sew on some beads or sequins... use your imagination!
Congratulations, you have done it. I hope it worked out. If it did not, do not blame me.  Or, you can blame me, but remember that I am only human and did try my best. Have a glass of wine and sit by the fireplace wearing your new En Pointe Ballerina Shoes, thinking of the knitter who provided you with these instructions. Take a picture of the slippers and blog about them. Do not forget to send a picture of your En Pointes to me: ilu at handu dot fi!