Knitty: little purls of wisdom
The Loopy Ewe


My interest in knitting has been kept alive over the years by the almost infinite variety of color, pattern, and texture that is found in collections of knitters and museums around the world. Although I love the smooth, quiet repetition of knitting a rectangular scarf in garter stitch using a luxurious yarn, it is the endless diversity of technique and style that keeps me interested in knitting as more than a way to keep my hands busy while watching TV.


spacer title
beauty shotby Donna Druchunas


These slipper socks are inspired by several pairs I saw in the Edith Durham Collection at the Bankfield Museum in England. I was so intrigued by the designs and construction, that I had to learn more. I have since purchased several pairs from Bosnian knitters for my own collection.

spacer photos: Domenic Cotignola
Women’s S [M, L]
finished measurements

Circumference: 7.5 [8.25, 9] inches
Foot Length: 9.5 [10, 10.75] inches



The Loopy Ewe Solid Series [100% superwash merino; 220 yd per 55g skein]; 1 [1, 1] skein each of:
spacer [MC] Butter (color# 23-20)
spacer [A] Ivory (color# 03-40)
spacer [B] Charcoal (color# 22-88)
spacer [C] Cobalt (color# 55-70)
spacer [D] Strawberry (color# 64-3)

Recommended needle size
[always use a needle size that gives you the gauge listed below -- every knitter's gauge is unique]
spacer 1 set US #2/2.75mm double-point needles
1 US #2/2.75mm circular needle for magic loop
2 US #2/2.75mm circular needles for two-circulars method

spacer 1 set US #4/3.5mm double-point needles
1 US #4/3.5mm circular needle for magic loop
2 US #4/3.5mm circular needles for two-circulars method

spacer scrap yarn of a similar weight in a contrasting color
spacer tapestry needle


32 sts/36 rounds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch over stranded color knitting on larger needles

[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]

These socks are worked from the toe up with a Bosnian toe. The initial portion of the toe is worked flat, the rest of the sock is worked in the round. Stitches are worked in scrap yarn to create the heel opening. The scrap yarn is removed and the heel worked after the rest of the sock is complete.

The small amount of red in the Instep chart on rows 24-32 can be knit in as you go or added with duplicate stitch after the knitting is complete.

The charts for this pattern are very large. Each fits on a letter-sized page.
Click below and print each resulting page.

sole+instep SmallMediumLarge * heel [all sizes], cuff and chart key

Using the long-tail cast on and holding two of the smaller needles tog, with D, CO 11 sts. Note: Casting on over two needles makes the first row of stitches a little looser than usual; this makes it easier when you have to pick up these stitches in the second step.

Remove one ndl.
Row 1 [RS]: K11, do not turn. Slide sts to other end of dpn and strand working yarn loosely across the back of your work so the sts lie flat and do not draw up into a tube.
Work this row 15 more times - 16 rows worked.

With RS facing, pick up and knit 13 sts along side first of this rectangle, 10 sts along CO edge, and 14 sts along other side—48 sts total.

Knit one round even.

Change to larger needles.

Foot Round: Work appropriate size of Sole Chart across first 24 sts of round, work appropriate size of Instep Chart across second half of round.
Continue Foot Round, including increases as indicated, to the end of row 7[9, 13]. 60[66, 72] sts.

Cont working charts as established until sock measures 7[7.5, 8] inches or 3 inches short of desired foot length, repeating rows 21-52 of the charts.

Heel Opening
With scrap yarn, knit across the first 30[34, 36] sts of the round.

Beginning again at the start of the round, working over the scrap yarn, work around the leg as follows:

Leg round, sizes S & L: Starting at the row where you left off on the foot, work Instep chart twice across round.

Leg round, size M only: Starting at the row where you left off on the foot, work sts 2-33 of Instep chart on first 32 sts of round, work full Instep chart on rem 34 sts of round.

Continue, work Leg round for appropriate size, repeating Instep Chart rows 21-52 as set until leg measures 5.5 inches from heel position, or .5 inches less than desired length. 

Cuff round: Work Cuff Chart across round.
Continue until all rows of Cuff Chart are complete.

Knit 2 rounds even with MC.

Work braided edge as follows:
Round 1: [K1 MC, k1 C] to end.

Round 2: Bring both yarns to the front to purl. [P1 MC, p1 C] to end, bringing the new color UNDER the old color for each stitc. The yarns will become twisted, but will untwist on next round.

Round 3: Keep both yarns to the front to purl again. [P1 MC, p1 C] to end, but this time bring the new color OVER the old color to work each stitch. This will untwist the yarn from the previous rnd.

Rounds 4 & 5: With MC, knit.
BO all sts loosely with MC.  Leave a 6-inch tail on both colors.

Carefully Remove waste yarn and distribute heel sts onto needles as you prefer – you should have 60[68, 74] sts total – 30[34, 36] from the top and 30[34, 36] from the bottom. The start of the round is at the side edge between the bottom of the heel and the back of the heel.

Heel round: Work appropriate size of Heel Chart twice across round.
Continue until all rows of Heel Chart are complete.  40 sts rem.

BO knitwise with D.

With sock right-side out, whip stitch the heel seam together or, if you prefer, graft the stitches together. Turn the BO edge to the inside and sew down so the braid is at the top edge of the sock. Weave in ends. If desired, pull the ends from the bind off at the cuff to the outside and braid them together.
Donna Druchunas escaped a corporate cubicle to honor her passions for knitting, world travel, resesarch, and writing. She is the author of six knitting books including Arctic Lace, Successful Lace Knitting, Kitty Knits, and Ethnic Knitting Exploration: Lithuania, Iceland, and Ireland. Donna has just finished writing a book about knitting in Lithuania.

She lives in Colorado with her husband, mother, and three cats who all help her test the usability and comfort of her finished knitted items. Visit Donna's website at