Easy, cozy, delicate. This new ballerina-inspired Sakuro slippers pattern is an ideal project for this season. Made all knitting, they are adorned with an embroidery of a cherry blossom motif also called sakura in Japan. A quick and fun project to knit and wear! Read through my inspiration, design process and everything on the yarn I chose or scroll down for the free pattern.
My Inspiration Of The Sakuro Slippers
After my Adenia crochet shawl, I wanted a quick and easy knitting project to vary the pleasures!
I often wear ballerina-slippers at home, my inspiration was all found: why not knit myself a pair ?! The Sakuro slippers are really a simple, relaxing project and with spring the beautiful days arrive here in southwest of France, the flowers are starting to bloom and my bucolic spirit is waking up, this is another beautiful inspiration for the cherry blossom embroidery finish.
The addition of the cord tied around the ankle brings a feminine touch while delicacy and, incidentally, helps the slipper to hold in place. The Sakuro slippers – ballerinas are really comfortable to wear, I love them and never tire of them!
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A Spring, Cozy and Quick Project
The Sakuro slippers are knitted from heel to toe in one go with four double pointed needles of 5 mm / US 8, but you can perfectly knit them with circular needles if you feel comfortable adapting the pattern, which some of my testers did and even knitting both slippers at the same time. Doubly fast!
The heel is reinforced and knitted in an eye-of-partridge pattern to give more style to the slipper, we mix the useful with the pleasant! The whole foot is in stockinette stitches and the toe is in a star shape. I especially like the rounded / star shape at the toe on slippers compared to socks.
These slippers – ballerinas are of an intermediate level, you must know the basics of knitting. Further down in this article you will find the techniques used knowing that I also give explanations of the stitches in the pattern.
Some of my testers are new to knitting and did very well with the pattern. They agree that they find this project: fun, fast, comfortable, graceful, elegant, cocoon, original and that it is a great gift idea!
If you’ve ever knitted socks, you can embark on this slipper project with your eyes closed!
Zoom On The Embroidery
Sakuro slippers are adorned with a pretty cherry blossom pattern embroidery also called sakura in Japan. I decided to draw this pattern by hand myself to have a personalized creation to the end. To be able to embroider it correctly on the slippers I decided to use a small piece of water-soluble fabric. Indeed this fabric (this beautiful invention!) dissolves easily under water to leave only the embroidery. In the pattern I give you the complete tutorial to make them.
By choosing the printable PDF, ads free pattern version you will get a page dedicated to embroidery, separate from the rest of the pattern and therefore easily printable to be able to transfer the patterns with ease. There is a motif for the left slipper, a motif for the right slipper and a third colored motif with color code details and enlarged photos.
A Practical & Delicate Cord
At first I did not think of adding a cord to tie around the ankle but I quickly understood that it would be useful to help the wearing of the wool slipper but also very pleasant & pretty to wear by really creating a final touch to this ballerinas-style. I could have used an i-cord knitter but I went to the end of the project by hand knitting a three-stitch i-cord for which I give all the written explanations on the pattern and in BONUS a video tutorial below:
To make the Sakuro knitting slippers I used one ball of Phil Looping from Phildar, it is a soft and aran weight yarn to work with which contains wool to keep feet warm. A good quality-price ratio for this very comfortable wool to wear. Have you seen their other colors? I also really like Flannelle, and you?
It is designed, at the base, for 6 mm / US 10 needles but after having knitted several samples I opted for 5 mm / US 8 needles for a tighter stitch rendering that matches better a slipper project with, therefore, a gauge of 16 stitches on 21 rows in flat stockinette st.
Plus? One ball = two pairs of slippers!
Yarn Substitution ideas:
Picking Your Size
1) Measure the length of your feet, if it is between 22 and 23 cm (8.7 ”and 9″) take size S, between 24 and 25 cm (9.4 “and 9.8”) choose size M and between 26 and 27 cm (10.2 “and 10.6”) knit size L.
2) The slippers have a negative ease of 1 cm / 0.4″ so they are stretchy when you wear them, they stretch a bit like socks.
3) I knitted size M and my feet are exactly 25 cm / 9.8″ long for reference.
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SAKURO KNITTING SLIPPERS
Sakuro slippers are made from heel to toe. First the reinforced heel is worked in partridge eye motif, then the sts are picked up on each side, the foot is worked flat and the toe in the round with decreases. Then pick up sts all around the upper edge and knit a row, casting off with decreases. Finally, we make a cord by knitting a three-stitch i-cord which will be attached to the heel at mid-width.
After blocking, embroider the pattern at the outside corner of the toe of each slipper and finally apply the non-slip.
S [M, L] Your foot length: 23 cm [25 cm, 27 cm] | 9’’ [9.8”, 10.6]
22 cm [24 cm, 26 cm] | 8.7” [9.4”, 10.2]
Model pictured is wearing a size M (foot length 25 cm | 9.8”).
Level & Techniques
This is an advanced beginner knitting pattern and the techniques involved are Knit flat, knit in round, knit, purl, decrease, SSK, sl st, pick up sts, simple increase, i-cord.
Yarn & Threads
– Phil Looping yarn from Phildar (Aran / 163 m | 178 yds = 100 g) | Color: Lin
↠ 59 [ 72, 82 ] meters | 64 [ 78, 90 ] yds = 1 [ 1 , 1 ] ball.
– Embroidery: 1 x DMC type threads size 25 special embroidery (the colors codes are included in the pattern)
↠ Embroidery: 2 rectangles 6 x 8 cm | 2.4” x 3.1”water soluble fabric
Gauge (10 cm | 4”)
Stockinette flat: 16 stitches x 21 rows
st: stitch | k: knit | p: purl | sl: slip stitch | SSK: Slip Slip Knit | dec: decrease | tog: together | M: marker | k-wise: knitwise | p-wise: purlwise
↠ SSK : Slip the next two sts from the left needle to the right needle as if to knit them but without doing it. Put them back on the left needle. Knit them together through back loop.
↠ Decrease: 2 sts (or 3 sts if specified) knitted together.
↠ I-cord: Cast on 3 sts.
Row 1: Slip the 3 sts on the other end of the double-pointed needle and knit them. Pull the cord lightly to help it form.
Repeat row 1 as many times for the desired length. Bind off the 3 sts, cut the thread, finish off and weave ends into the cord using the wool needle.
I-cord video tutorial link: https://youtu.be/HEfYXaAL1iI
– The size indications are suggested for wearing slippers on bare feet.
– You can replace double pointed needles with circular needles if you feel comfortable adapting the explanations.
– In the photos of this pattern I am using another brand of embroidery floss. The color numbers of DMC threads listed above are equivalents.
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Cast on 14 [16, 18] stitches.
BACK OF HEEL
Row 1. * sl 1 k-wise, k 1 * repeat from * to * until the end of the row. Turn.
Row 2. sl 1 p-wise, p until the end of the row. Turn.
Row 3. sl 2 k-wise, * k 1, 1 sl st * repeat from * to * until the end of the row. Turn.
Row 4. sl 1 p-wise, p until the end of the row. Turn.
Size S : Repeat row 1 to 4 three times in total, then row 1 and 2 once more. (= 14 rows)
Size M : Repeat row 1 to 4 four times in total. (= 16 rows)
Size L : Repeat row 1 to 4 four times in total, then row 1 and 2 once more. (= 18 rows)
Row 1. sl 1 k-wise, k 8 [9, 10] , SSK, k 1. Turn.
Row 2. sl 1 p-wise, p 4 [5, 6] , p2tog, p 1. Turn.
Row 3. sl 1 k-wise, k 5 [6, 7] , SSK, k 1. Turn.
Row 4. sl 1 p-wise, p 6 [7, 8], p2tog, p 1. Turn.
Row 5. sl 1 k-wise, k 6 [8, 9] , SSK, (size L: k 1). Turn.
Row 6. sl 1 p-wise, p 6 [8, 10], p2tog. DO NOT turn. (= 8 [10, 12] st on the needle)
Pick up 7 [8, 9] purl sts on the right side of the heel (photos 1 & 2), knit 15 [18, 21] sts, pick up 7 [8, 9] knit sts on the left side (photo 3). Turn. (= 22 [26, 30] sts)
Row 1. (Place a M on first st of first row only to help you count it) p until the end. Turn.
Row 2. k until the end. Turn.
Repeat row 1 and 2 eleven [thirteen, fifteen] times in total (= 22 [26, 30 rows) so about 12 [14, 16] cm | 4.7” [5.5”, 6.3”]. You end on a knit row.
Divide the stitches in half and slip one half on second needle. (= needle 1: 11 [13, 15] sts, needle 2: 11 [13, 15] sts)
Cast on 8 [10, 12] sts on third needle. Place a M at the beginning of the row. Joining in round with fourth needle:
Round 1 to 8. k until the end (photo 1).
Round 9. * k 2, dec 1 *. (= 23 [27, 32] sts)
Round 10. * k 1, dec 1 *. (= 16 [18, 22] sts)
(Remove the M) Dec until there are only 3 sts left (photo 2).
Finish off by leaving about 10 cm/4” of thread. Insert it into the wool needle and pass it through the last 3 sts, gradually removing the knitting needles. Pull lightly to close the end, weave in end on the inside (photo 3).
From st in the middle of heel ( cast on sts ), pick up 69 [81, 93] sts all along the edge as following: 6 [7, 8] sts mid heel, 1 st at heel-foot junction (place a M in st), 23 [27, 31] sts on left side of foot, 1 st at foot-toe junction (place a M in st), 8 [10, 12] sts at toe, 1 st at the toe-foot junction (place a M in st), 22 [26, 30] sts on the right side of the foot, 1 st at foot-heel junction (place a M in st), 6 [7, 8] sts at mid-heel.
Which makes about 23 [28, 31] sts distributed over the three needles.
With the fourth needle, bind off the sts while doing:
-decrease by 2 tog on all sts on the heel (5 dec [3 dec x 2 = 6 dec, 7 dec] in total on the heel).
– 1 dec at each junction with M, 3 sts tog: 1 st, st with M, 1 st (= 4 dec in total).
The other sts have normal binds off.
Finish off. Do not weave in ends, they will be tied with those of the i-cord when attaching.
Make a 65 cm / 25” i-cord of 3 sts (or adjust the length as you wish).
Tie the middle of the cord halfway across the edge of the heel by making a few stitches with the wool needle, tie the ends to the brim threads and weave in them.
↠ Repeat the same explanations to make the second slipper.
It is recommended to block your slippers before starting the embroidery. It is the blocking (first bath) that will allow the item to be smoothed out by making it take its final shape, even out the pattern on the heel and flatten the stockinette stitch to be able to embroider on a uniform surface.
To do so:
1. Soak your slippers in gentle wash (with a small quantity of special wool soap) for a while (around 30 minutes).
2. Drain the water, then gently squeeze (don’t wring) your slippers and roll them in a towel to extract as much moisture as possible, press it with your hands.
3. Lay your damp item in profile and gently nudge the piece to your finished measurements.
4. Pin your work around the edges to the correct size.
5. Allow to air dry.
There is a pattern for the right slipper and a pattern for the left slipper.
1. Print the pdf embroidery page below to have the motif sketch in real dimension.
2. Transfer one of the patterns in gray pencil (avoid pen which will rub off) onto a rectangle of water soluble fabric by transparency against a window in daylight.
3. Place the soluble fabric / sketch at the corner (outside) of the toe and foot of your slipper and make a few basting / single front stitches, (red thread on the photo) all around to hold it in place.
4. Start embroidering the motif at the foot-toe corner, passing through both layers (soluble fabric & stockinette stitches) in this order: brown (A) at crewel stitch, green (B) at satin stitch, cream (C) & burgundy (D) at long and short stitch.
Note: remember to tie well on the wrong side and weave in ends as each color is finished.
5. Unstitch the basting stitch, carefully scissor off the excess soluble fabric all around the design and run it under a stream of cold tap water while massaging gently to help dissolve the fabric.
6. Allow to air dry.
Finally, apply a few drops of the non-slip liquid (following the directions on the packaging) to the back of the slippers to prevent slipping on the floor.
Enjoy your new Sakuro slippers!
♡ The testers versions ♡
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