Are You Adventurous?

DSC03538We’ve talked about recipes, and I’ve asked if you make the recipe as written, or if you tweak it. Many of you said you used it as written the first time and then made changes the next time (if any). Now I’m wondering about your knit/crochet projects. Do you tweak there? I’ve come to realize that I do. Probably 90% of the time. Socks, shawls, sweaters – all changed. Sometimes it is a small thing – I make the sleeves or body longer. I knit toe-up instead of cuff down. Sometimes it’s a bigger thing – I change the heel construction or move the pattern around a bit. This week, I changed the edging. This pattern was the non-sock pattern that we sent out with our March Sock Club and I love it. We asked Samantha Roshak to take her worsted weight, extremely popular “Shawl That Jazz” and come up with a fingering weight scarf/shawlette version. She did a great job on “A Little Jazz” out of Fiesta Baby Boom. I liked it so much that I cast on immediately. I was looking for a cute pattern to make for a friend of mine, that wouldn’t involve blocking when she hand washes it in the future. (That cut out a lot of fun patterns right there!)

DSC03540I wanted to use a skein of Wollmeise, because my friend Susan (not Elf Susan – she’s knitting her own!) looks so fabulous in reds and pinks. This colorway was perfect. Since Wollmeise is quite a bit lighter than Fiesta Baby Boom, I knew some modifications would be in order. I added stitches to compensate for the difference in gauge (which then changed the number of row repeats in each section) and then realized I’d still have a lot of yarn left over. So why not do the cute, pleated Mara ruffle that I like so much? It seemed like a perfect addition to the body of the scarf. I love how it turned out. And I love how there are a lot of different ways to wear this scarf.

DSC03543We do keep sock club pattern exclusive to the club for 6-9 months after they come out. I know I wasn’t too on top of that with the 2009 patterns! So I promise that this year, we’ll make sure they are available in 6 months. This pattern will go up in early September, so that you have plenty of time to make some for holiday gifts. 🙂

Back to the question I have for you – do you make changes on patterns the first time you knit them? Sometimes? Most of the time? Never? How adventurous are you? Maybe you should pick a pattern and a skein of yarn and jump in and make a change. Just for fun.

Sheri nowreadytomakeoneoftheseformyself


  1. Sometimes I change a pattern as I’m working to modify the size or fit. More frequently, I’ll make something where I particularly like the shaping and I’ll change the stitch pattern. I found a basic pattern for wristwarmers that I love…they’re done in stockinette, but I’ve made them in a variety of patterns.

  2. I change mostly to accommodate gauge or the amount of yarn I have. And I like to change borders on lace shawls. On baby sweaters, I almost always leave out the buttonholes. I DO NOT do Kitchener. I will skip using the pattern if I can’t find a way around it! But the thing I do the most is change lace to stockinette. It looks so much more delicate.

  3. I follow patterns to the T because I’m too scared to deviate…just don’t feel experienced enough…which makes me ask this annoying question…would you writing up the general pattern for this scarf? Make it a lovely kit? Maybe as a special loopy prize?
    Just thinking out loud…really enjoy your blog and everything I’ve ordered!

  4. I follow patterns to the T because I’m too scared to deviate…just don’t feel experienced enough…which makes me ask this annoying question…would you consider writing up a general pattern for this scarf? Make it a lovely kit? Maybe as a special loopy prize?
    Just thinking out loud…really enjoy your blog and everything I’ve ordered!

  5. Depends on the pattern, but usually I won’t make structural changes, other than what’s needed to make the pattern actually fit me. If I want to do something wildly different from the pattern, then what’s the point in having the pattern? I can just grab one of the Ann Budd generic pattern books and do my own.

  6. It depends a lot on what I am knitting. I have only knit a couple of sweaters,for instance, and therefore am a bit leery of changing those patterns. But I always substitute the heel I like, and sometime the toes on socks.

  7. lovely shawl Sheri – I’ll be happy to obtain the pattern when it becomes available

    I rarely change a pattern except to shorten body length and sometimes sleeve length if suitable.

    happy knitting mel

  8. I usually follow the pattern. I like to try different patterns, but there a few go-to patterns that I will knit over and over without any modifications. My friend’s mom is just the opposite. She rarely follows a pattern and knits to fit the person. I don’t know how she does it.

  9. I make a few changes here and there but only tried and true ones and on patterns that I’m sure it will be all right. Mostly changes are for fit or for asthetics…like sock heels….But when I’m trying a new pattern…I don’t change anything…I’m not that adventurous…I still pull out my Tollhouse recipe to bake cookies from and I’m been baking world famous cookies for 35 years!!

  10. I usually change the pattern for extra lenght in the torso and arms as 2 of my daughters are at least 5’10”. With the socks I like a tighter stitch and drop down a needle size. Never pick a pattern first, Yarn comes first and then find a pattern that will work. I’m not creative enough to change the patterns but there are alot of people out there that are so I can always find something that will work for me.
    Love the red color!

  11. I usually do make changes, because I never have the same amount of yarn left over or necessary. And I usually make sleeves longer in sweaters (monkey arms!).

    I’d love to know specifically how many stitches you added to your Wollmeise shawlette. I’m thinking of a Wollmeise variation too.


  12. Usually I knit as written the first time around and tweak it on subsequent runs, but if it’s something not too architectural (like a shawl) I might play with it the first time around. Love the look of that shawlette! I’ll be watching for that pattern release!

  13. I’ve done some mods on a pattern on the first go-around, but usually it’s small things. For instance – changing the direction of raglan decreases so that it looks neater, substituting a stitch pattern repeat, different cast-on methods or button holes, etc. Really, it’s like the Domiknitrix says…going through patterns is like walking a forest path. You can’t always go off the beaten track the first time you walk it, but sometimes, you can stray off it and still stay within sight!

  14. I usually start out knitting the pattern as written, but I look at the work and/or try on as I go and sometimes tweak it here and there. I do the same with recipes, and rarely make it exactly by the recipe more than once. By the way, I love that shawl with the different ruffle. I made the one with the sock club yarn by the pattern, and had so much fun making it that I may make another one with your variations. It’s fun to wear too – perfect for spring weather.

  15. Sheri, the answer is yes. I usually use the pattern as a guide. I knit tightly and this changes alot. For instance, I started Mara last night, with fingering yarn, Araucania Multy #326 on size 7’s. i added a couple stitches as I like to slip the first stitch on the edge of a shawl or wrap and then decided to make it stockinette instead of garter stitch. I have 2 balls so will make it a little bigger than the pattern. Maybe. Depends on how big it gets. I love the little understated ruffle on this one. I really enjoy seeing your projects, makes me think.

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