Knitty: little purls of wisdom
beauty shot


"Dating back to the 18th century, the macaron is a traditional French pastry, made of egg whites, almond powder, icing sugar and sugar. This sweet pastry came out of the French courts' baker's oven as round meringue-like domes with a flat base."

source: Wikipedia

As winter approaches, creature comforts grow in importance. These cozy slipper socks remind me a little of another treat, French macarons -- little round bundles of bright colors and delicious flavor.

The curved ridges here are a simple combination of knit and purl rounds, and the slipper is constructed like a simple top-down sock, but at a lovely quick gauge for fast knitting.

The circular medallions are done with simple spider web embroidery -- check out the illustrations below and you'll see it's a piece of cake!

spacer photos: Kristin Nicholas

S[M, L]
To fit Woman's Small/Medium [Woman's Medium/Large, Men's Medium]


Foot Circumference: 8[8.75, 9.5] inches
Leg Circumference: 9.25[10, 11] inches, unstretched
Leg Length: 10.5 inches



Nashua Handknits Julia [50% wool, 25% alpaca, 25% mohair; 93yd/85m per 50g skein]
spacer [A] #2624 Fuchsia; 1 skein
spacer [B] #3961 Lady's Mantle; 1 skein
spacer [C] #6085 Geranium; 2 skeins
spacer [D] #1054 Sunflower; 1 skein
spacer [E] #4726 Maine Coast Blue; 1 skein

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 #6/4 mm double-point needles
spacer 1 set US #7/4.5mm double-point needles

spacer Yarn needle
spacer Safety pin or split ring marker
spacer 1 pair suede slipper bottoms, to fit wearer
spacer 1 crochet hook, approx. size US #8/H / 5mm
spacer Pompom maker, approx. diameter 2.25 inches (optional)


20 sts/24 rounds = 4 inches in stockinette st using smaller needles
19 sts = 4 inches in Ridge pattern using larger needles


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

The leg of this sock is worked using a larger needle, for a slouchy fit.

When slipping sts, slip st purlwise with yarn held to WS of work.

skp: Sl 1 knitwise with yarn held to back of work, k1, pass slipped st over st just knit. 1 st decreased.

Ridge: K 1 round. P 2 rounds.

Directions for grafting can be found here.

Directions for whip stitch can be found here.


Using larger needles and A, CO 44[48, 52] sts. K 1 row, then divide sts between 3 needles and join to begin working in the round, being careful not to twist.

K 6 rounds. Place safety pin or split ring marker in work to indicate beginning of round.

Note: Directions for Ridge can be found in Pattern Notes [above]. When beginning with a new color, break the old color and join the new color, leaving tails of each to be woven in later.

Work one Ridge using B, then one Ridge using C.

Sizes S, L Only:
Next Round: Using D, [k9[-, 11], k2tog] four times. 40[-, 48] sts.

All Sizes:
K 2[3, 2] rounds using D.
Next Round: [K1, yo, k2tog, k1] to end. This round forms eyelets for crocheted cord.

K 2[3, 2] rounds.

Sizes S, L Only:
Next Round: Using D, [k10[-, 12], m1] four times. 44[-, 52] sts.

All Sizes:
Work one Ridge each in colors E, A and B.

K 15 rounds using E.
Note: As written, leg is 10.5 inches long to top of heel. If you wish to lengthen or shorten leg by 0.5 inch or less, work more or fewer rounds in this section. If you wish to change length by more than 0.5 inch, add or omit Ridges in the following section. Note that if you add Ridges, you may require more yarn.

Work nine more ridges, in the following color sequence: D, C, B, A, E, D, A, B, E.

Switching to smaller needles, k 3 rounds using C. Foot will be worked entirely using C.
Next Round: [K9[10, 11], k2tog] four times. 40[44, 48] sts.
K 2 rounds.

K first 20[22, 24] sts of next round onto one needle. Heel flap will be worked back and forth over these sts; remaining sts are held on other needles for instep.
Row 1 [WS]: K1, p to last st, k1.
Row 2 [RS]: K2, [sl 1, k1] to end.
Repeat these 2 rows until flap measures 2[2.25, 2.5] inches, ending with a RS row.

Row 1 [WS]: P12[13, 14], p2tog, p1. turn work.
Row 2 [RS]: Sl 1, k5, skp, k1. Turn work.
Row 3 [WS]: Sl 1, p6, p2tog, p1. Turn work.
Row 4 [RS]: Sl 1, k7, skp, k1. Turn work.
Row 5 [WS]: Sl 1, p8, p2tog, p1. Turn work.
Row 6 [RS]: Sl 1, k9, skp, k1. Turn work.
Row 7 [WS]: Sl 1, p10, p2tog, p0[1, 1]. Turn work.

Sizes S, M Only:
Row 8 [RS]: Sl 1, k10[11, -], skp, k0[1, -]. 12[14, -] sts remain. Proceed to Gusset.

Size L Only:
Row 8 [RS]: Sl 1, k11, skp, k1. Turn work.
Row 9 [WS]: Sl 1, p12, p2tog. Turn work.
Row 10 [RS]: Sl 1, k12, skp. 14 sts remain. Proceed to Gusset.

Place all sts of instep on one needle. Using needle holding heel flap sts (Needle 1),  pick up and k 12[13, 14] sts along adjacent edge of heel flap. Using a second needle (Needle 2), k all sts of instep. Using third needle (Needle 3), pick up and k 12[13, 14] sts along remaining edge of heel flap, then k first 6[7, 7] sts of heel flap. This point (center of heel) will now be beginning of round; place safety pin or split ring marker in work if desired. 56[62, 66] sts: 18[20, 21] sts each on Needles 1 and 3, 20[22, 24] sts on Needle 2.

Gusset Decrease Round: K to last 3 sts of Needle 1, k2tog, k1; k all sts of Needle 2; k1, skp, k to end of Needle 3.
K 1 round.
Repeat these 2 rounds 7[8, 8] times more. 40[44, 48] sts: 10[11, 12] sts each on Needles 1 and 3, 20[22, 24] sts on Needle 2.

Work in stockinette st until foot measures 2 inches less than desired length to end of toe.

Toe Decrease Round: K to last 3 sts of Needle 1, k2tog, k1; k1, skp, k to last 3 sts of Needle 2, k2tog, k1; k1, skp, k to end of Needle 3.
K 1 round.
Repeat these 2 rounds five times more, then work Toe Decrease Round once more. 12[16, 20] sts.

K to end of Needle 1, then place all sts from Needle 3 onto Needle 1. 6[8, 10] sts each on Needles 1 and 2. Graft sts on Needle 1 to sts on Needle 2.


Weave in ends.

Using photos as guides, work spider web embroidery on foot and on stockinette st section of leg. Note: It is important to use a blunt tip needle for spider web stitch -- a pointed needle is difficult to use because it will pierce the thread you are weaving on. You can also use the back end of a sharp pointed needle to weave.

Step 1: Build the base for the spider web

You must have an odd number of spokes in order for the weaving to work -- 5, 7 or 9 work well.

Bring yarn up in the center of the circle (A), and make a stitch from B to A. Continue in the same way to make stitches all the way around the outside of the circle to the center (from C to A, D to A, etc.)


Step 2: Begin Weaving

Come up in the center of the spokes.


Step 3: Fill in the spokes

Weave over and under every other spoke, spiraling outward until the entire shape is filled. Pack the stitches down as the spokes fill up to create a filled-in weaving. As you weave and pack down the yarn, the spokes disappear under the weaving. End by drawing the yarn through to the back side under a spoke and finish off.


If you are a knitter who hasn't ever done embroidery before, never fear! It is easy -- especially when you are using wool which fills in nicely and covers up mistakes. When you first start the spider webs, they won't look like much. Keep weaving around the base spokes and fill them solidly. The spider webs will become puffy and slightly sculptural.

The cord can be either knitted or crocheted.

Crocheted Method:
Using 1 strand each of A and C held together, work a crochet chain approx. 30 inches long.
Make a second tie in the same way.

Knitted Method:
Using 1 strand each of A and C held together, CO 60 sts, then BO all sts.
Make a second tie in the same way.

Using photos as guides, thread ties through eyelets.
Using pompom maker, make 4 pompoms. Attach to ends of ties.

Using desired color and whip stitch, sew slipper feet into suede slipper bottoms.


Kristin Nicholas is a knitwear and stitchery author and designer who lives on a sheep farm in western Massachusetts with her husband and daughter and dog, Phoebe.

She is the author of several knitting and embroidery books, the newest being Color by Kristin [Sixth+Spring Books, 2009]. Her yarn Julia is available nationwide (distributed by Nashua Handknits/ Westminster Fibers) and her stitchery kits are distributed by JCA.

Visit her website and blog at