Knit // Bear Hug baby socks + pattern

 

Bear Hug Baby Socks Free Pattern

Baby socks are such a good palate cleanser between longer knitting projects. In 4 days, using scrap yarn yarn that you love but don’t have enough of for something bigger, you can not only finish a project, but make a present for someone else. And it’s pretty cool being “that person” who shows up to the baby shower with a handmade present. And then pretty soon there is a baby, and the baby is wearing the socks you made!

Bear Hug Baby Socks Free Pattern

 

This pattern incorporates elements from two other sock patterns: Rye and Cozy Little Toes. By this time, I’ve made and refined my modified version enough times that I think it constitutes its own pattern. This is a toe-up pattern, easily modifiable by changing yarn weight, needle size, or number or increases in the toe to make them bigger or smaller. The socks are extra stretchy and have a cuff to keep the socks on wiggly baby feet. I used a size 0 needle and fingering weight yarn to make newborn-sized socks. So without further ado, I present:

Bear Hug Baby Socks 

(Links to video demonstrations embedded in the text)

Toe:

Using Judy’s Magic Cast On, CO 16 stitches (sts)- 8 sts on each needle.

  1. Knit around
  2. On the first needle, Knit 1 (K1), Make 1 (M1), knit to the last stitch, M1, K1. Repeat on the second needle.
  3. Knit around

Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have increased to 28 sts (14 on each needle). For bigger socks, continue increasing until you have the desired number of sts on each needle. Make sure this number is divisible by 4, for example 32 or 36 sts.

Needle 1 will be the top of the sock, needle 2 will be the bottom of the sock.

bear hug baby socks free pattern

Begin the foot:

  1. Needle 1: K2, Purl across to last 2 sts, K2. Needle 2: Knit across
  2. Knit around

Repeat steps 1 and 2 twice, then begin the rib pattern.

Needle 1: Knit in a K2, Purl 2 (P2) pattern (Knit 2, purl 2, knit 2, purl 2, etc.)

Needle 2: Knit across

Continue to knit the rib pattern until the sock is 1/2 inch shorter than the desired length (usually between 2-3 inches). Knit in a K2, P2 pattern across needle 1. On needle two, we will knit a short row heel.

Heel:

On needle 2, knit to last stitch. Wrap last stitch and turn work. Slip 1, purl back across needle 2 to last stitch. Wrap last stitch and turn work. Knit back across needle 2 to until there are 2 sts left on the needle. Wrap and turn. Purl across until there are 2 sts left on needle. Wrap and turn. Knit across until there are 3 sts left on the needle. Wrap and turn. Purl across until there are 3 sts left on the needle. Wrap and turn. Continue this until the stitches are approximately split into thirds. If you began with 14 sts on needle 2, now you should have 5 wrapped sts on each side with 4 sts in the middle (in the shape of a trapezoid).

Turn work. Knit across heel until you reach the first wrapped stitch. Knit this stitch with the wrap. Turn. Purl across until you reach the first wrapped stitch on the other side. Purl the wrapped stitch together with its wrap. Turn. Continue to knit and purl and pick up wrapped stitches until you have used all the wrapped stitches on each side.

bear hug baby socks free pattern

Leg:

Knit in pattern across needle 1 and needle 2. K2, P2 across both needles until you have knit 4 inches up the leg (or more- enough to fold in half for a cuff). For stripes, break yarn and knit 5 rows with the second and third colors. Cast off with a stretchy cast off. Weave in ends.

That’s it! Any questions, please email me at hoopesparkstudios [at] gmail [dot] com. Hope you enjoy knitting these baby socks as much as I do.

 

Bear Hug Baby Socks Free Pattern

Bear Hug Baby Socks free pattern

 

Sewn // Petite Black Hemlock

Petite Hemlock tshirt

Another month past and nary a post. I guess I’ll have to blame it on being busy again. This month has been all about my apartment. Painting, finding furniture (the living room had only a couch until a couple weeks ago), hanging curtains and pictures, organizing closets and building a dresser. Also getting settled in at my new job, new routine, making friends. Things are going as well as I could expect from such a sudden move. My sister and much of my extended family live nearby and have been very welcoming; not a week goes by that doesn’t see me eating at a relative’s table. Nothing beats having so much family around!

Anyway, rather than let another month of radio silence go by, I thought I’d dig up an unposted project from a couple years ago to share- it’s a Hemlock tshirt made from black cotton tissue jersey from fabric.com.

Petite Hemlock

I made this shirt a few years ago (when I made this one), but never ended up photographing it. Or even wearing it much (I was into wearing colors back then). I found it packed up recently and I’m glad I did, because it has become one of my most-worn shirts. Which is surprising, because loose, drop-shoulder tops are uncommon in my wardrobe. Boxy shapes usually overwhelm my petite frame, but I think a combination of shortening the hem a few inches and lengthening the sleeves with cuffs make this shirt work. I also widened the neckline a tiny bit and cut the front of the shirt as two pieces. I thought a seam running down the front of the shirt would break up the vast expanse of fabric and add some visual interest, and I like how it turned out. Let’s call it a sleeper hit, shall we?

Petite Hemlock

 

 

 

 

Praise for the mental benefits of knitting

the mental benefits of knitting

Imagine me laying in a coffin-sized bunk in the crowded crew quarters of a 90-year-old schooner, curled up around needles and yarn. It’s the evening, and I’m off after a long day of sailing and sun. There’s only a curtain for privacy between me and the 6 people I share this room with, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. When I decided to go sailing, I knew I needed something to mark the place between chapters in my life. So I packed a bag, making sure to include my knitting, and headed to the sea.  Those down hours on the boat, the quiet between the busy, mostly spent knitting, helped me process leaving Virginia and ready myself mentally to start anew in Pittsburgh. It made the time without internet or TV for 10 days not only bearable, but enjoyable. Thank you knitting for being there for me.

the mental benefits of knitting

Time passes so quickly. It has already been a month since my last post and two months since I made the decision to upend my life and leave Virginia. Since my last post I’ve moved to Pittsburgh, gone sailing, took a mini road trip, started a new job and moved into an apartment that needed some work to update. My sewing machines are still packed away. But other things are coming along. I knit when I itch to sew. Carpet has been pulled up and functional internet lines installed.

I am finally knitting a project that is NOT SOCKS!! It’s a shawl thing from Brooklyn Tweed, the Guernsey Triangle. Scarves are a different beast than socks, a different emotional experience. The closer I get to finishing this scarf, the longer the rows get, and the less I feel like I am approaching the finish line. When I knit socks, I can easily see their progression. With this scarf, I have to trust it will work out.  I trust that I will have enough yarn. I trust that when I finally cast off and block it, that it will be big enough for me to wear wrapped around my neck at least once. It’s a reminder to trust myself. To trust that in this new city, with my new job, quiet apartment, and (hopefully soon) new friends, I can make it work and that things will get better.

the mental benefits of knitting

the mental benefits of knitting

Knit // Emerald Moth Socks

Emerald Moth Socks

Just ’cause it’s hot out doesn’t mean I can’t dream about/plan for cold weather! The day we took these pictures it was 103 degrees Farenheit outside. I braved the heat so you could all see the glorious color of this yarn! I’m already so in love with these socks.

This is the Hermione’s Everyday Socks pattern- I knitted this pattern last winter and the socks I made are by far my favorite to wear. The moss stitch pattern (name for a combination of knits and purls on different rows) is the perfect balance of stretchy and snug. I used sportweight yarn to make a slightly more plush and cozy version- Bugga! in Common Emerald Moth from the Verdant Gryphon. The pink and purple stripes are leftovers from other projects. I adjusted the number of stitches around my foot to 56 stitches and used a size 1 circular needle (my last version had 64 sts on a size 0 needle and was made from fingering weight yarn; click here for the pattern)

Emerald Moth Socks

Remember the striped socks I made in March? I finally figured out why they were too tight around the ankle. I added stitches to the gusset just before I turned the heel. This made the heel flap taller, and reduced the amount of stretch in that section of the sock. I tried this technique again on these Emerald Moth socks, but ripped it out and re-knitted a shorter heel flap when I realized my mistake. Looks like I’ll be knitting shorter gussets and heel flaps from now on.

Not much else to say about these socks, so I’ll leave you with lots of pictures.

Emerald Moth Socks

Emerald Moth Socks

Emerald Moth Socks

Emerald Moth Socks

Sew Loft Patterns – Download Here

Download Sew Loft Patterns for free here

It’s a sad thing when an indie pattern company shuts down. We sewists and bloggers root for indie pattern companies that open up the sewing pattern market and cater to more modern tastes. Sew Loft patterns (formerly Spit-up and Stilettos) was one such pattern company.  It offered many popular patterns for free, including the Diana Cami, which I’ve linked to in a past post.

A while back I started writing a post about the sad disappearance of Sew Loft, but I never finished it. While I was working on the post, I thought, “what if I could get copies of all Sew Loft’s patterns? And then share them with sewists everywhere!?” So I tracked down Sew Loft’s creator, Lauren Elbert. She created both websites and graciously gave me permission to share copies of her patterns on Hoopes Park Studios. I’m happy to announce that from now on, Hoopes Park Studios will be hosting the Sew Loft womenswear pattern library. All patterns are available for free on dropbox. Click on the image above, below, or in the side bar to access them. Or click here!

Download Sew Loft Patterns for free here

I hope you enjoy sewing these patterns as much as I did. If you want to find Lauren Elbert now, she is designing children’s clothing at Sadi and Sam Patterns. Please email me with any questions or concerns. Here’s to the #SewLoftRevival !

 

 

Sewn // Sister’s Swimsuit

jill bikini

It’s bikini time again! As promised, here are pictures of the bikini I made for my sister. I used the same pattern for the bottoms as I did for mine (mine are size medium, hers are small). For the top, she and I made some drawings and then I drafted the pattern from her measurements.  I made this while we were living about 6 hours apart, so I’m happy to say that it fit her on the first try!  It is princess seamed and I used fold-over-elastic to finish the arms and back. The neckline has 1/4″ elastic sewn into it and the straps are from an old bra. She is graciously allowing me to post pictures of her on my blog (thanks sis).

And in other news, it looks like I may be moving to Pittsburgh for a job. Unemployment and tons of free sewing time was fun, but I’m ready to get back to work. Props to all you ladies who make sewing a full-time thing.

Sewn // Weston shorts

Weston Shorts

Shorts- a staple of summer wardrobes all across the western world. Pair them with a t-shirt and sandals in the summer and a sweatshirt and boots in the fall. High waisted, low-riders, with and without pockets, I love shorts. When Seamwork released Weston with an estimated sewing time of 2 hours, I was sold. I picked up some stretch denim while buying interfacing and backing for my sister’s graduation gift (click here to see the tshirt quilt I made) and happily got to work.

Weston Shorts

Seamwork says that Weston takes 2 hours. Yeah no. This is my second Seamwork project (and not the last), and both have taken me much longer than the instructions said. It’s like I’m playing mini golf with my family- par is 3 shots, but it takes me 8 to get that tiny ball in the hole. Maybe I’m a slow sewer, maybe I’m more meticulous about fit, or maybe Colette’s pattern blocks don’t mimic my body well. Whatever the reason, I’m well over par. Par for this pattern was 2 hours. Instead, it took me 3 afternoons, 2 muslins, and many fittings.

Modifications:

  • narrowed waistband by 1″ (to 1.5″)
  • shortened inseam to 2″and reshaped hem
  • lengthened darts in front
  • lengthened and widened darts in back
  • 1.5″ swayback adjustment at center back seam
  • thin thigh adjustment/pivot crotch down
  • added back pockets
  • lotsa pretty topstitching with gold-orange thread

Detail shots!

Weston Shorts

Weston Shorts

Weston Shorts

There are still some things I’d change about these shorts. I’d like to make another version with a lower waistband, and I’d like to try to fix some of the fit issues around the inner thigh/crotch area (it’s all at once baggy and riding up in my crotch a little (but if they don’t ride up a little, then they’re not high-waisted shorts, right?)). Also mini wedgie? If you have any ideas on how to fix these issues, please share.  This pattern has potential to become overall shorts…

Weston Shorts

Yay yay yay shorts. I have been shaking my shorts-clad butt everywhere. My family is sick of hearing me sing the shorts song. Which goes something like, “shorts shorts shorts. I made shorts.” When I was putting the back pockets on I asked my mom to take a picture of my butt so I could see it. She was like, “umm why?” (understandably), but was of course happy to do it once I explained it was in the name of pocket placement.

And I think this is my first pair of shorts I’ve ever made that wasn’t PJs or for someone else. Success. Being unemployed has its perks. #freetime

Oh yeah I’m unemployed right now. I left Virginia and moved back to Philly! So if you’re in the area, feel free to hit me up for coffee/tea/fabric shopping (once I get a job)/thrifting/knitting or sewing dates.

Weston Shorts

 

Knit // Colorful Skylar Socks

Skylar Socks

Skylar Socks

Skylar Socks

A while ago a massage therapist friend and I decided to trade massages for knitting. 1 hour of massage for 1 hour of knitting. At a 1.5 hour massage a couple times a month, these are the longest running sock project I’ve undertaken yet.  Did I mention she’s a really good friend? Opposites attract- I’m science-minded and find humor in irony, but she loves all things woo and is one of the most genuine and caring people I’ve ever met. We also have opposite color sensibilities. As I have gotten away from brighter colors, she has fallen more in love with them- blue raspberry, red-orange, and neon yellow light up her wardrobe, bedroom, and everything she owns.

I wanted to knit her some socks using her favorite colors that were as special and unique as her kind and enthusiastic spirit. I used Stroll Brights in Razzleberry, Hot Tamale, and Highlighter Yellow for the contrasting colors, and Skinny Bugga for the main color (in an old colorway). I used a pattern (listed below) for the entrelac/triangle sections; the rest of the sock is self drafted. Scroll to the bottom for instructions, and email me if you want the more detailed pattern.

Skylar Socks

Skylar Socks

Quick pattern instructions: Cast on with JMCO at the toe, increase to circumference of foot, knit in stockinette to length of foot-0.5″, turn a short row heel, knit around, break main color yarn to start stripes. Alternate 3 rows of contrasting color with 5 rows of main color three times. I followed the instructions for L/R leaning triangles and R/L leaning rectangles in Kathryn Alexander’s Up-Down Entrelac socks in Sock Knitting Master Class book. Knit the stripe above the entrelac pattern with 2 rows knitted, 1 row purled, followed by 1 row knitted. Knit 5 rows of main color, then repeat the entrelac pattern. Finish the design with 2 main color and 2 coordinating color stripes. Knit ribbing (K2, P2) for 2 inches, then cast off with a stretchy cast off.

Sewn // Seneca skirt

Seneca skirt

After seeing the Seneca pattern, I bought myself a Seamwork subscription a few months ago. I made a promise to myself that as long as I was making at least one of the patterns every month, I would keep the subscription. But this skirt is as far as I got. So no more subscription. For better or worse, I think I’m ready to move on to more complicated projects. Two items- jeans and a coat- are not only lacking from my wardrobe but calling  me to make them. I’m going to try to focus my creative efforts on them for the rest of this year. Maybe I’ll even take a jeans or coat-making class. Once I’m done with all my current projects, of course. I did just finish my sister’s bikini which I’ll have pictures of shortly.

Seneca skirt

I altered the pockets so they would attach at the waistband. I didn’t want pockets that hung down when I put things in them. This made the waistband slightly more bulky, but it was worth it for functionality’s sake. I drafted the pocket piece by placing the original pocket pattern piece on top of the skirt pattern, matching them at the circles and side seams. Then I added a piece to the pocket by drawing a curved line to the top of the skirt piece to extend the pocket to the waistline. I traced the original side seam and waistline. I sewed the pocket to the skirt following all directions. I also made sure to catch the top of the pocket in the front waistband seam. That’s it.

Seneca skirt extended pocket

Seneca skirt

Unaltered, the Seneca skirt is a little long and heavy for my petite frame. If I make it again, I’ll shorten it and use a lighter fabric. I made this version from a grey ponte knit, which is heavier than recommended. Still, it’s sporty and casual and very loungey-comfortable. It will be worn more this fall. Especially once I figure out what warmer shirts to wear with it. And probably with sneakers instead of rain boots.

Seneca skirt

“Don’t be afraid of the yarn- just start knitting” – Kollabora Meet The Maker Feature

workspace

I was very pleased to be invited to talk about creativity, sleeping, and web comics on Kollabora’s Meet the Maker blog. I think this is the first time I’ve been straight-up featured on another blog *ooh I feel so special*. Hop on over to read the rest of the interview and learn why I want to visit Denmark, why “dyspnea” is my favorite word, and how DIY= empowerment! Also included is an anecdote about my dislike of carrot cake. In case you were wondering.

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