Abbreviations used in Knitting Machine patterns

Hey, I did it!  This is the first post to my Machine Knitting category!

One of the biggest hurdle for a new machine knitter is understanding the abbreviations in a pattern.

I’ve been collecting these over the years and put them in alphabetical order in a PDF document for you to print and save.  These were on my previous website,, but when I sold the business to my daughter, the website changed to reflect her ownership, and this document fell by the wayside.

Please zap me off an email if you find it useful, or if you find an error.

Please click the link below to open the PDF.

Knitting machine Abbreviations

Quilt as you go Hexagon Hot Pad

This is a great scrapbuster!  I used scraps of Christmas fabrics, and my next one will be in reds and pinks for Valentines.

Quilt as you go Hexagon Hot Mat
15″ square of a busy print for background fabric.
12″ square of ” Insulbrite”
12″ square of quilt batting
5″ square for centre block
6 strips of cotton fabric, 2″ x 4″
6 strips of cotton fabric 2″ x 6″
4″ piece of ribbon for a hanging loop
sewing thread to match
invisible thread for bobbin

Layer the background with wrong side up, quilt batting, then the
“Insulbrite”  with shiny side up. Pin through the corners to hold
it all together. Draw an ” X” from corner to corner.

Cut the center block intstart with hexagono a 5″ hexagon and center in on the “X” with right side up.  For my tutorial on how to draw the hexagon, please click here.

The lines are faint, but visible from corner to corner.



Take one of the 4″ strips and with right sides together, place
one long edge ehalf sewn first stripven with one side of the hexagon. Using 1/4″
seam, sew from the middle of the hexie to the end of the hexie.  Don’t sew beyond the end of the hexie.   You’re leaving the first half of the strip unsewn. We’ll deal with it later.

Open out the strip so right side is up and finger press it.

placement for second stripsecond strip placementUse a straight edge and draw a line across the opened out strip that continues the edge of the hexie.  With right sides together, lay the next strip along that line and thesewn and topstitched edge of the hexie, then sew it into place.

Flip it so the right side is up and finger press, THEN topstitch 1/8″ from the seam line. Continue adding strips and top stitching until 5 strips have been added. Before adding the 6th strip, fold the first strip out of the way. Sew and top stitch the 6th strip, then put strip 1 back into position and top stitch it into place.

first round topstitchedsew last strip


The second row is done pretty well the same way using the 6 inch long strips. Begin by sewing the half strip as before, BUT, again, don’t sew beyond the edge of the hexagon.  Finish strip 6 like before, by
pulling the first strip out of the way before sewing and top-stitching strip 6, then top-stitching strip 1.

Pull the batrimmed topcking fabric out of the way, then trim the front, “Insulbrite” and batting to the hexagon shape following the edge of the 6 inch strips.  Be careful not to cut the back fabric!

Use a rotary cutter to trim the trimmed backbacking 1 inch larger than the hexagon all the way around. Press the raw edge in by half, then press the fold over the edge of the hexagon to form a self- bound edge.self binding pinned
Top stitch close to the fold to finish, mitering the corners.
Fold the piece of ribbon in half and slip the raw ends under one corner of the binding before completing the finish.



If you want to print this tutorial, please click for a pdf. Quilt as you go Hexagon Hot Mat-1

If it doesn’t make sense, please email me at and I’ll help.


Hexagon Pattern, any Size

I admit, I LOVE hexagons!  I sew them and I even designed an afghan pattern made with hexies.  I’ll fine tune it and put it up here, too.

In the meantime, I designed a “quilt-as-you-go” Hexie hot-pad and needed a starting hexie pattern.  I looked all over the internet, and couldn’t find one in the size I wanted.  🙁

What I did find, though, were the instructions on how to draft your own pattern.  Here is my version:

I needed a 5″ hexagon (measured from point to point). 

Begin by drawing a circle the same size as your desired hexagon.  I couldn’t find a compass anywhere!  Sew, I improvised. A piece of ribbon, a tack and a pen! ribbon compass (My final circle was better than the picture, but you get the point, right?)

Cut out the circle and fold it twice, as shown.quarter fold

final fold hexagon

Fold the top and the bottom to the center fold as shown.6 point hexagon

hexagon cutting lines

Make a mark at all the folds except the middle ones.  Join the dots with straight lines and cut on those lines.

What remains is a hexagon. 

How easy is that?

Let me know if you use this method to draw your own hexagon pattern.

Soup Bowl Cozy

All supplies MUST be 100% cotton!

NO SCRIM!!!!!!

2 pieces outer fabric, 10″ squaresoup bowl cozy

2 pieces batting, 9 inches square



Center a piece of batting on the wrong side of each pboth layers Xdiece of
cotton.  With a slightly long stitch sew each pair diagonally from
corner to corner.


dartcorner with darts


Now we’re making 4 darts in each piece. Fold 1 piece in half as shown and mark 2 1/2″ down from the edge of the fabric and 3/4″ in from the edge. Make 4 darts on each piece. Trim seam allowances to 1/4″.

right sides together
Place both pieces together with good sides facing.
Using 1/4″ seam allowance, sew both layers together,
leaving a 3 inch opening centered across a dart for turning.
Reinforce the beginning and ending of the seam.  Clip the corners and turn to the right side.

Top stitch all around about 1/8″ from the edge which closes
the opening.

Soup bowl cozy click to open a printable PDF of these instructions.

Ground Beef Steaks with Gluten Free Pan Gravy

IMG_1851Do you ever come home from a busy day at work and just want “comfort food”?

I taught 3 sewing classes yesterday, and came home hungry.  Because of some long-going and uncomfortable tummy issues,  I’ve gone off dairy, grains and sugar which includes fruit and high glycemic vegies like beets, potatoes, etc.  (not wine.)  Eating “clean” has been important to me for a while, so this is not really a biggy for me, but it does require a bit of analyzing.

Continue reading Ground Beef Steaks with Gluten Free Pan Gravy

2 Hour Tunic, Colour Block Variation

Yet another 2 hour tunic, completeversion of MacPhee Workshop pattern # 336, 2 Hour Tunic. 

I get sew inspired by simple patternzulily colour blocks that I know will fit me!

The picture at the right showed up in my “inbox” one morning, yup, an advertisement, but it inspired me.   

The fabric department had many hidden treasures, especially in garment fabrics.  I found 2 pieces that went well together, both stretchy.  The print is a stretch “beggar” with a black background and the dark is a stretchy ribbed velour in deep black.  It would work for the neckband and armbands, too! 

1 meter of the beggar and 1/2 meter of the velour got past my hubby and to the sewing room.

This variation would make great use of an out-of-style- sweater, too. I don’t have any, but dropped in at one of our local thrift shops and they had a few.

I also see it as a “deconstruction” project, and have all the seams on the outside.

Here’s my original tutorial of this pattern.

I’m putting together a tutorial, and will post it soon.  Be sure to subscribe to sewwhatyvette, then you’ll know when I update the information.  (top right of this page)


Thai Chili Sauce, home-made

My hubby and I have developed a taste for Thai foods over the years, We love the combination of sweet, salty, sour and hot.

After reading the long list of ingredients on the label of the last jar we bought, I resolved to make my own from now on.   We like it even better than the jarred stuff.

Here’s my recipe:

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, home made
A home made version of Thai Sweet Chili Sauce, a tasty combination of sweet, hot, salty and sour.
Write a review
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
  1. 1/2 cup white vinegar
  2. 1/2 cup white sugar
  3. 1/4 cup water
  4. 3 Tbsp. oyster sauce
  5. 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  6. 3 cloves garlic, minced or 3 tsps of chopped garlic)
  7. 1/2 to 1 Tbsp. dried crushed chili (I used1 Tbsp. to make it spicy-hot sauce)
  8. 1+1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
  1. In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the white vinegar, sugar, water, oyster sauce, garlic and chili flakes.
  2. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium and boil for about 15 minutes until it has reduced slightly.
  3. Disolve the cornstarch in the 1/4 cup of water, add to the boiled mixture and stir until thick.
  1. I served this with thinly sliced seared and oven roasted pork tenderloin and wanted to lick my plate.

What I Learned from a Plastic Bag

finishedI needed a quick project for a class I was teaching.

But not just any quick project, it had to be a lesson, too.

Sew, I copied a plastic shopping bag, complete with the folded handle and bottom.  (It looks a bit like a short top, lol)

Here’s how I made it:

Fabric requirements are 2 pieces 18” x 22” or 2 fat quarters.

patternBegin by drawing your pattern on a piece of paper 9 inches by 22 inches.

Those curves were drawn in free hand after the main pattern is drawn.

Cut 2 pieces, each on the fold.

Set up your serger for a 3 thread rolled edge and with the right side of the fabric up, finish the curved edges of each piece .

Set serger for 4 thread overlock, then with right sides together join the side seams beginning at side seamsthe top. The top of the seam needs to be very strong. Either start with a long tail to darn in, or use the method described below.

Fold the sides in toward the middle, so that the 4 inch wide handles arehandles folded in half to 2 inches.

Serge across the top of each handle, making sure to re-inforce the seam at the end where the 4 layers of rolled edge meet.  Either begin serging at that end with a long serger tail, or use the method outlined below.  The “outer” edge of that seam is not as important.

To box the bottom corners, mark 4 inches in from the side seam along the bottom.

Fold the mark to the side seam, and the fold away from the seam. This makes a 2 inch tuck on each side of the bottom of the bag, and the side seams are still at the sides.

This bottom seam needs to be very secure, so begin and end the seam with a long serger tail which will be threaded onto a darning needle to secure. Or use the method described below.

Here’s my way of securing the beginning of the seam:

Raise the presser foot and insert the raw edge even with the cutting edge of the knife.

Lower the presser foot and take a couple of stitches using the hand wheel. Stop with the needles in the fabric. Raise the presser foot, and bring the “serger tail” under the presser foot and under the knife. Continue to serge which will secure the beginning of the seam.

Here’s my way to finish the end of the seam securely:

Stop serging when the next stitch would be off the fabric. Stop with the needles UP. Raise the presser foot and gently pull the fabric toward the back of the serger to remove the stiches from the stitch finger. You’ll likely feel the release. Turn the fabric onto it’s “tummy”, slide it under the presser foot angling a bit toward the left. Lower the presser foot and serge a few stitches before “zooming off”.

Darn in the ends if there are any, and you’re finished!

Fabric serger grocery bag PDF click to open.

Are you going to try this project?



Meatballs, too many to count

Our youngest is heading back to university this fall for year 2.  He’s not in residence, but sharing a house.  His grandpa donated a small chest freezer, and we’re working hard to fill it with prepared meals.

On that note, I made meatballs today.  Hundreds of meatballs.  Keep in mind that we never have “left-overs” but often have “plan-overs”.  The recipe follows:

Hundreds of Meatballs
Meatballs, by the hundreds
Write a review
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr
  1. 3 pounds ground pork
  2. 4 pounds ground beef
  3. 4 large eggs
  4. 2 cups unseasoned dry breadcrumbs
  5. 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions (I used frozen ones)
  6. 2 teaspoons powdered thyme
  7. 2 teaspoons powdered sage
  8. 2 teaspoons dried basil
  9. 2 teaspoons sea salt
  10. 2 teaspoons black pepper
  1. Mix everything together, I used my hands. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Shape into small balls, about the size of a tablespoon. Either grease a few baking pans, or line them with parchment paper. Place the meatballs on the pans, about an inch apart, and bake for 15 minutes.
  2. Cool and add to your favourite recipe.
  1. We put Diana Sauce on some, BBQ sauce on some, added some to spaghetti sauce, and put the remainder away in zip lock bags in the freezer.

Kimchi, mmmmmm

Kimchi, also spelled gimchi or kimchee, refers to a traditional Korean fermented dish made of seasoned vegetables.

There are mkimchiany, many variations, and every time I make kimchi, it’s a bit different.  I like it that way.

Here’s how I made it, this week;

  • 1 large head of cabbage
  • the leaves and stems of 5 beets
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup uniodized salt
  • 2 onions
  • piece of fresh ginger, the size of 3 fingers
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon of dried chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup of oyster sauce
  • (I would have added 2 carrots, but we had none)
  • (radishes are a common ingredient, but I don’t like them)

Half, then quarter the cabbage and remove the core.  Roughly chop the cabbage into 1 inch chunks.  Cut the beet tops the same size.

Dump the leaves into a large bowl and pour the water and salt over the top.  Mix with hands and let sit on the counter for 8 to 12 hours, stirring occasionally.cabbage and beet tops

Drain, reserving a couple of cups of the brine.

Cut the onions into thin slices, grate the ginger, (I didn’t peel it), crush the garlic and add all the other ingredients.  Add it to the drained cabbage and stir well.  I use my hands, but wear plastic gloves because of the pepper paste.

Pack it all into a glass or ceramic jar, pushing the vegetables down firmly, so everything is submerged by the brine.  It should rise as you push, but add some of the reserved brine if needed.

I use a ziplock bag half filled with water to hold the vegies under the brine.fermenting

Leave it on the counter and check it daily for anywhere from 4 to 8 days.  To check, you’ll remove the bag of water and push the vegies down with clean hands to release any pockets of air or bubbles.

Taste it daily, as you check, it will transform from salty cabbage to the most amazing tangy hot combination of flavours you can’t even begin to imagine.

And did I mention that it’s good for you?

Kimchi (or kimchee) is loaded with vitamins A, B, and C, but its biggest benefit may be in its “healthy bacteria” called lactobacilli, found in fermented foods like kimchi and yogurt. This good bacteria helps with digestion, plus it seems to help stop and even prevent yeast infections, according to a recent study. And more good news: Some studies show fermented cabbage has compounds that may prevent the growth of cancer.

If you’d like to know more, click here for a great article.

Yup, I sew, machine knit, crochet, garden, cook, love, and share.