Choy and her pet Maltese Cross, Hugo. Photo: Two Guinea Pets Photography
Where do you live now and what do you love about it?
My background is Chinese and I was born in Hong Kong. I called Sydney home when I was four. I’ve always lived in Sydney and I just love how Sydney siders are so welcoming to everyone. We’re always such a happy bunch and willing to try anything and everything – maybe it’s the gorgeous weather!
How did you first get into knitting?
Mum is a seamstress and my dad is a chef. They were always so busy, so mum had to keep me pre-occupied without sitting me in front of the TV watching Play School, so she gave me a pair of needles and said to me “let’s make clothes out of string”. I was totally hooked when she showed me what a pair of needles, a ball of yarn can create.
Was it easy to pick up? How did you learn?
I was meant to knit a square, but it ended up like a piece of omelette with holes throughout. It took me eight weeks to finish but, at eight years old, I was a stubborn little thing. I still remember the colour – the yarn was a beautiful bright yellow. But by the time I finished with it, it was a fuzzy, stretched-out mustard!
How did your label, Marikit, come about?
It came about around the time I had my bridal shower, approximately five years ago. Our wedding was sending us broke and, to keep costs down, everything and anything I could make I would. I wanted to give my bridal party something that was just made for them, so I hand-knitted each of them a blanket. They were so happy (and surprised) with such beautiful pieces – they never knew I could knit. So once the secret got out, friends suggested I should try designing and selling my pieces.
Where does the name come from?
Marikit is actually Tagalong meaning ‘pretty’ or ‘cute’ and I chose this as I wanted to tie it in with my husband’s culture (which is Filipino). I also wanted a name that was entirely different and very distinctive. It was only after trading a couple of months that I realised half my name was part of it as well – total fate.
Is knitwear an all-year-round thing for you?
Definitely. I knit at every chance I get. A lot of people think I just knit in the colder months, but you can find me creating in summer with chunky yarns. There’s always a winter somewhere in the world!
Can you tell us about your sidekick, Hugo?
Hugo is my little fur baby – we rescued him from the RSPCA a couple of years ago and he totally melted my heart when I saw him. He’s my shadow and follows me everywhere. I noticed that as soon as I knit, he’ll crawl in my lap and chill. But he knows to stay clear away from my yarns when I’m not knitting – there’s been times when I’ve found him all cosy in my yarn stash.
Hugo getting cosy in Choy’s yarn supply. Photo: Two Guinea Pets Photography
What do you love about working with chunky yarns?
I love how simple stitches with chunky yarns can make such a statement! I’ve been using Merino wool lately and I love the softness of it without weighing you down. I like to keep my knits lightweight while keeping the person warm at the same time.
How do you like to style your knitwear?
I like my knitwear to be eye-catching and comfortable. All my pieces are fairly bright in colour and chunky in texture so I like to keep the styling simple. I totally live in my denims, so you can see me teaming my knits up with a pair of ripped denims or leather pants and heels. I also wear my oversized chunky throws over my hubby’s t-shirts with my boho hat – it’s my weekend uniform.
Inspiration and sketches for Marikit by Kitty Choy designs
Photo: Two Guinea Pets Photography
What is your favourite place to knit?
I’m actually quite a homebody and love to knit while at home with balls of yarn all around me. But I can literally knit anywhere. Even on the train while standing up, yarn in my Fendi Tote.
How do you relax?
Netflix in the background while knitting. I mean, what else can be better than having Ryan Gosling from Crazy Stupid Love in the background while I create – that’s true relaxation. But besides that, you can find me taking Hugo to our favourite dog park to de-stress.
Your best advice for inspiring knitters?
Start and don’t give up – even though you’ll take it apart a thousand times and you swear under your breath while dropping the same stitch for the nth time. You will get the hang of it and once you do, I promise that you will have enough courage to knit other pieces besides a scarf.
Marikit by Kitty Choy pieces are sold via Etsy and at various markets throughout Sydney including Surry Hills Markets and Paddington Markets.