Machine Knit Update

Hi there, long time no post! Making has been a bit hit-and-miss around here, but looking back through my photos, I realised that I still managed to make alot in the last year. Here’s a quick roundup of some of my knitting:

Made with Knitmaster 360, punchard 3, mixed sock yarns and patience!

I based my scarf on a picture of a shawl that was being sold as a kit at This is Knit – a Dublin yarn shop.

Triangular scarf made with Knitmaster 360

I also wanted to try smaller projects to practice the different techniques, and successfully adapted a hand-knit pattern to make this baby romper:

Baby Romper, 4ply on Knitmaster 360
The legs were made separately and rehung on the machine to knit the front and back separately as below
Back legs rehung on machine bed.
Popper snaps used for closures.

In hindsight I think regular buttons and buttonholes would work better – The knit could get pulled out of shape from pulling on the snaps.

My machine knitting has been improving slowly and I got ahead of myself and started imagining all the things I could make if I had a machine that took hand knitting yarn. Luckily, for under 50 euro – I found a secondhand machine that can take heavier wool (dk and chunky). It’s called a Zippy90, and has 90 needles….hence the name!

Twin Cardis, not quite perfect, but still cute!

I used acrylic dk and the tightest tension to make these baby cardigans, again from a hand-knit pattern.

I am also using it to finish off a chunky cardigan for my daughter. I knit the body by hand and the sleeves by machine.

I used the pattern below from Petite Knit.

Almost finished… it was originally meant to be for Xmas…oops!
Chunky cardigan being made with Hayfield Bonanza yarn.

And sometime last year, I made a neckwarmer as a gift for a friend.

Acrylic 4ply
Lined with cosy fleece.

I used the same punchcard design to make myself a cardigan, which might get it’s own post another day :

My kids won’t lose me in a crowd when I’m wearing this! (Even though it might make them want to 🤣).

Sin a bhfuil for now x

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New Bag!

My handmade bag.

It’s been a while, so here’s some sewing at last!… I made myself a bag, and it started with a piece of textured fabric that I made about 2 yrs ago.

I added texture to some plain grey cotton canvas that I bought at IKEA. A few lines of pin tucks, sewn down in opposite directions. Which I then made into a pocket, and this became the centre panel for my bag.

Centre panel with zipped pocket

Bags are one of my favourite things to make because they can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. I like to plan how the bag will be used, so that I know which pocket will hold my phone, and I wanted to fit my lunch in the centre bag and have room for my flask or water bottle.

I took a pattern from a shop bought bag, after trying out the panel for size:

Deciding which bag to copy!

I wrapped some fabric around the bag and traced off a pattern.

Then assembled the pieces:
Pieced front panel

The canvas has a very tight weave which was difficult to sew, and impossible to get even topstitching. So I stopped trying and improvised instead:!

Back pocket with wavy topstitching

The components ready to be joined and straps attached:

It has an inner bag and an outer bag which are joined at the top edge of the side seam and with snap tabs at the centre front and back. Close up picture below –
I added elastic loops to the lining of the outer bag so that a flask or bottle could be held upright.
Upright bottle…success!!

I also changed the silver zipper pull at the front, as the zips were salvaged from a child’s backpack and had GAA embossed on them 😂(Gaelic Athletics Association)

Machine knitting update

Picture heavy post to follow! ….. I’ve been on a steep learning curve with my knitting machine, and it’s all starting to click. I can cast on and do various things like ribbing or fairisle swatches without having to take out the manual every time!

First machine knit jumper!

The machine knit community had a month where we converted a hand knit pattern to machine and I used a pattern from Amy Milller, it has a fitted sleeve and a slight flare to the shape.

My handknit version from a few years ago is below, I didn’t go with the longer hem this time.

Hand knit Sweet Jane by Amy Miller.

I was able to match the stitch gauge of the pattern but had to make some calculations for the row gauge. Which wasn’t too difficult. First I counted the rows between increases, worked out how many cm it should measure and then figured out how many machine rows would give me the same cm measurement.

I made the back and used it to check my calculations. Then I made some mockup designs on my phone for the front intarsia:

I didn’t draw a chart for the design as it was simple angled lines. I took note of the rows where I would begin and end, and then hoped for the best.

Intarsia on my knit master uses a special carriage, the yarn is laid across the open needles by hand and the carriage passed across as you hold the yarn underneath to give it tension.

I then joined the pieces at the shoulders:

The yellow yarn is waste knitting which gets unravelled once the panels are joined.

Without changing the construction of the handknit pattern, I was able to short row the sleevecap straight into the armhole.

With a machine, all the stitches are placed onto the needles, then the outer needles are held in a non-working position until they are needed.

Short row sleeve cap, the needles on right are in non-working position.

All the needles at work for the rest of the sleeve.

After that I was able to rehang the sides and knit one loosely tensioned row to seam them. Followed by casting off.

I wasn’t confident in hems or ribbing yet so the roll neckline was finished with some loosely knitted rows of stockinette.

I was very pleased to finally get this far..!

The Finished jumper!

Stitch surgery

Scrappy yarn sweater

I started this jumper after bring inspired by Danish knitwear designer Laerke Baeger, who started a series during Lockdown last year on her Instagram, showing how to make a scrappy yarn sweater, which she called the #alonetogethersweater.

The idea is to use two yarns, one of which gets cut at regular intervals and a scrap of coloured yarn tied in. I had alot of scrap yarn so I tied them together with grey used every third colour and white for my 2nd yarn.

At the time I also came across the pattern below from Ruke Knit – White Sheep Sweater.

I liked the raglan shape and the loose fit, so I decided to combine the two ideas.

White Sheep sweater by Ruke Official

Here’s where I went a little off plan… I felt like the ribbed section started too close to the underarms so I lengthened the top section before starting the ribbing.

I also realised I might run out of the grey yarn that I was using every third colour on the tied yarn. So I swapped this for navy every 3rd colour, still working along with the strand of white….. Still with me??!

This is how it looked:

I was trying it on as I went and it wasn’t looking good….. The ribbing would have been better higher / and the darker ribbing just made it look like two different jumpers!

That ribbing was a few hours in the making and I couldn’t bear to rip it back, so stitch surgery was needed!

I threaded 2 circular needles between the panels a couple of rows apart, cut the stitches between and continued them both separately.

2 for the price of one!

After that it was just a matter of carrying on and trying it as I went along:

The neckline felt better folded under:

I turned it to the inside and attached it with a crochet chain stitch so it kept its stretch :

Inner neckband
Centre back ‘label’

All the threads ends are just left as is… No weaving in, and so far only one or two have popped out! The original inspiration jumper leaves the ends to hang on any side but I deliberately kept mine to the inside.

Posing directed by my youngest!

And if you got this far….. the ribbing became a cushion cover:

Slán go fóill!

DIY Swimrobe and swimsuit

Openwater or outdoor swimming seems to be having a moment, it probably has alot to do with gyms and pools being closed!

I live by the coast and swim in the sea every year. Usually from May to September, but this year we had a very mild October so it made it a bit easier to keep going.

The feeling of exhilaration from the cold water gives a great mental boost, as well as being a useful recovery from a jog!

DIY Swimrobe (Not a Dryrobe!)

As the weather got cooler, I put on my wetsuit, but I needed something to throw on after a swim, as it’s often easier to go home and dry off properly there.

Dryrobe and other similar robe brands are very popular – they are basically a loose fit raincoat with thick fleece lining. As usual… I wanted to make my own version, can’t take the easy route😆

I started by tracing the elements I needed from a coat. The hood on my Superdry jacket has great head coverage so I traced the hood and shoulders:

I improvised the general robe shape using a sweatshirt as a guide.

I chalked a wide margin around the sweatshirt. Main fabric is a lightweight and waterproof, I bought it from Guiney’s years ago, to use as a bag lining I think!
The fleece lining came from a Penny’s (Primark) blanket. The pink stripe came from a fabric sample that I bought from Minerva.com.
Generous fabric samples from Minerva

I had bought some raincoat fabric samples from Minerva, but decided to go low-cost for my first attempt at a swim robe, and instead used what I had at home. Their samples are genorously cut across the full width of the roll, so I used them to add some interest to the robe.

Playing with embellishment.
The front pocket was made from ripstop samples. Front Zip was taken from the grey jacket above (those jackets have 2 front zips.. I only need one!). I might change this to a longer zip if I continue swimming next winter.

The fleece doesn’t extend into the hem because I ran out, so the end is lined with a patterned blanket fabric.

I bound the inner seams with the red outer fabric, and wore it a couple of times before I sewed on the lower front pockets, which are lined in fleece.

I also added my favourite feature: an inner pocket for my hot water bottle!

Now that’s how to warm up!!
Bright enough!! Not hard to spot me from a distance!

The other item I needed was a sleeved swimsuit, it doesn’t add much warmth, but it will protect from the sun this summer.

I used sports lycra from fabricland.co.uk. And lined it with black lycra.

I changed the neckline after seeing the draglines in this picture.
The leg openings were finished after this (and after I’d worn it under my wetsuit to swim a few times – for research purposes!)

I almost titled this ‘new togs’ but do many other countries say togs instead of swimsuit? (or bathers/swimmers) but we use togs as much as swimsuit!

Anyhoo, the pattern I used is below- Vogue 9192. I combined the top from view E with the bikini bottoms view D. I didn’t need to make any alterations, they joined perfectly across the waistline. These were so easy to make that I’m sorry I put it off for so long!

Vogue pattern V9192

I’d like to make view C sometime too. Recommendations for swimwear fabric stockists will be gratefully received!

So that was my sewing for January. Feb and March were all about knitting, specifically Machine Knitting!. . I’ll share more of my progress soon.

Slán go fóill x

And one more picture before I go…

Unexpected bonus…. It matches my fleece lined ski pants!