I can't help myself, modifying knitting patterns seems to be something I do all the time whether I am knitting my own pattern or someone else's. It's something I like to do to give the project a signature, to make it my own. There's a wide range of what a modification is, it can be simply substituting the yarn or changing a stitch or ribbing, modifying the increases/decreases/BOs/COs, changing fit or adding stripes, to name a few. Here are two recent modifications I did: the first, substituting yarn and striping the Magpie Darling Hat; and the second, adding bling to the Canadian Slouchy.
This is the new Magpie Darling Hat that I recently modified to accommodate WoolAddicts LOVE yarn for a client; it turned out so lovely I decided to offer as knit kits. This light-weight version was inspired by a new customer who called me up excited about ordering some MDHs but the original cashmere versions were not in their price range. They asked me if I had any other yarn choices I could kit up (they wanted to make a lot for gifts). I knew I had some WoolAddicts yarn and the LOVE came to mind. Because the WoolAddics LOVE yarn was a different weight (fingering) than the original Bergere Cachmire yarn (sport), I knew I had to re-write the pattern to accommodate this modification; although the needle size didn't change, my gauge and sizing and overall feel of the hat were not the same. I quickly knit up a sample, revamped the pattern and got the new kits up in the shop! Needless to say, they have been a hit. I just love how the sparkle pops on the merino blend yarn and the light-weight of the fingering yarn makes this hat a year-around accessory.
A few weeks later, I decided to make another light-weight MDH sample. Some people always have socks on the go, I always have MDH on the go! This time, I wanted to change things up, so I decided to stripe this version, and I love how it turned out.
Striping is a simple way to make something different and unique. Because the stripes are formed by the sequins, it's dainty, subtle and still keeps the integrity of the sparkle. I hope this inspires you to stripe your MDH too, here are the instructions:
- Hold yarns A & B together for the CO and the broken rib brim.
- After the brim is complete, alternate holding yarn A single and yarns A & B together, switch every 2 rounds.
- Repeat these 4 rounds until the hat is complete, and voila!
The second modification I recently did was add a little bling to a classic, the Canadian Slouchy. When I originally cast on this blinged-out version I held the MC & Sequins together, but after knitting the sparkly brim I decided I wanted just maples leaves to shine; so, I ripped it back and started over, following the instructions as they are. When I got to the maple leaf motifs, I added my bling! In retrospect, I think sequins in all the red would have been pretty fabulous too.
Here are the instructions for the modifications:
- Hold one strand each of MC & sequins when you follow the maple leaf motifs (or for all the MC parts).
- For this sample, for the maple leaves, I used mainly the intarsia colorwork technique. I regret this, by the end of my final 2 maple leaves I had so many small balls of yarn going it was a crazy tangled mess, and then add sequins to the mix...I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.
- My advice: use stranded colorwork for all the CC (white), meaning, you will use one ball of CC throughout that runs through the red. Use the intarsia method for the MC (red) only, meaning you will have multiple balls of MC going at once and it will not run through the CC.
- When you are ready to add another ball of yarn, midway through a motif, break the MC & Sequin yar combo about 150"/381 cm - 200"/508 cm in length, this will be enough to finish the motif.