Monday, May 19, 2014

Free Pattern: Petite Jeté Baby Ballet Flats

How cute are these!?  In ballet "jeté" means to jump while kicking out with one foot.  It reminds me of the way babies kick their legs all the time, invariably knocking off whatever sock or bootie you just put on them.  So I designed these little ballet flats with a row of elastic hidden in the cast off, to help them stay on while the kid jeté's away.  The simple design has plenty of room in the toes, and is perfect for customizing anyway you like.  They're fast to knit, too, so you can easily whip up a pair during nap time!   Are you ready?  Allons-y!

Petite Jeté 

Sizes NB (3mo, 6mo, 9mo)

You will need:
Dk weight yarn
US #2 (3mm) dpns
Beading cord elastic (two 10’’ pieces)  - This stuff
large yarn needle

Cast on 25 (29, 33, 37) sts with your preferred seamless cast on 
(Check out my better bootie cast on tutorial here)
Join in the round and distribute sts across either three or four dpns, depending on preference.

I prefer to place my stitches across three dpns, and use the “breaks” between needles in place of stitch markers, but you can distribute them whichever way is most comfortable for you.

The sole is worked in garter stitch starting with a “wrong side” round:
Round 1 and all odd rounds: Purl
Round 2: [k1, m1] twice, k10 (12, 14, 16), m1, k1, m1, k10 (12, 14, 16), [m1, k1]twice
Round 4: [k1, m1] twice, k12 (14, 16, 18), [m1, k1] three times, m1, k12 (14, 16, 18), [m1, k1]twice
Round 6: [k1, m1] twice, k14 (16, 18, 20), [m1, k1] twice , m1, k3, [m1, k1] twice, m1, k14 (16, 18, 20), [m1, k1]twice
Round 8: k1, m1, k17 (19, 21, 23), [m1, k2] twice, m1, k5, m1, [k2, m1] twice, k17 (19, 21, 23), m1, k1
You should have a total of 57 (61, 65, 69) stitches at this point.
Knit 4 (4, 6, 6) more rounds of garter stitch, ending with a knit round

Now for the top of the bootie, which is knit in 1x1 garter rib:
Round 1: k1, p1 
Round 2: k
Repeat these two rounds for a total of 8 (8, 10, 10) rounds, ending with a k round.
Knit one more round of k1,p1
Next work decreases to shape the toe:
k20 (20,  22, 22), ssk 4 (5, 5, 6) times, k1, k2tog 4 (5, 5, 6) times, k20 (20,  22, 22)
Now we need to make a short row across the back of the heel:
[k1,p1] across 9 sts, w&t, p9, [p1, k1] across 9 sts, w&t, k9
You should end up back at the beginning of the round.

The next round will be the bind off round, but before we do that we need to put in the elastic.  This step is totally optional, but it will make a big difference in helping the booties stay on.  Cut a piece of elastic 10 inches long, and thread it onto a large yarn needle.  Starting at the beginning of the round at the back of the heel, thread the elastic through the stitches without taking them off the needles.  (This is the same way you’d put in a lifeline, only using elastic instead of waste yarn.)  If you find that it gets a bit tight, you can slip your stitches onto smaller dpns to make it easier.  Be careful not to pull the other end of you elastic too far through!

Bind off using a stretchy bind off.  I prefer the k2tog tbl bind off.  (K2 tog, slip resulting stitch back to the left needle, k2tog tbl, and repeat.)  Tie an overhand knot in the elastic at the back of the heel, and trim the tails to around an inch long.  The elastic should be completely hidden under the cast off, resulting in a magically super-stretchy edge.

You want the elastic to be snug enough to help the bootie stay on, but not so snug that it distorts the shape.  Tuck the tails into the purl bumps on the inside of the bootie.  Sew in your ends, and you’re done!

I like to add a crochet chain with the bind off tail, and make a little tab to help pull the bootie on.  I can just picture these dressed up with a little bow, or buttons, or ribbon… the options are endless! 

Now, this pattern hasn't been tested, so if you find anything wrong with it or have any comments about sizing, let me know!

Happy Knitting!


  1. Cute pattern! Thank you, I will be trying these soon.

  2. Would it be ok if I posted a trackback link to this in my next blog post?

    1. Absolutely! You may also use any of the photos here in your post, provided you credit me for them. Thanks for asking! :)

  3. I really appreciate the free pattern, and thank you for posting it. I am a new knitter and in casting on I am using Judy's magic cast on for toe up socks (Knitty spring '06), as it is seamless. I also saw the note on Ravelry that the cast on amount was off by two stitches. However, I have done the math - 11 stitches for the K1 M1 X2/ M1 K1 M1 / M1 K1 X2/ + K10 (12, 14, 16) X2. I have come up with six more stitches for each size. What am I doing wrong? Please explain. Thanks in advance for any assistance you can offer me. My email address is, if you need to reply to me that way. Helamina Jones

    1. Hi there! I have to admit that it's been awhile since I actually knit up this pattern, and I'm not entirely sure which part you are stuck at. After the cast on, the first row increases by 6 stitches. So 6 stitches + the # you cast on should be correct after the first row of the pattern.

  4. Ok, it is the cast on I am stuck at. I cast on 33 sts for the 6 months size, however when knitting second row, (first row is purl), k1, m1 twice, /using 4 sts/, then k14 /using 14 sts/, m1 k1 m1,/using 3 sts/, k14,/using 14 sts/ m1, k1, twice, /using 4 sts/. Add up all the used sts, 4+ 14 + 3 + 14 + 4 =39 sts. So my question is why do I not have 39 sts to use? Again thank for your help.

    1. Aha! I think I see. The m1 increase does not "use" a stitch. It creates a new stitch in-between stitches. So the section [k1,m1] twice = 2 stitches used (not 4) from the cast on and 2 new stitches created. When you reach the end of the row you will have created 6 new stitches, reaching the total 39 stitches. Does that make more sense?

  5. Thanks so much for your quick replies. Do I understand that the k1 m1, are both using the same stitch? So how does that work on the section after k14 sts, m1 k1 m1, that would be using 2 stitches? I did say I was a new knitter, didn't I?

    1. Lol, it's okay, I don't mind answering questions! I think some of the confusion here is coming from the type of increase. The make 1 increase does not use a stitch at all, but is made by lifting the "ladder" between stitches and using that to make a new stitch. Here's a video that may help you understand what I mean:

  6. Thank you so much. Yes, now I do understand.

    1. Yay! Glad to help. Let me know if you have any other questions. You can always email me at if needed. :)

  7. Hello and thank you for the pattern! I am doing this pattern on Magic loop as I don't care for DPN's. I am almost at the end, starting the short rows. The [k1, p1] across 9sts, w&t, p9, [p1,k1] across 9 sts, w&t, k9. This doesn't make sense to me as you k1, p1 across 9sts, for a total of 9 sts, w&t and knit back those 9 sts - how do you w&t again? You are back at the start. The previous section gets you back to the beginning, so you are starting the short rows at the beginning, ie the side of the shoe. Help!