Machine Knit Striped Cardigan

Another machine knit sweater! This time I adventured into a different type of yarn instead of the good old Caron simply soft. I actually found a bunch of wool yarn in goodwill for 1.59 each. So I bought all of them without thinking about what to make. Among them was 4 skeins of organic wool from the Full Belly Farm – two beige and two brown, 250 yds each. I thought together they would make a nice striped sweater. The funny thing about those wool – the sheeps on that farm must have rolled in the straw a LOT before they were sheared for this batch of yarn. There was SO many straws and dried grass stuck in the yarn. I picked them out as I balled the yarn, as I knitted, and still have to pick some out after I was done. But I cant complain that much given that they cost less than $10 total for organic wool!!

I knitted this on my knitting machine as usual (pattern below). I sewed two in-seam pockets in the side and I am so glad I did :) The edges are all hand knit since the machine doesnt do anything than regular stockinette knit, which curls a lot.

Other than that, I really love the end result – its really warm and light and not too scratchy – I expect it to become softer with more wear too. This is the first time I used non-cheap yarn on my machine and it turned out beautifully – giving me confidence to try other expensive yarn on the machine next time!

(btw, my color/stripe inspiration for this sweater is here).

You can see the inseam pocket in above picture.

The front view is the least flattering since its just a rectangle on the bodice. I think i should do some shaping on my next try.

I LOVE the view from the back! Those stripes! *swooon*


Instruction/pattern for this cardigan:

2.5 tension, size 6 needle


  • 2 out of 4 rods inserted
  • cast on 90 stitches with WY, knit 6 rows
  • K 10 rows, mark arm holes
  • K 40 more rows
  • put center 20 stitches on waste yarn
  • each shoulder will have 35 stitches
  • knitting 6 rows with WY on each shoulder, then take them off the machine

front (make 2 of opposite kinds)

  • 1 out of 4 rods inserted
  • cast on 35 with WY, knit 6 rows
  • knit 10 rows, mark arm holes
  • knit 40 more rows
  • knit 6 rows with waste yarn

join shoulder


  • bring out 56 stitches, and hook on between the markers
  • 1 out of 4 rods inserted
  • knit 20 time, reduce 2 stitch on third stitch on each side once – 54 stitches
  • knit 8 times,reduce 2 stitch on third stitch on each side once – 52 stitches
  • knit 8 times,reduce 2 stitch on third stitch on each side once – 50 stitcheS
  • knit 8 times,reduce 2 stitch on third stitch on each side once – 48 stitches
  • knit 8 times,reduce 2 stitch on third stitch on each side once – 46 stitches
  • knit 8 times,reduce 2 stitch on third stitch on each side once – 44 stitches
  • knit another 4 rows,  take it off the machine on a size 6 needle
  • start knitting with the right side here – knit 8 rows, bind off. (this is basically garter stitch)
stitch sleeve and side seams together, then hang the bottom together, total of 160 stitches onto the machine. Do the following ** please see notes below:
(**note: I actually have to do the three pieces separately for quite a few more rows, even though I bought 2 30-needle extension knit, because the sweater was too small to stretch out to the full 160 needle machine. I hate hand joining seams so I was trying to avoid that as much as possible – and I failed. If I were to do this again I may try knitting this bottom up instead. However, this allowed the side seam to be separated for a longer length below armpit – allowing me to stitch in a in-seam pocket).
  • 6 rows of dark
  • 4 rows of light
  • 8 rows of dark
  • 4 rows of light
  • 10 rows of dark
  • 4 rows of light
  • 12 rows of dark
  • 4 rows of light
  • 14 rows of dark
  • this is when i actually started knitting all 160 stitches at the same time. insert 3 rods for weight
  • 4 rows of light
  • 18 rows of dark
  • 4 rows of light
  • 26 rows of dark

Then take the sweater off the machine and onto size 6 knitting needle – do 8 rows of knitting (garter stitch) then bind off.

Hand join the sides together, maybe stitch in an inseam pocket.

pick up X stitches along the front and neckline. I actually dont remember how many I picked up, but I measured the garter stitch length on the bottom and the length of front&neckline to figure out how many stitches to pick up along the front&neckline. Then I knitted about 14 times – when I almost ran out of yarn of one of the colors & then bind off. Note that I stitch colors every row so that I use light colors on top and dark on the bottom.



Quick Matching Red Skirt

After I made Little K her red dress, there was still red threads sitting on my serger. so I decided to make a skirt to copy this look:


My version:

Skirt is the same material as little K’s- cotton swiss dot. it has 3 layers with elastic band. it was very easy and quick.

Also wearing the beige sweater and pompom scarf I made recently. :) I love this outfit – very christmas-y! Part of me thinks I’m a little too old for this skirt, but I’ve worn it out and hopefully was not judged too harshly ;)

Red Monster Hoodie Dress

I made little K’s Christmas dress! Her school has a Christmas performance with a dress code of red dress and black tights. I knew she wasnt going to just wear any red dresses, so I had to make her one from whatever red fabric I had in my stash. It worked out well, she loooooooves the dress and it made it into her winter outfit rotation, upping # of winter outfit she’s willing to wear from two to three. On the down side she was sick on the performance day – so she didnt get to perform :( I was bummed!

About the dress:  I was lazy and just did a batwinged hoodie top, so I didnt have to deal with tiny armholes. That worked out well since she likes her sweater oversized and comfy – and she can slide into the dress easily. The top is made from cotton/poly sweatshirt material, bottom is cotton swiss dot gathered 3 times. The hoodie is waaaay too big for her, I can actually slide my head into her sweater. But her previous handmade sweater dresses were all a little small on the neck and she hated that, so I overcompensated.

Oh yeah, I followed this tutorial to gather the 3 layers of the gathered skirt and OMG its sooooo much easier than any of the other ways I’ve tried (pulling strings or using a gathering feet). Now I might throw away my gathering feet and make a petty skirt like that for myself since its so much easier with my serger and so pretty!

Yeap, I was not kidding when I said I overcompensated…

But she loves it and pretend to be a monster with the hoodie on – so it worked out!

Little K Style

Little K is becoming more and more assertive about the way she dresses. On cold days she still insist that she only wear dresses – not even a sweater on top! So its time to improvise. One of her favorite dresses is something I made from two goodwill pieces – a Tshirt sewn to a skirt. I dont like the idea of a skirt with tight bands around her tummy, hence I sew the skirt to her Tshirt. Recently I removed the Tshirt (which has became too small/dirty/cold) and attached a turtle neck long sleeve – she LOVES it:

I told her that the shirt was too cold and grew out arms for the winter. not sure if she bought it, but she doesnt care :)

And then I took one of my old polka dot skirt, gathered it and attached it to one of her sweater that she refused to wear, now she LOVES it:

Obviously its a little too long. I altered it again to be shorter when she went to sleep that night and there’s enough fabric for another sweater. Polka dot is her favorite print so its a quick project with little risk for rejection.

Do you also have a stubborn child with a strict fashion sense? Hope the hacks you have to do is as simple as this!

Boyfriend Grey Top Coat

Its that time of the year – coat/jacket time! I’ve bee drooling after those oversized boyfriend coats and pinning them like crazy. I used to be crazy about hoodie coats, but this year I got into coats with lapels. So I made this coat.

I made it from a modified version of burda 2/2010, coat 126. I had used this pattern before but it didnt fit great. So this time I actually spend time and made a muslin & adjusted pattern to fit. I followed a bunch of tutorials on how to adjust the shoulder to be narrower. I cant believe I never properly adjusted all my patterns before!! I’ve always only adjusted for narrower shoulders while I was sewing. The shoulder/arm hole part came out exactly the way I liked! I didnt want the thing to be too oversized and overwhelm my petite frame – so no dropped sleeves or super roomy bodice this time.

I also added a nice welt pocket using this tutorial – I’ve done welt pockets many times on quite a few coats, but every time I need to do them again, I had to find a tutorial as I always forget how its done.  I like how this pocket turned out.

This is also the second time I did notched collar. I didnt do a great job the first time, so this time I followed some tutorial and paid more attention to under collar and over collar when sewing. It turned out quite well – except for a little bunching around the corners – bad sewing by me. But its much better than my first attempt and I love how it turned out.

Of course, like all my coats I have embroidered my signature tag:

I finished muslin and started laying out the pattern pieces right before delivery, and finished the coat 4 weeks after delivery with cutting/sewing for 5-15 minutes here and there. There wasnt that many pieces involved, so it was a pretty fast project for a coat. The outer shell is a wool/poly blend with gold threads from Hancock, and the inside is a very slippery 100% rayon from fashionfabricclub.

One thing about the fitting though – I did muslin the week before the delivery, so obviously I wasnt sure if the waist fits well or not even during sewing. So it doesnt exactly button up right now. even though the waist part is loose and not fitted, the hip part is very small and i cant close it up. My hips are still a few inches bigger than before delivery, so perhaps at some point in the future i will be able to button it up. Fortunately I only intent to wear this open, so its okay if I can never button it up. But for the future I may have to make the front or back piece roomier.

(oops, forgot to suck in those postpartum tummy in above photo. I still got months before I have to worry about those baby weight, right? right?!?)

Anyways, I love this coat! I cant wait to wear it out – not quite mommy wear so I may have to wait until I go back to work. I might want to make another jacket/coat this year. I realized that on all the coats I want – the notch part of the collar sits a lot lower than this. So I might have to make another oversized look with that detail!


Beige Machine Knit Sweater Remake

The first sweater I made on the knitting machine was this one. It is one of my husband’s favorite sweater for me to wear. Unfortunately it really stretched out and is very annoying to wear, possibly because I was using a large gauge or maybe washed in the washer without a washing bag. So I remade it, following exact same pattern i used for the grey sweater except for the turtle neck, as the grey sweater had held up quite well over the past year. I am really getting faster and faster at making these basic sweaters – this one took less than a week of here and there. Though I must say, its quite boring. I need to find more challenging sweaters to knit with the machine!!!


To be honest I am still not completely happy with this pattern. I think I want the body wider and roomier, and longer for that oversized look. I am hoping it would look more like what I envisioned when I wash it without washing bag a few times and lose my baby weight by next fall. But who knows, maybe I will try again in 3 years!

Black Pompom Rayon Scarf

This is one super easy make that gets so much wear. I realized that 1) I lack a black scarf 2) knitted scarves are really too hot to wear in California winter (especially this winter! its almost Halloween and still super warm here!). So I looked around for a drapery and oversized black scarf. But it was hard to find something thats cheap, comfortable with natural fibers, and oversized.

So I made my own! It was so easy – tear (not cut) off a piece of my black rayon fabric (so its about 60×60), and then zigzag some pompom trim (I found ebay to be the cheapest source) onto the edges. Tada! Rayon challis are very thin, so the scarf is comfortable and not bulky, but still have that fluffy look.

Possibly a piece I made that gets the most wear ever – and I spend less than half an hour making this! Talk about impact vs effort win!


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