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Knit a pair of lifesavers!

Are you a knitter? Woollen gifts have always helped raise funds and made great bespoke presents for loved ones.

A baby wearing knitted booties in the design of a pair of RNLI yellow wellies

Photo: RNLI/Nathan Williams

We asked one of our volunteers for a popular pattern that won’t tax the needles too much, but will still go down well with supporters, friends and family. Her fab free knitting pattern for yellow wellies is below.

Yellow wellies

Before Sally Mabey went along to Penarth Lifeboat Station with her husband, she didn’t expect to be able to help save lives at sea. But then Jen Abell, Community Safety Manager, found out that Sally was a keen knitter. Jen encouraged Sally to get knitting in aid of the RNLI, and it wasn’t long before Sally found her perfect pattern, inspired by lifeboat crew wellies.

‘I managed, with the help of three friends, to take 106 of these knitted wellies to Barry Dock Lifeboat Station for the fundraisers to sell,’ says Sally. ‘Then the pattern started getting shared!

'I’m delighted at the idea of people using it to make families happy – and safe.’

The pattern

For knitters with some experience

Materials needed:

  • 1x 25g ball each of yellow and black double knitting (DK) acrylic yarn
  • 1 pair of 3.25mm (UK size 10) knitting needles


  • DK – double knitting
  • Inc – increase
  • K – knit
  • K2tog – knit 2 stitches together
  • P – purl
  • P2tog – purl 2 stitches together
  • Sl 1 – slip one
  • St – stitch
  • St st – stocking stitch
  • TBL – through back of loop


Cast on 29 sts, using thumb method

First row:Knit one row

Second row:K13, inc in next st, K1, inc in next st, K13 (31sts)

Third row:K13, inc in next st, K3, inc in next st, K13 (33sts). Change to yellow DK wool and work 4 rows in st st

Shape toe

Next row:K20, K2tog through back of loops, turn

Next row:Sl 1, P7, P2tog, turn

Next row:Sl 1, K7, K2tog TBL, turn

Next row:Sl 1, P7, P2tog, turn

Repeat last two rows until 7sts remain on each side of toe shaping

Shape ankle

Next row:Sl 1, knit to end

Next row:P7, turn

Next row:Sl 1, knit to end

Next row: Purl

Next row:K7, turn

Next row:Sl 1, purl to end

Work leg

Work 11 rows in st st, (ending on right side)

Next row:(wrong side) Knit

Next row:(right side) Knit

Cast off knitwise on wrong side.

Sew up back seam in yellow, and sew sole seam in black.

We'd love to see your finished wellies - or indeed any other RNLI-themed crafts you've put together. Tweet your pictures to @RNLI