Knitting Boot Cuffs Trial and Error

wool cable boot cuff

My daughter asked for a set of boot cuffs and the request seemed easy enough. The actual knitting of the cuff is pretty simple, but the cast-on number and cast-off style took some trial and error.

I began by searching for boot cuff patterns. All I really needed to know was approximate cast-on numbers and then figuring the cables and where to place them.

The First Mistake

For my first attempt I cast on 60 stitches and then did a simple 4 stitch cable every 4 rows with two purl stitches between. This made for a lot of cabling! In the end – I got all the way through a loose bind-off – the cuffs were very big. My daughter’s legs are smaller than mine and I knew they wouldn’t fit her. She wants cuffs for the lower calf area for low boots.

Highland worsted
Highland worsted in color Teak

I tore out the Highland yarn cuff and began again with some hand-spun brown yarn.

Cuff # 2 Knit With Handspun

This time I cast on 48 stitches using the German cast-on, which is stretchy enough. I followed (somewhat) a free pattern for the Simple Cable Boot Cuffs. I did only six knit rows between cables to shorten the cuffs a bit. This way of cabling makes for a faster knit because only three rows of cables are done – unless you want a longer cuff. The cables use six stitches and they look nicer that way.

When it came to the stretchy bind off, I tried a twist bind-off to begin with and found that it really didn’t seem very stretchy. I only got a few stitches in and then switched to Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off as shown on Andrea Mowry’s YouTube video. BUT… I decided to do the yarn overs only on the two knit stitches and then bind off regularly on the two purl stitches – the video only shows knits. I was hoping for less of a flare when finished.

Boot cuff in handspun yarn
Handspun yarn by Clarion Call Fiber Arts

I messed up the top part of the cuff by knitting too many rows and doing the combined bind-offs so this cuff will have to be my experiment cuff. I will knit another to go with it, but I will begin again with the Highland wool for my daughter’s pair.

boot cuffs in Highland Teak
Brown “Teak” boot cuffs are about 5 inches tall

The brown “Teak” wool cuffs seem to be the perfect size for what my daughter needs. I won’t know for sure until I send them off to her for a try-on. For some reason these cuffs came out much shorter than the cuffs made of handspun. I guess it’s a difference in the yarn, and I did a few extra rows on the variegated cuffs.

boot cuffs hand knit in wool
Cuff size differences

My daughter will get both sets of boot cuffs because I don’t wear boots in Florida. Once I finish her orange hat, I will send them all off to her.

Ankle Boot Cuffs, Note to Self

You may not follow my directions, but I’ve written this info down for myself.

  • Size 7 circular needle (9 inch) cast on 48 – German Twisted makes a loose cuff.
  • Knit 2×2 rib for 4 rows
  • Switch to size 8 DPN’s (my 9-inch circular will not work) 16 stitches each needle.
  • Rows 1-5 *Knit 6, Purl 2 around
  • Row 6 Cable – hold 3 stitches front, knit 3, then knit 3 from cable needle (I use a DPN) & purl 2
  • Repeat rows 1-6 twice more.
  • Do 3 rows of *knit 6, purl 2
  • Do 3 rows of ribbing, k2,p2
  • Bind off using the stretchy bind-off for knit stitches only. BO purls normally. (Stretchy bind off: knit one to begin, then yarn comes over needle from the back. Knit one and pass the first two stitches (stitch & yarn over) up and over the third stitch on the needle.) See Jeny’s bind off video link above.

2 thoughts on “Knitting Boot Cuffs Trial and Error

  1. Pingback: Boot Cuffs Knit in Myak Yarn – New England's Narrow Road

  2. Pingback: Fair Isle Warm Ears Wool Hat Knitting – New England's Narrow Road

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