June 23, 2024



There’s something so playful and nostalgic about Kitty Choy's jumpers and cardigans that we can’t help but grab them and cuddle them at first sight. They’re colourful and fun, but serious and proper too - crafted in a variety of 100% wool yarn from Australian merino to chunky Peruvian to vintage mohair.

Each MARIKIT garment is hand-knitted by Kitty whose joy and skill absolutely vibrates in every piece - we couldn't resist presenting this slowly-made, beautiful work as part of Mrs Woo 20th Anniversary Showcase.



MRS WOO : When did you launch Marikit By Kitty Choy and what inspired this business move?

KITTY : Oh wow... now that I think about it... but it was right after I got married, so it's been nearly 14 years.

I've been knitting since I was about 10 and was taught by mum. I think it was her way of teaching me a 'skill' since she was a seamstress and she could tell I had a tendency to create things even though my very first piece was meant to be knitting a square, but ended up more like an omelette - holes and dropped stitches everywhere!

I made knitted blankets for my bridal party as gifts and forgot how much I loved knitting so I decided to get back into it and try my hand at selling them to earn some extra money.


MRS WOO : We love the crazy chunky jumpers and cardigans you make, and now your range has expanded to using vintage mohair and finer wool - and you’re incorporating these wild sleeves too! It’s all so vibrant and skillfully made. Where does your love for knitting and creativity come from?

KITTY : Marikit By Kitty Choy is a side hustle and I still work full time as an Executive Assistant (yes, people are amazed that I still have a full time job ;) It's highly stressful and knitting helps me calm down and de-stress at the end of the day. I love colours and that's my motivation to keep on creating my beautiful knits.

I actually don't design before I knit, rather I design AS I KNIT with the colours I use. Whenever people see my knits it always makes them laugh - and why not! If it brightens their day, it gives me more motivation to create. You can spot my creations a mile a way BECAUSE of the bright colour combinations and wild sleeves. 

MRS WOO : It’s a labour of love! The fact that every piece is knitted by hand, one at a time, really makes your knitwear very special. What can you tell us about having strong making skills, and how it’s important to your slow fashion and sustainability practices?

KITTY : Strong making skills takes a LOT OF TIME and patience. And to be honest, making and creating things by hand is under-appreciated in our technology-heavy world. People don't like to wait and want everything now, now, NOW. Fast fashion is constantly available but there's no individuality and it makes everyone look pretty much the same. Individual style (which takes time to evolve) is lost. Once people are bored with their fast fashion look, it's then disposed of - just as fast.

But with handmade pieces like knitwear, it takes time to create and it also feels different when it's made by hand. I tell my customers that my knits are extra 'squishy' because they aren't created flat as with machine-knitting. You can actually tell the difference between a hand-knitted piece compared to one created by a fast fashion label.

Sustainability is also crucial for materials, and techniques takes time. I work with a handful of suppliers that I've spent years searching for vintage yarns as well as wool for my well-known chunky cardis. These yarns are rare and in low supply. It's so great that my customers bring their own sense of style and identity to my knits. They also leave a stronger impression BECAUSE of their individual style!

Slow fashion also stands the test of time. It's so classic because makers want to make things that last. One of my customers still has a piece that I knitted for her 13 years ago! Fast fashion just doesn't have that kind of love and longevity.


MRS WOO : As you mentioned, you live a double life working as an Executive Assistant by day which is pretty much the antithesis of knitting! What do you love about running Marikit By Kitty Choy that keeps you going, that most people would not know or realise?

KITTY : Definitely creating and knitting is my favourite part of this business but I'm a one-woman show. Outside of social media, people don't realise there's 12-months of planning to the upcoming year.

From market planning (cause you don't always get accepted to the markets you apply for) to deciding on next season's colours as well as all the work updating my Etsy shop, I also actually have to do all the knitting! On top of my full time job, I somehow manage it.

When I think about it, I've created quite a lot of knitwear in 14 years. My last design market was at The Makers and Shakers in Sydney. After I set up my stall, I stood back and got a bit teary - I couldn't believe that every single piece hanging there was literally created by my own hands - stitch by stitch. My heart has never felt so full.

But best of all, seeing how customers love my knits makes it all worthwhile. I've had people telling me they've followed for years on social media and it's like the holy grail when they try on one of my knits. Once you try one on, you truly do not want to take it off!

MARIKIT BY KITTY CHOY gorgeous range is now available in High Tea with Mrs Woo's NEWCASTLE and SYDNEY stores.

Posted in creativesmallbusiness meetthemaker mrswooanniversaryshowcase