Photo of boot toppersThank goodness for girl friends. A few weekends ago, I got together with some friends from college, all of whom are so supportive of KnitOutsideTheBox. They asked me what I was making for this year’s holiday fundraising. As I told them about the cabled wraps and headbands, one of my friends asked if I had considered knitting boot toppers. What a brilliant suggestion! I’m always looking for accessories that are trendy and that won’t take too long to knit. Boot toppers fit the bill perfectly.

As I started looking for patterns on Ravelry and Pinterest, I asked my teenage daughter for her input. Would she wear boot toppers? (Answer: “Yes!”) Would she prefer ones that would fold over the top of a boot or that would be layered over her boots and skinny jeans? (Answer: “Layered.”) Given she has a thing for owls, I asked if she would wear a pair with an owl motif? (Answer: “That would be so cool.”) Armed with this feedback, I decided to design a pattern for layered, owl boot toppers.

For my design, I decided to use Cascade Eco +, an affordable, 100% wool bulky yarn that works up quickly. While this first pair will be for my daughter, I may decide to make more for my fundraising, and I want to be able to knit them as fast as I can.

Next, I researched how to make an owl. When I was visiting my mom this summer, she was knitting an owl pattern for an infant-sized cardigan, so I knew that I needed a certain pattern of cable stitches and embroidered knots for eyes. Here’s the general idea:

Photo showing how to knit an owl from cable stitches

With this basic owl pattern, I knit a sample gauge swatch of the owl and some 2×2 ribbing. I wanted the boot topper to fit snugly around my daughter’s calf without being too tight, and the ribbing would provide the needed elasticity. Based on this gauge swatch, I then calculated how many stitches to cast on and started knitting!

Fast forward to the end…the owl boot toppers are done and the pattern is published. I think they are adorable (if I do say so myself), and most importantly, my daughter likes them!

Photo of finished boot toppers

I’m not sure how many I will be able to make for this year’s fundraising, but I will definitely be making them for next year. What colors would you like to see?

–Karen

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