Lets Talk About Knitting

So far my (few) posts have concentrated on sewing, so today I thought I’d have a little change and share some knitting with you.
I have knitted for as long as I can remember, on and off, although more off than on in recent years.  It was only a chance visit to a local yarn shop with a friend about 3 years ago that tempted me to try it again.  It was about that same time I discovered Ravelry, and since then I haven’t looked back.
Pre Ravelry I thought that everything had to be knitted exactly as the pattern stated.  No yarn substitutions, no altering lengths or sleeves or body, no omitting parts you didn’t like.  The only change I thought as being acceptable was to choose a different colour yarn from that shown on the pattern.  In my mind knitting patterns were "the law", to be followed to the letter!
And I was never really happy with things I’d knitted.   They never fitted quite right, or I’d think “if only this bit was different...”
However, 3 years on I hardly EVER follow a pattern 100%.  Most of the things I’ve knitted have had alterations of some sort, obviously some more successful than others.   Want longer/shorter sleeves, a more fitted shape, a wider neckline?  No problem!  Sometimes a little bit of maths is involved, or a little bit of trial and error, but I quite like that.
Found a gorgeous lace design on a sock pattern, but don’t like to knit socks?  Take that lace design and turn it into a beautiful scarf or add it to a sweater.
Of course, sometimes you need to follow the pattern fully, a lace shawl for example (although more experienced knitters than I may beg to differ - or not).    
On other occasions the pattern almost begs to be altered in some way.  A top down, in the round cardigan?  (Possibly my favourite item to knit by the way).   Alter the sleeve length, body length, add some waist shaping, a bit of lace, the choices are endless.  And knitting this way you can try on as you go, rather than having to wait until all the individual pieces are completed and sewn together.


What's on my needles?

I’m currently knitting a top down cardigan, Pebble by Nancy Eiseman.   The pattern is lovely, very well written and a simple knit.  I love the slightly vintage look it has.


Mine is a lovely coral orange, knitted in Louisa Harding Albero, which is a cotton/rayon blend double knitting yarn.

I’ve almost finished the body and while I have made a few alterations, they are quite minor.  I’ve added a little to the length, about 2 inches in total, and added a bit of waist shaping as boxy cardigans don’t really suit me. 

When it comes to the sleeves I will probably make them a little more fitted than the pattern photo shows them.
The alterations I have already made and will be making to this before it's complete will give me a cardigan that flatters my shape much more than the original, more boxy cardigan would have done.
Once you realise you CAN make alterations to a knitting pattern it is much easier to end up with a garment that fits you well and flatters your body shape.
 I just wish I’d known that years ago!


  1. I think your take on the above cardigan is absolutely fabulous!! Could you please tell me which books or websites would you suggest could provide advice on altering other patterns? Thanks

    1. Hi Tanya, thanks so much!

      Pretty much the only place I use for information/advice on altering patterns is Ravelry. If you're not a member, I'd highly recommend you join. I've learned more about knitting from the wonderful and knowledgeable people there in 2 years than I had in the previous 30+

      Depending on why you want to alter patterns you could try Amy Herzog Designs, she has a "Fit to Flatter" series on her blog, the overview of which is here: http://www.amyherzogdesigns.com/f2f/ She gives loads of advice on how to choose patterns that will suit your figure, and how to alter those that aren't quite right.

      I hope my suggestions are helpful!


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