Ocean Dress. FO Details.

Ocean Dress. FO Details.

FO – Ocean

Machine and Hand Knitting Dress | Knitting Blog

I am finally finished with my machine + hand knitting experiment! Ignore these strange lines on the dress – the light plays its game with the fabric. It happens sometimes with the mercerized cotton. It was one of the most challenging projects that I’ve done and it was the first time for me to combine hand knitting and machine knitting techniques in one project.

Project Notes

Pattern. Yoke Tunic by Hitomi Shida was in my queue for a couple of years. It is a true masterpiece, but there were some things that stopped me from casting on. The A-line shape never looked good on me, the length seemed too long to wear the tunic with pants, but too short to wear it as a dress and there is something about the sleeves – I just knew it wouldn’t be the best shape for me. As the tunic is pretty elaborate, I did’t want to spend so much time on knitting something that I would never wear. But the stitch pattern for the yoke was haunting me – it is just striking. So, after awhile I got the idea to take the yoke stitch pattern and it was time for another modification series experiment!

Machine Knitting + Hand Knitting. I definitely wanted to make a dress, simple, classic and feminine. As I told you before, dresses are the reason why I bought my knitting machine in the first place and it’s been more than 9 months since I’ve made Pure, my latest knit dress. So, it was time to get back in action 🙂

When I first got my knitting machine I was so excited thinking that I could do some parts of the garments on the machine and some by hand whenever I feel like it. Well, it is not that easy. When I knit on the machine, I get a different from my hand knitting gauge, not only the number of stitches and rows, but also the ratio of stitches to rows. So, when I tried to combine machine knit stockinette and hand knit one, the difference in fabric was so obvious, that I gave up this idea. There are some knitters who don’t have a problem to match the machine knit gauge, but I never managed to do that.

But this project is a little bit different. The body was knit on Silver Reed LK150 knitting machine, stitch dial – 3.5. It is a pretty long dress, lower than knee length, so there was no way I would be able to knit it by hand. When I got to the armholes, I slipped the stitches off the machine needles on the waste yarn. Then I knit the stitch pattern on two different size needles, 2 mm seemed perfect for it. I didn’t have to worry about matching my gauge to the machine one, because two stitch patterns are so different that the only thing matters is if I like the fabric that my hand knitting creates or I have to change something. One more thing I had to think about is to center the “butterfly” in the stitch. I really saw it this way and had to throw in some filler stitches to get the necessary width. Other thing I had to think about is the stitch count. I had to bind off the stitches for the armhole, but at the same time have enough stitches for the stitch pattern repeat. After the bind off I was left with one extra stitch and I just decreased it close to the bind off edge, so it would be invisible.

At first I started working the stitch pattern right away, but I didn’t like the transition from stockinette at all. Ripped back and threw in two reverse stockinette rows to separate the main body from the textured lace part. You can see how it formed a nice ridge.

Machine and Hand Knitting Dress | Knitting Blog

Yarn. I used local 100% mercerized cotton in beautiful teal shade. I had these skeins forever, waiting for the perfect project. I used the same yarn for my Pure and Violet Gift dresses. I like the slight sheen and stitch definition of it.

Design Details

Neckline. I trimmed the neckline with reverse single crochet stitch. This textured border is very firm and creates beautiful finishing. You can see the video how to crochet this stitch here – Reverse Crochet Stitch.

Machine and Hand Knitting Dress | Knitting Blog

Armholes. Armholes were trimmed with basic single crochet stitch. I used a 1.6 mm hook for a very firm finishing. I deliberately made the armholes very small, as the dress is long and cotton may stretch over the time.

Machine and Hand Knitting Dress | Knitting Blog

Fit. It is a standard fitting double-tapered dress with an accentuated waist. I though that the elaborate stitch pattern is enough for the dress and it didn’t need any other special design details.

Machine and Hand Knitting Dress | Knitting Blog I am so happy to have it in my wardrobe! I am really glad that the modifications worked out! If you love the pattern, but want to change some details, go for it! A little bit of math, a little bit of imagination and you can get a perfect for YOU piece of knitwear!

Have a great Sunday!



  1. Tracey March 6, 2016 at 11:33 am - Reply

    Wow Alina, what a stunning dress, really. And I just know it will look amazing on you; I hope you post a photo when you wear it.

    • Alina March 6, 2016 at 11:37 am - Reply

      Thank you so much, Tracey! I hope I will have some time today to take pictures of it!

  2. Becca March 6, 2016 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    Wow! This is probably the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen! I’m sure you look stunning in it.

    • Alina March 6, 2016 at 10:04 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Becca, for these wonderful words!!!

  3. Zeta March 6, 2016 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    You just made a masterpiece! You know that, right?
    It’s absolutely breathtaking!
    I’m sure you’ll look like a Vogue model wearing this dress!

    • Alina March 6, 2016 at 10:06 pm - Reply

      Oh, thank you, dear Zeta! Your words always make my day!

  4. sustainablemum March 6, 2016 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    Oh that is just beautiful. I love the detail of the yoke that pattern is stunning. I am sure it will look amazing on, I am looking forward to seeing the pictures.

    • Alina March 6, 2016 at 10:07 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much!! Sunday turned out to be too busy for photo shoot 🙂 I hope to get it done late this week!

  5. Andrea @ This Knitted Life March 6, 2016 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    Ooh la la. And what a clever mod. Most impressed my dear. Obviously a lot of hard work.

    • Alina March 6, 2016 at 10:08 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much, Andrea! It was a challenging, but such a satisfying project!

  6. Katrine Birkenwasser March 7, 2016 at 4:01 am - Reply

    Oh, that is beautiful! I love the way you modified that hand knitted part to match your dress so perfectly. Didn’t see a dress coming when I saw you working on the butterfly pattern 🙂

    • Alina March 7, 2016 at 8:21 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Katrine! This “butterfly” pattern was so inspiring to try on a dress!

  7. Christine March 7, 2016 at 5:27 am - Reply

    Wow what an impressive F.O. Love the colour and the pattern. You will enjoy wearing it and look great in it I am sure.

    • Alina March 7, 2016 at 8:22 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Christine! The weather is so beautiful right now, so I hope to wear it soon!

  8. Pat March 7, 2016 at 10:22 am - Reply

    So much thought went into making the dress. It is beautiful, so beautiful.

    • Alina March 7, 2016 at 8:23 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much, dear Pat! So good to hear it from you!

  9. Carmela Biscuit March 7, 2016 at 11:04 am - Reply

    Oh, wow, this is such a beautiful dress and it will sit so elegantly on your figure! Can’t wait for the modeled pictures! Fabulous idea to turn the cabled tunic into such a classy dress!

    • Alina March 7, 2016 at 8:24 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much, Carmela! I really enjoying thinking through all the modifications!

  10. Lisa March 7, 2016 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    Wow. That is stunning, you should be proud 🙂 I Love the blue paired with that stitch design for sure!

    • Alina March 7, 2016 at 8:24 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Lisa! Yes, this yarn just called for intricate stitch pattern!

  11. Sarah Faye March 7, 2016 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    It looks beautiful.

  12. Rebecca March 7, 2016 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    What a triumph Alina.I love the combination of machine knitting and hand knitting. I have heard of this combination mostly in association with Fair Isle yoke sweaters but this is something quite different. I feel it is something a mermaid might wear if she were to ditch her sea legs for a while.

    • Alina March 8, 2016 at 9:05 am - Reply

      Thank you so much, Rebecca! Oh, you always put it perfectly – mermaid dress… Love it!!!!

  13. Katherine March 8, 2016 at 5:43 am - Reply

    Beautiful, beautiful dress – it’s just lovely, and like your other commentators, I can’t wait to see you wearing it!

    • Alina March 8, 2016 at 9:06 am - Reply

      Thank you so much, dear Katherine!

  14. Julie March 8, 2016 at 10:46 am - Reply

    That dress is so beautiful in every way- I love your solution for the garter ridge to help transition from the stockinette to the lace, and the smaller armholes are a definite smart move- I hate it when a sleeveless top or dress has too-big armholes and you end up seeing a bit of bra through them! Not great. I bet this is so beautiful on you!

    • Alina March 9, 2016 at 10:11 am - Reply

      Thank you so much, Julie! I know what you mean about armholes! I also love it very close to the actual body measurement!

  15. Sarah w. March 8, 2016 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    I would have never known that you could combine hand knitting and machine knitting until reading this post. Absolutely fascinating. I’ve always been curious about machine knitting. Gorgeous dress. You are so talented.

    • Alina March 9, 2016 at 10:12 am - Reply

      Thank you, Sarah! Machine knitting is a fascinating craft! I really enjoy experimenting with it!

  16. Chris March 8, 2016 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    It is gorgeous!!! The color is so rich. Wonderful job. I had a friend advise against a knitting machine because of the hand to machine issue. I would love to do all the St st on a machine, but then matching my gauge to the fabric would likely drive me crazy! And I don’t mind the hand knitting, so it’s all good.

    • Alina March 9, 2016 at 10:14 am - Reply

      Thank you so much, Chris! Yes matching St st is so so challenging! I never succeed! I know Ella Gordon, a very experienced machine knitter, manages to knit the body of yoke sweaters on the knitting machine and knit the yoke itself by hand. You can’t even tell the difference! I asked her once if she uses some kind of special technique, but she told me that she is just lucky and always manages to match the gauge. I guess it also comes with experience.

  17. Jeannine March 9, 2016 at 10:31 am - Reply

    Wow! What an accomplishment! The dress is gorgeous! This really changes the look of the knitted dress!

    • Alina March 10, 2016 at 9:38 am - Reply

      Thank you so much, Jeannine! I love knit dresses so much, it is my obsession 🙂

      • Jeannine March 10, 2016 at 1:27 pm - Reply

        Well, I love that it doesn’t have sleeves, it’s cotton, and the stitch definition and patterned yoke is just outstanding. Really, just so beautiful:)

  18. Carie March 9, 2016 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    Oh WOW it is absolutely stunning! I love that stitch pattern but like you I wouldn’t get much wear out of a sleeveless tank top – I wonder if I could merge it into a cardigan, or make it for the girls?

    • Alina March 10, 2016 at 9:42 am - Reply

      Thank you so much, Carie! I wear sleeveless dresses/tanks all summer long, but I agree that it is not very practical for other seasons. I am sure it can be turned into a cardigan! Just a different stitch pattern placement and some math + afterthought sleeves and you have a new design!

  19. steph March 9, 2016 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    I know I commented on instagram, but had to pop over here and swoon just a bit more. I can just see you in this masterpiece…..and you’re talent is so inspirational. What an artist!!!!!

    • Alina March 10, 2016 at 9:43 am - Reply

      Thank you so much, Steph!!!! I am glad I can inspire in some way!!

  20. karen March 11, 2016 at 8:29 am - Reply

    love the yoke detail and the color, this would look so pretty for a special occasion!!

    • Alina March 14, 2016 at 10:13 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much, Karen! I was supposed to finish it for my birthday, but didn’t have enough time.

  21. Becki March 14, 2016 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    I sigh…

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