Pin It Now, I’m a fan of the layered look. Layered shirts. Layered sweaters. Layered cakes. But at 5’9″, there aren’t a lot of socks that are tall enough on me to peek out of my boots.

I know you’re thinking, “Well, Jess, you think you’re so crafty, you could just knit some tall socks.” And to that I say, “I may knit some crazy things, but I will never, not ever, ever knit a pair of socks. Ever. Like even if I’ve been barefoot in Antarctica for 21 years.”

I just don’t see the point. They’re so tedious. And then the glorious finished product gets hidden in a shoe, relegated to soaking up your foot sweat all day.

Enter the perfect solution: the boot topper.

Pin It The great thing about a boot topper is that it gives the illusion of the I-snowshoed-to-work-today vibe without all the bulk of an actual Eskimo sock. I whipped up several pairs of these as Christmas gifts this year and found I could crank one out for every two episodes of Breaking Bad I watched. Not such a bad pace for an awesome DIY gift.

It’s super easy (and surprisingly cozy) to make your own little calf Snuggies. I used worsted weight wool and size 7 double pointed needles for these boot toppers, but really, you can use any yarn you want as long as you adjust the needle size accordingly. I find it pretty fun to knit the basic tube and then add some variety in the stitches at the top (the part that sticks out of the boot). These boot toppers aren’t super tapered because we tend to be a family of pretty thin chicken calves. But if your calves are on the larger side, just add a few extra stitches once you’ve completed the bottom ribbing.

Basic Knit Boot Topper Pattern:

Worsted Weight Wool (although you can use anything that makes your legs smile)

Size 7 DPNs

Yarn Needle to sew in ends

Cast on 44 stitches.

Ribbing: K2 P2 and continue this ribbing until you’re happy with its length

Body: Knit in the round until piece measures about 6″
(If you have larger calves, increase four stitches, dispersed evenly on the first full knit row.)

Top: K2 P2 and continue this ribbing until you’re happy with its length
(Or make up your own fancy design for the top)

Bind off all stitches, weave in the ends, pull on some comfy leggins and hit the road–or a mural of a road.
I love these boot toppers because they’re a super easy accessory that can look completely different based on the yarn and stitches you choose. Try a seed stitch. Or ribbing throughout. Or straight up garter stitch goodness. You really can’t go wrong.
Thanks to my ever-stylish sister, Mich, for modeling. You’re really a natural calf model.

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50 Responses to TUTORIAL: Knit Boot Topper Pattern

  1. Michelle says:

    LOVE my boot toppers! Thanks for the pattern, maybe I’ll make some myself.

    PS – told you that weird mural would be cool. Totally worth the wierd looks from the homeless dudes.

  2. Lauren says:

    I will be making these!!

  3. Mom says:

    I have 1 seed stitch boot topper here. I need some yarn to finish boot topper #2!

  4. Shalet says:

    These are so cute!

  5. makingmade says:

    Ahhhh, this is such a cute tutorial. I love the whole photo shoot that goes with it, especially the sidewalk chalk idea. Yay!

    • Make and Do Girl says:

      Thanks Jeanne! The sidewalk chalk was a happy accident. It happened to be outside the restaurant my sister and I were having brunch at. Maybe a sidewalk chalk mural can be one of the next things you make? :)

  6. Victoria says:

    What a great tutorial. I love that look but it always feel so bulky, will have to try this soon!

  7. Conny Mc says:

    How many balls would you need for this project?

  8. Amy says:

    Just a big THANK YOU for the free pattern! You are so generous to share! : )

  9. Valery says:

    I love this tutorial, I’ve not mastered the art of knitting yet though. Do you think this could be done with crochet? Thanks for this tutorial

  10. Terresa says:

    I’m with you . . . love the look, hate the bulk. But I don’t know how to knit!!! Can you suggest a book or site so I can learn and make these??? Thanks!

  11. Vanessa says:

    I’m a very novice knitter and am trying my hand at knitting in the round. Did/do you use 3 or 4 needles? I just tried with 4 and ended up with a huge jumbled mess.

    • Jessa says:

      Vanessa, the stitches should be dispersed across 3 needles. You will always have one needle free that you’re knitting with. E.g., if you have 12 stitches on each of the three, or needles A, B, C, then needle D will be the one you knit with and will take the place of needle A when you’re done with the row. Then needle A will become the one you knit with and replace needle B when the row is complete. Check out YouTube vids if you’re still confused!

  12. kim says:

    is anyone aware of a crochet pattern for this-if so and it isn’t much trouble maybe send me a link to it-I know it shouldn’t be difficult to convert just that I am a newbie


  13. Diane says:

    Love this pattern! I just finished making a pair of these for my daughter. Will be sending them to her in the mail – she’s going to love them, I know! I’ll email you a picture of them. I used Lion Brand Amazing yarn.

  14. kim says:

    wow such a way with words and pictures add to it a free pattern very kind of you – was wondering if anyone has come across a crochet version-I, too am a newbie to knitting – kinda scared as I don’t have the correct needle size, that is suggested and not sure of the number of needles – any info and/or suggestions would be appreciated, or hey I just might put caution to the wind and try with what I have
    (really not sure I can do that though, lol)

    Again love your sense of humour and kindness for sharing

    keep creating

  15. [...] I think I found my next knitting project. [...]

  16. Barbara says:

    I laughed out loud at your comments about socks. Dittos! Great
    pattern and with all the wonderful yarns out there the possibilities
    are endless.

  17. Kate says:

    This is my first time knitting with DPNs. In the tutorials I have watched, you have to divide the stitches evenly across the needles. Does this mean that you were working with 5 needles if you started with 44 stitches? I only bought 4, so I’m trying to re-work this pattern in my head!

  18. Gail says:

    My daughter just called me and wants me to make some for her. I’m more a crocheter. Knitting scares me but I’m going to give it a try.

    • Make and Do Girl says:

      Hey Gail,
      I’ve made some crocheted boot toppers and it worked great, but I’d definitely say you should give knitting a shot. Maybe I’ll make a crocheted boot toppers tutorial soon!
      Good luck, you’re daughter’s a lucky girl!

  19. Fran says:

    If knitting in the round on four kneedles scares beginners, try just knitting back and forth on two needles, and sewing up a seam as tidily and smoothly as you can.

    Remember to change to P2 K2 for ribbing when knitting back on the even rows to make ribbing. Then knit a row, purl a row, to desired length, before finishing with final ribbing rows.

    • Make and Do Girl says:

      Thanks for the helpful tip, Fran. You’re totally right–skipping the double pointed needles is just dandy. Thanks for pointing out this work around.
      Happy crafting.

  20. deb says:

    thanks for the idea & the pattern. I made 4 pair for Christmas gifts and then made myself a pair with the leftover wool. I knitted 1/2 way then changed the wool to another color to finish them off to length. so I can wear them as if they were 2 pair because the bottom half (in one color) is tucked into the boot while the top is exposed. Reversible!

    • Make and Do Girl says:

      I LOVE THIS IDEA! It’s brilliant! I was thinking of making a new pair of boot toppers soon and I’m definitely going to take your suggestion. Thanks!

  21. Renee Dervay says:

    I’m going to make these boot toppers using 9″ circular needles. It’s a lot easier than double points.

  22. Renee Dervay says:

    I lOVE the brown boot topper on pattern 5, but can’t figure how you knit the “ripple” stitches on the top. I will be be making these using #7, 9″ circular needles.

    • Make and Do Girl says:

      Hey Renee,
      The ripple is a knit 2, purl two ribbing. Simply knit 2 stitches, then purl the next 2. If you’re not sure now to do a purl stitch, there are a lot of great videos on Youtube. Hope that makes sense.
      Happy knitting!

  23. Renee Dervay says:

    Hi Jess. Thanks for your response, but I’m not sure if we’re talking about the same boot topper. I was wondering how to make the pattern on the brown boot topper (above the photo of the variegated boot topper.) I can’t figure out how you knit those three rows that look like a seeded stitch.

  24. [...] knit boot toppers are almost done. Pattern coming soooooon! (If you can’t wait, try this tutorial for some simple knit boot toppers.) 6. The great thing about wearing your baby in a [...]

  25. Tamera Burchett says:

    I too would like to know the pattern for the boot toppers with the top that is not ribbed. Please let me know when it is available. That boot topper is very adorable. Thanks!

  26. [...] of tedious knitting projects. (This woman knits socks. Which I will NEVER do. Read more about why here.) Since my mom was generous enough to offer to help, I knew I wanted the yarn to arrive in a [...]

  27. Tiffany says:

    Would love it if you would also sell these…already made…on etsy or something. Love the look, but I don’t have time to learn to knit right now. I would have already bought them if they were for sale, though.

    • Make and Do Girl says:

      Thanks for the idea, Tiffany. I afraid I don’t have a lot of extra time to tackle that right now, but I’ll definitely let you know if I decide to start selling some. Boy, that would be a fun, cozy business to launch!


  28. Cris says:

    Could you share the top of the mocha is very cute..thanks

    • Make and Do Girl says:

      Hey Chris,

      I’m afraid I don’t have my notes on that pattern any more, but perhaps I’ll re-write up a similar pattern soon. Thanks for reading.


  29. Hannah says:

    I know this is an older post, but I just found it today and I’m so happy I did! Can’t wait to make a few of these before the cold really sets in :) Thank you!

    • Make and Do Girl says:


      I totally agree. I just pulled my boot toppers out of storage the other day and I was so happy to see them.

      Happy knitting!


  30. AbracaDebra says:

    Thank you so much Jess for stating your logic for not knitting socks!

    Like you, I will never knit socks or be made to feel inadequate for not knitting socks!

    Gold Toe, Hanes and Fruit of the Loom have the science perfected so there is no need for me to suffer the frustration!

    Boot toppers, however are next on my needles!

    Knit happily!

  31. Rossann says:

    Does anyone have a suggested length for the ribbing?

  32. Carol says:

    I have granddaughters of all ages…do you have a suggestion for making the knitted boot toppers for 8 – 12 year old’s. The 44 stitches for the 15 – 18 yr old’s worked well. Thank you for sharing your pattern.

    • Make and Do Girl says:

      Hey Carol,

      You’re so sweet to make boot toppers for your granddaughters. I’m glad to hear the pattern worked for the 15-18-year-olds. I’d try casting on 36 stitches for the younger girls. Keep in mind, you can always increase or decrease the number of stitches cast on by increments of 4. That way, the ribbing will always line up to alternate knit/purl.

      Happing knitting!


  33. Judy says:

    hi – I am making the boot toppers. This is just the right pattern I was looking for…
    Do you have a scarf pattern that will lay flat rather than curl up?

    • Make and Do Girl says:

      Hey Judy,

      What kind of scarf are you hoping to make? Typically, anything that is knit with ribbing (alternating knitting and purling in the same row) or stockinette (knitting every row), won’t curl much. Where things get curly is when you’re knitting a row and then purling the next. Do you use Ravelry? That could be a great place to look for scarf patterns. This cotton cowl was super easy and not the least bit curly.

      Hope that helps!

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