Category Archives: knitting

Meow Scarf!

My best friend K and I have been friends for more than 15 years, and among many things we share, we share a love for cats! I remember once back in my innocent days, I’d seen a sweater/shirt with a kitty on it that says “bad kitty”. I bought two – one to ship to her and one for myself because it also happened to be in her favorite color- maroon. I had no idea what kind of sexual connotation “bad kitty” had! well, I believe we both wore it proudly, even after I met my husband who told me the meaning of words on numerous shirts I had (ah, the days before my fashion/culture enlightenment!).

Anyhow, fast forward to two years ago. I was in my second pregnancy and honest, not quite in the mood to sew for myself.  I knew that one day I would be stuck on the couch not wanting to move much. So I arranged some un-selfish knitting. I’ve always wanted to make a kitty scarf for K in her favorite color. So when i found this pattern, I was delighted – it seems fun but not too kiddish, and would allow me to learn double knitting and possibly knit more custom scarf in the future!

(I love the picture of my kitty with this scarf!!!)

It was quite fun to knit the head and tail part of the scarf, but omg, that bodice is drearily long and boring. So it took me quite a while to finish this scarf (little A is over a year old!!). At the end – i think i would have rather knitted a whole sweater for her than a double knitted scarf. oh well, next time!!

Hope this keep you silly and warm K!

I wonder if this can count as “put a cat on it” sew-along from CationDesign. its not sewing, but perhaps, close enough? 🙂

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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

back:

  • 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

sleeves:

  • 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 (31 stitches for every 7 inches). 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.

 

 


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 Babydoll Dress with Little Black Bolero

D6043036-EB42-4ADF-9B94-170316DEC23FSo I lied to myself when I said I wont make myself another maternity dress (but i swear this is the last one!). I was looking through my pinterest boards for next sewing inspiration, and I couldnt help but wanting this outfit – its so cute!

This is the dress I made:

 

 

 

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I used black rayon twill for the body and a fake leather fabric (very light) for the band. It is extremely comfortable and didnt take long for me to make. I actually made an effort to make sure the hem is leveled with my tummy underneath this time (though i made this 2 weeks ago so now its a little high in the front again). The pattern is the top part of the usual Burda Daniel dress, except I did not sew the dart together and just gathered them. The skirt is flared with pleats, and I put an elastic through the bottom of the top part to clinch it in a little.

It seems like a pity that I would wear this for a max of 6 weeks after making it. But oh well, I am glad I did. It is such a comfortable yet classy dress, i really love wearing it and  probably do every other 3 days. I thought about making it breast feeding friendly, but decided that I’ll just heavily alter the dress after the baby comes out.

Here’s the little bolero:

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Then after that, I thought I needed a little black cardigan to go with it. My coworker who cleaned her place out for a move had given me some really nice black cashmere yarn (along with other nice yarn). There were 2 balls of Filtes Rosina, (70%merinos 30% cashmere), and added to total of 328 yards. I took a risk and started a small cardigan with them, luckily – by the time all the yarn were used up, the cardigan was at a place that can be finished off! I followed the pattern Feather and Clouds. I made some modification like shorter sleeves, stopping right below the bust, and stopping the collar/front band once I ran out of yarn. After stretching it out a little with blocking, it fits very well 😀

This reminds me a little of the outfit along run by Andi and Lauren, but I didnt quite get started with the projects until after its over! oh wells.

Here’s the entire outfit together! i wish the weather was cooler because this totally looks even awesomer with my black stockings and boots. but looks close to inspiration outfit anyways, eh??? I tried my best to put on my “bitch-face”, so the package is quite complete 🙂

 

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Knitted House Boots

I knitted this a few month ago but never got around to taking photos and posting it. I wanted to see how socks/boots can be knitted but didnt want to invest too much. So I chose a chunky yarn pattern and used yarn from frogging this project (which turned out to be not wearable at all). It knitted up a lot quicker than I had expected.  One thing about wearing chunky stuff like this on your feet is that because there are so little “contact”/pressure point on the bottom sole, its not the most comfortable to stand on- so I’d need to wear this with socks underneath in the winter.

Given that I am about to spend my whole winter this year around the house, I think this will be used quite a lot 🙂

 

 


Machine Knit Pocket Cardigan # 2

My previous attempt to copy a pocket cardigan turned out okay in the beginning, but because I used a cotton material, it stretches  around the neck line too much and shrunk everywhere else adter laundry – became unwearable after a season. I really liked the cardigan (pockets are so useful when you have kids) and decided to suppress my fiber snob self and make it again with simply soft yarn.

 

I accidentally made the pocket a little deep. I think to achieve the more slouchy effect next time, i may have to make the sweater bigger and longer next time. But I like how this one turned out and it probably looks better with my petite frame. The back piece I did a few rows of hand-knit to put on garter stitches so it doesnt roll. I also hand sewn a stripe of knitted long stripe (basic 6 stitch stockinette for a long time – done on the machine) onto the upper pocket/net edges so it doesnt stretch out over there like the cotton version.

Because this is my 5th sweater on the knitting machine, it went pretty fast!! Once you learn the kind of pressure to assert when knitting, it really doesnt mess much often. I think i might do another sweater using this yarn soon. Then I might move onto fancier yarn 🙂

 

Instruction/pattern for this cardigan:

2.5 tension, 2 out of 4 rods inserted
back:

  • cast on 82 stitches with WY, knit 6 rows
  • K 100 rows, mark arm holes
  • K 36 more rows
  • put center 20 stitches on waste yarn
  • each shoulder will have 31 stitches
  • knitting 6 rows with WY on each shoulder, then take them off the machine
  • hand knit bottom hem with #7 needle about 6 times to create edging that doesnt rolls

front (make 2 of opposite kinds)

  • cast on 70 with WY, knit 6 rows
  • knit 50 rows, mark pocket -> next time: 40 rows for pocket is more than enough
  • bind off 21 stitches –  you should have 49 stitches
  • knit 1 row
  • for the next 18 rows, bind off 1 stitch every row –  you should have 31 stitches (release 1 weight bar half way through to keep same tension)
  • knit 31 rows, mark arm holes (> next time: 41 rows)
  • knit 36 more rows,
  • knit 6 rows with waste yarn

join shoulder

sleeves:

  • bring out 50 stitches, and hook on between the markers
  • knit 100 time, bind off tightly
edging:
  • 6 stitches, 50 inches stripe, sew it onto the front edge of cardigan and pocket
sew side seams together.
tabs:
  • two tabs, 6 stitches wide, about 15 inches

 


Golden Linen/Silk Cardigan

I knitted another cardigan!!! The last two I had knitted had been very much well used during the winter/spring. However, now that the weather is hot, I wanted something lighter that i can wear during cool summer nights and fall.

 

 

I used about three and half hanks of Elsebeth Lavold LinSilk from yarn.com. When I first got the yarn, I was rather disappointed – its a silk/linen mix, but seems very rough, and has a lot of loose strands poking out. But the color was quite nice and i decided to take a bet and try it out anyways. I am glad I did, because after washing, the sweater softened up quite a bit and loosened up too. It is quite comfortable for the summer.

The pattern I used is nancook, a very easy pattern once you get into it.My favorate version of nancook is this one, and it was why I wanted to use a linen yarn with this pattern. I knitting it up with an xs, and was quite worried because it was very tight around the arm and shoulder as i was knitting. But linen and silk seems to loosen after washing and blocking, now it fits pretty perfectly. I stopped knitting so that its not too long. I think its a good length 🙂

This sweater took only a little over a month to knit. But during the month I was not sewing anything – I would just bring the project everywhere and knit whenever i have a chance – car rides, 3 hour glucose tests, when waiting outside little K’s room for her to sleep, etc. I am glad I did because I can wear it for at least 5 months before winter sets in! I hope the yarn lasts a while – never used linne/silk before so I am a little worried.