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    « Surrounded by Excellence | Main | All About Dinner »

    Friday, April 14, 2006


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    I don't know what's going on back East, but out here in Cali people are having some large babies. I really wish I could help you, Norma, but I have a cat... and she doesn't want to be measured right now.


    try at least i think that's the link, i'm too tired to hunt it up right now. but i do know she has a size chart, and TONS of bootie/sock patterns (i use them for charity, which is waht her site predominantly is). and i can also tell you that when we make booties for newborns (there's still a frigging toe & heel, dammit!) they recommend 3 1/2 - 4 inches. maybe 5 1/4 isn't so out of line?


    Oh my! I have this same problem with hats and sweaters. Why doesn't someone write it all in a book?

    Infant shoe sizes run from 0 (4 inches) to 13 (8-1/4 inches)

    From what I can find, 0 is for newborns and a 3-6 month old would have a 4 1/8 inches to 5 inches (or so) foot. But, those feet grow really fast. Like a shoe size a month.

    I'm imagining if my feet grew that fast. I don't think I would ever be able to knit myself a pair of socks again.

    The best charts I can find are


    As for circumference... maybe just do ribbing!


    I have been seriously underestimating newborn foot sizes. How could they even be 4" long? They look so tiny. Like 2". Is this denial, refusing to believe that something with 5" long feet could potentially come out of my body?


    There are a couple of good sock pattern for babies in Zoe Mellors book 50 baby bootees to knit.

    I like to use up sock yarn this way, I know a lot of people with new babies. I posted a picture of a pair on my blog not long ago with a $20 bill next to them so you could get an idea of the size.


    I haven't made socks for years, but I've ratted around in my bootee patterns and looked at a couple of patterns for leggins with feet in them.
    1.Assuming a guage of 7sts/inch, most bootee patterns call for a cast-on of 45 stitches. This is consistent with the width of the leggings at about an inch above the ankle.
    2. In shaping the foot, you leave 17or 18 stitches each side for the heel - i.e. about 2.5 inches.
    3. The 'upper' of the foot is 2-2.5 inches long.

    So, yeah, baby foot is about 5 inches long, and pudgy little baby calf needs 45 stitches in order to preserve blood flow. I suspect that we forget how long baby feet really are because until they start walking they tend to curl their toes up a lot, and that makes the foot look shorter. Also, a lot of the length is in the heel, and if, like me, you tend to think in terms of bootees, you can forget how much depth there is in the back there.

    Hope this helps.


    My foot is almost 9" long, and most days I have an infantile moment or two - does that help? Sorry, couldn't help myself :). I laughed so hard, I cried. Yes, I did. It was the image of you measuring from your work to the tip of your toes.


    I've knit a couple of pairs of socks using the FORTISSIMA SOCKA FAIRISLE BABY SOCKS pattern - from Elann, but not currently in their free patterns - as a guideline. Foot length is 2.5" plus toe shaping. It's sock weight yarn, and calls for 30 st. I made up my sockapalooza pattern, and wanted to test it so I knit 36 st baby socks. The foot is 3" long and the whole thing looks proportional. It's bizarre to me that 50% of the stitches for an adult sock make an INFANT sock but it seems to be true.


    Ok, I have little babies--6 pounders and about 18" long. Little Nyah's foot measured 3" when she was do I know, I have the little footprints right here in front of me (I am in the midsts of moving and I found the paper ;) ). As to how many stitches to cast on, well, I would have to say to cast on enough to give you about 3-4 inches in circumference, they are tiny, but they do recommend the socks to be loose so they don't stop their circulation. I have used Mim's pattern to make socks for my little one--when she was about 6 months.


    Norma, my baby bootee pattern works on 8cm (3 1/4") for the foot length for a 3-6 month old baby.


    Five inches? That's pretty darn long, especially when you consider that socks S T R E T C H quite a bit (remember, it was babies/TODDLERS that were lumped together to give that five inch length - toddlers are freaking giants in comparison to babies!). I remember socks fitting the boys for a rediculous amount of time, as opposed to shoes that lasted a month or two at most. Now, baby socks do need to be a lot larger around than you'd think - remember that baby feet are wide, fat little things and baby ankles aren't exactly slender, either.

    I usually aim for around four inches in length or so. This makes an incredibly cute sock that should last until shoes really start getting worn


    I can't help you with babies (I'm allergic), but your post made me laugh out loud--and I'm in a cafe at the moment. Thanks again for taking your frustration out on us!


    Hello Norma,

    my first born hat 7cm long feet when she was born. My new baby refuses to help me right now. But I downloaded once the better than booties patterns from Interweave. These are 4,25 inch in circumfences and 3,5 inch long. Go and have a look if the pattern is available in the free non subscriber section. Otherwise just contact me. All booties are knitted in fingering weight.

    Happy Easter.



    The Ruffle Socks are really cool.


    I just measured my 6 month old's feet, and his are 4 1/4" long from heel to the tip of his big toe, and the circumference is 4 3/4". I hope this helps. Good luck!


    Are you saying that I should have a BABY just for research sake? Yeah. It might happen. Or perhaps YOU should go ahead and get yourself a baby. I mean with this empty nest thing, maybe it's time to fill the house up to the rafters?! A new version of the Brady Bunch! Only in these versions, us mothers are having hot flashes!
    Hope you find what you are looking for. And I don't mean a baby on your doorstep in a basket.


    LOL, Norma! Yeah, for a newborn 3 to 4 inches sounds about right, although, truth to tell, I've been known to wing it. I never had anyone come back and say the socks didn't fit, although maybe they were just being polite. Ribbing is good.

    Random scary foot fact: my 10-year-old DD's feet are about half an inch shorter than mine, and she is about a foot, I mean 12 inches, shorter than I am. She's gonna be one tall lady.

    Dave Daniels

    Two of my co-workers in the last three weeks have given birth to ENORMOUS babies, over 10 pounds each. (Talk about the screams heard 'round the world.) That 5.5" sounds like toddler.


    Here are two patterns for fingering weight sock yarn.


    I made socks for the 6 mo. old baby next door last year. Cast on 40 sts (Lorna's Laces on size 1's, my "normal" sock is 60 sts) and the foot was about 5" long. I thought they would be wayyy too big, but unfortunately they cut off her circulation - much too small!

    And don't get me started about my 9yo granddaughter - it turns out that her feet are almost as big as mine.

    Mary Fran

    Just measured my 50% 6 month old and his foot ranges between 3 and 3 1/4" long (he's bouncing in the bouncy seat). His chubby little leg is 6 1/2 " around mid-calf. I think my three year old has 5" feet. Hope that helps!


    I second the interweave suggestion (and some patterns can be found in the summer 05 issue too, not just on the web). I made some - and they were a gift so I don't know if they fit right (I never heard from the giftee), but they were cute (and not 5 inches long!). Good luck!


    Can't help you with this one -- my little guys are much bigger. Look forward to seeing those baby crocs!


    Well according to that chart, my size 6 1/2 feet should be 10 1/4" long. (they're 9".) I think the chart is a a bit wonky. Or maybe the ranges are too big. Maybe someone with size 7 feet have feet that are 10" long? Ok, my brain is getting too tired for this. Good luck!!


    Our Stitch 'n Bitch group has been knitting baby and toddler socks using Mim's pattern.
    In the left hand corer (it's a PDF) and it uses 40 stitch. The socks are very tiny and sweet in finger yarn and should fit a baby.


    Knitting Rules! lists the size of a newborn's foot as 3" long. I knit a pair of fingering weight baby socks last weekend using 40 stitches. I think my gauge was 8 or 9 stitches/inch, making the socks about 4" in diameter. I put in ribbing, just in case. They look ok to me, but I won't have access to an actual newborn foot for several more weeks.


    my yankee knitter sock pattern puts the baby size at 3.5 inches, which to me seems about right when i look at a ruler. the sock pattern calls for 36 stitches cast on for infant socks and 44 for small toddler socks, fingerling yarn, size 2 needles. (they have fat little ankles, like sausages!)

    the socks i'm making for my 4 y/o called for a cast on of 52, and they will be a little big in the ankles (she's lost her ankle fat), but she wanted them that way. i measured her feet length for the socks and her feet are 6.25 inches long and she's about a size 10.

    for waht it's worth, the yankee sock pattern has a billion combos of yarn and sizes and i find it runs fairly true to size. i use it as a reference frequently with other sock patterns.

    hope that helps-good luck!


    I have no baby feet to measure around here. But your post really did make me laugh. I hope you'll post a pattern when you figure this all out!


    Norma, you have me laughing this morning! The good news when knitting for children is that if things turn out a little large, at least they'll eventually fit.


    I think I knit three pairs of booties and one pair of socks for Mack. One set of booties was too small right off the bat and were never worn; the other two were just right for a very short time; and the socks could have been much longer, too. They all "looked" fine and proportionate and suitable for a baby. One thing is certain -- a baby foot will neither stay the same nor shrink.


    So glad I'm not the only one confused by this. I can understand the oddly-proportioned circumference--since babies aren't known for their slim ankles, the widest part of a baby foot would actually be from the heel around to the beginning of the instep and back. So in terms of getting the socks on, I'm happy to go a little wide. But the length thing is driving me nuts! Baby feet look so wee--are the socks bigger because of the growth spurt?




    I used to use the length of my index finger to measure socks for my newborn's socks. Their feet were the same length as my finger and all my babies were over 8 pounds-all 5 of them!!!


    My three month old daugher's foot is 9cm long, and the circ just above her ankle is 13cm.
    Now, she's currently 9lbs and 11oz, lots of babies are born that size, she was 6lbs 11oz.
    The "average" baby size, in America, does seem to be of King Kong proportions. I don't know if this helps, but there you have it.


    Strangely enough, Cabbage Patch Dolls are still around. My oldest, who had one when they were all the rage gave one to her little sister for Christmas last year. I don't know if they went away and came back or if they never left.


    I have a 2 month old. I just finished a pair of socks for her, and I cast on 32 stitches and used 2x2 rib for the whole sock. Her foot is about the length of my pointer finger. Hope that helps you :)


    Holy cow that is funny, I just finished socks for my almost 2 yr old g/s out of some sock yarn left from a pr for me. Cast on 40 stitches and did get the opportunity to measure...not sure what else to tell you..I would say infant socks should be the same size round as their little feet have no definition, just sort chubby wee plugs..mmmm,


    I noticed that too when I was trying to knit for short people, at their tiniest. I actually have an abandoned bootie (1) that will fit a newborn...wearing skis. It was a side-to-side deal and I just didn't know any better. Oops.

    You had me cracking up this morning. You being bored and caffeined up is good for the rest of us.


    Maybe someone else said this already (I only skimmed the comments) but there were some baby sock patterns in Interweave a few issues ago. Alison over at brainylady made some of those so you could check her archive. I've considered it but the fast growing feet thing is putting me off.

    Spiral rib socks can be done as tube socks (no heel) and would then last longer. Baby socks don't stay on well at the best of times so I'm not sure it would be any worse than any other style.


    Norma my 8 mo that is teeny tiny (barely 5th percentile and wearing 3-6 monthold sizes) has 3.5 inch long feet and is about 5 inches around the calf. Let me know if you need any other measurements, she likes the tape measure some people's kids play with their keys mine with knitting paraphanalia!

    Rachel H

    *giggle* You're funny. Sadly, I have no baby handy to measure for you, but the Zoe Mellor book mentioned earlier has a handy dandy foot size chart on the back, which shows a 0-3 month old size of 3.5 inches, and a 3-6 month size at 4 inches. Them tiny little people have parts bigger than you think, and they grow a little bit more every time you turn around.


    Ack! Too young to remember Cabbage Patch dolls? I'm just barely 23 and had a couple of those.

    I have little experience knitting for babies, but this site has average sizes for shoes for babies and toddlers, based on age. Hope it helps!


    Here is another question: do babies really wear (i.e. do moms really put on them) the handknit bootees and socks so lovingly made for them by non-parental units? I wonder, I really do.


    I've never had a baby so I have no idea what the feet are like. o.0 I've also never made socks.

    I desperately want to make socks.

    I have no desire for a baby. *L*

    I think my internal clock got confused somewhere along the way and yarn ate my brain. :P

    Even now I can feel my sock clock ticking, telling me THE TIME IS NOW, MAKE SOCKS!!!

    So... yeah I'm absolutely no help to you at all right now.

    If it makes you feel any better I do remember cabbage patch kids. My Mom got me one when I was a kid. If she'd been paying attention to what I liked I'd have gotten some Star Wars toys instead. Heh.

    Good luck on the socks and your quest to find out if babies have huge feet these days. Kids grow fast don’t they? If they are too big the kid will grow into them eventually… like I said I’m not helpful with this subject matter. ;)


    Beth S.

    How about knitting a crocodile baby hat instead? ;-)


    When I made my first prototype/ practice sock from Sensational Socks, the size looked like it would fit a newborn and that foot measures about 3.5 inches. You're so right...5 inches seems way off base unless you're knitting for a much older baby/ toddler.

    Sarah A

    This is a weird thing for my first comment, but I think the chart you showed us is 3-6 years? Although how an 8-year-old is a toddler/infant is beyond me.

    I love you and read obsessively.


    I second (third?) Sybille's IK web socks recommendation. There are 6 Ann Budd baby sock patterns (3 web, 3 in IK Summer '05) and they call for a 4-3/4" (12cm) foot circ and 3-1/2" (9cm) length from heel to toe, in LL Shepherd Sock on US 0's. I measured my 5yo's foot and it is 6-1/2" long so 5+" sounds way off to me. My 8mth old nephew has 9cm long feet (he lives in Switzerland so he has metric feet- hee hee). Hmm, I just happen to have some LLSS in Bee Stripe. Maybe I'll try out the Cable Rib pattern. Swiss mountain kids can always use a pair of warm socks.


    I see the interweave baby socks have already been mentioned-however, they call out a 3.5 inch measurement from heel to toe. I just made the ruffle rib ones (with the 88 stitch cast on!) and they turned out perfect.

    And, at 26, I remember my grandmother fighting like mad to get me a Cabbage Patch for Christmas in either '85 or '86.


    You know what they say about big baby feet . . . Big diapers. ;)

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