Modifications. Let’s Do It!

Ever since I cast on my first stitch I became a modifier. Mostly because I just never had a full access to yarn suggested in patterns. So I had to recalculate all the numbers anyway. And as I was doing it, a couple of changes would always slip through here and there in the original pattern. I very rarely look at the pattern as a whole. Usually my attention is caught by different details that I fall in love with and only then my mind starts examining the pattern itself. There is always something that I want to change, and it’s not because the patterns are bad, on the contrary – I am inspired by all the beautiful designs coming up on Ravelry and in my favorite knitting magazines. But it’s really hard to find a design that has it all – the garment style, the stitch pattern, the yarn, the silhouette shaping, the fit etc. And if I want to spend all these hours knitting a garment, I want to get something that I would actually love to wear.

I decided that I want to start Modification Series, where I am going to walk you through the process of all the modifications that I am doing in different patterns. Some modifications are very minor where I just change the color scheme, some are more profound, like changing the length, stitch pattern or the garment style.

Here are the examples of the modifications that I have done in some of my previous projects.

Off-shoulder Tank Top from Vogue Knitting.

Vogue knitting top

Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2008. Designer Cathy Carron

My version. The yellow top turned into a marine style top. Just a simple change of color can make a drastic difference.

Knitting top. Vogue Knitting

Long time ago I saw a crochet jacket. I didn’t like the jacket, but fell in love with the stitch. The only thing that was left from the original pattern is the crochet stitch that was first turned into a top…

Knitting blog Crochet Lace…then I modified my own “pattern” and turned it into a boat-neck pullover…

Knitting blog Crochet Lace… and then it also got modified and turned into a v-neck tunic.

Crochet Dress

As you can see sometimes you can just take one small detail from the original pattern and make something absolutely unique.

The knitters say – one repeated mistake can become a new stitch pattern.

When I couldn’t figure out the pattern of the edge of this beautiful shawl

Vogue Knitting Lace Shawl

Vogue Knitting, Early Winter 2013
Designer Lynette Meek

… I just went with the flow and got a pretty decent edging.

Knitting Blog Monthly

In this case I also fell in love with the stitch, not with the pattern. Just because I know this garment style won’t look good on me.

Knitting Textured Cardigan

Vogue Knitting Winter 2012/2013 Designer Shirley Paden

So I ventured into modifications and couldn’t be happier with the result.

Knitting cardigan

Just modifying the “background” stitch pattern and the edging can a give a sweater a new look.


© Sixth&Spring Books

Knitting cable sweater

At the moment I am working on a cable project and planning a lot of modifications. While I am knitting it, I am going to post step-by-step process of all the mods that are being done. I hope it will inspire you to look at different patterns with a new perspective and cast on something that you would never think of before!

 Mods are always fun. Let’s do it!

By | 2016-04-10T09:01:08+00:00 January 25th, 2015|Crochet, Knitting, Modifications|4 Comments

Adventures of an I-Cord Maker

A couple of weeks ago this weird looking thing came in mail. Embellish knit i-cord maker.

Embellish Knit Cord maker

If only I had thought about it when I was knitting my Arabesque pullover. All these endless i-cords were handknit.

Cable Sweater Knitting

After this pullover I thought I would never make one more i-cord ever again! It took forever! But right now a whole new world of yarn possibilities is opening to me!

It was a little bit fussy in the beginning, but when I figured it out, I just couldn’t stop! So the last week was basically devoted to i-cords.

Embellish Knit Cord maker

I like to carry it around, so my hands are always busy while I am watching something, sitting next to a campfire or taking the long road trips. This is such a “no-brainer” compared to all complicated projects I got myself into 🙂 No wonder I am not making that much progress on my St. Brigid project!

I thought I figured it all out before I saw this video – How To Knit I-Cord the Fast Way. Oh my! Now I want to try it. Could I imagine 5-6 years ago when I was trying my first cast on that someday I’ll be frantically looking for a screwdriver drill to make something called  an I-cord (where “I” stands for “idiot”)?! My husband thinks I am out of my mind 🙂

By | 2015-01-21T18:33:54+00:00 January 21st, 2015|Knitting|6 Comments

Knitting and Reading Yarn Along

Knitting and Reading Yarn Along

Today I am joining Ginny from Small Things for Yarn Along. I always enjoy her Yarn Along collections. It’s amazing how many people are creating at the same time from the different parts of the world.

As for me I am still working on swatches for my St. Brigid project. As I plan to do a few modifications, I need to take time to properly check the gauge to avoid knitting disasters. I am starting a new book “Paris to the Moon” by Adam Gopnik, a chronicle of an American writer living in Paris. When I first picked it up, it reminded me of my favorite book – Ernest Hemingway’s “A Moveable Feast”.

Knitting and Reading Yarn Along 

Enjoying a rainy afternoon…

By | 2016-04-10T09:01:52+00:00 January 14th, 2015|Knitting, Work in Progress|8 Comments

Stash Down

New Year started with revising my stash. It’s ridiculously enormous. It’s a paradox, but the fact that there are very few yarn shops in my town makes my stash grow every year. As I don’t have a constant access to the yarn goodness, I go crazy every time I travel. I buy bags of yarn and justify it with “I won’t be able to buy anything for months, even for a year”. Running out of yarn is my biggest fear.

If you don’t count a huge bag of acrylic yarn that I donated to my school for craft classes, I have more than 100 (!!!) skeins all over the house. Something needs to be done!

So when I saw My Sister’s Knitter Stash Down KAL/CAL, I jumped right in. It came just in time. The KAL/CAL will last 4 months (January 1 – April 30) and I am determined to bring my stash down by the end of April. Thank you, Andi, for inspiration!

I don’t have any WIPs left from 2014, except for a machine knitting project. So I am starting fresh. Last week I started to work on two projects.

The first stash down victim

Knitting Crochet Yarn

I bought this yarn one year ago in Mexico City. I fell in love with the color – Azul Rey. 100% mercerized cotton of very good quality. It’s perfect for crochet, as it gives a very nice stitch definition. I used this yarn in a different color for my Wildflower Crochet Dress. I am very pleased with the result. Also it has generous 360 mts (394 yd). New crochet project is in progress.

Knitting Crochet YarnThe second project is planned to be a very heavily modified version of St. Brigid. I don’t know exactly what I’ll get at the end, but it’s a part of fun. It’s still in the swatch stage.

Knitting Crochet Yarn  This swatch makes me so happy. Gosh, I love knitwear!

By | 2016-04-10T09:02:27+00:00 January 8th, 2015|Crochet, Knitting, Yarn|2 Comments

Fitted Raglan Pullover. Details.

My off time is over. I am really grateful for these 18 days that I spent mostly reading, walking, meeting with friends, exercising  and knitting/crocheting. I really needed this time off. Now, full of energy I am getting back to my working routine.

My favorite sweater of the vacation time was the Raglan Pullover from Creative Cables. It kept me warm during chilly mornings and nights.

Knitting cable sweater

Ravelry Project: Fitted Raglan Pullover

As I promised I am going to walk you through all the modifications that have been done, just in case if you need it someday.

It was my first raglan shaped pullover! I can’t believe it took me so long to get to it. Usually I prefer set-in-sleeve or drop-shoulder sweaters.

Knitting Cable Sweater

First of all, I chose the simple stockinette stitch background instead of the rib pattern. I loved the cable panel so much that I wanted it to stand out as much as possible, and the stockinette seems less busy to me.

Knitting Cable SweaterEdges. I just don’t like when cables start growing out of nowhere. The rib pattern was too complicated to introduce so it would naturally flow into the cables, so I took the easy road and made a folded hem knit on needles, size 3mm (the body itself was knit on 4 mm). I cast on with Backwards Loop (aka e-loop) method. It’s important to use this method, as it allows you to pick up the cast on stitches later when you fold the hem. Then I knitted 13 rows and on the 14th row I picked up the cast-on stitches and knit them together with the ones on the needle.  I think it gives the sweater a neat finished look.

Knitting Cable Sweater

The wrong side

Knitting Cable Sweater

 The same was done on the sleeves.

Knitting Cable SweaterCable panel. I decided not to repeat the cable panel on the back as the pattern suggested. On the one hand it surely saves your time and yarn, on the other hand you need to spend some extra time doing math to calculate the proper number of stitches for simple stockinette stitch back instead of cable panel.

Knitting Cable SweaterNeckline. I preferred the 1*1 rib pattern to 2*2.  I picked up stitches with 4 mm needle, knit two rows with 3.5 mm needle and finished with 3 mm needle. This way the neckline flows along your neck and doesn’t pucker.

Knitting Cable Sweater

As it was my first raglan sweater, I did a bind off on the front part similar to the set-in-sleeve pullover.

Knitting Cable Sweater

So I had to hide the extra fabric at the neckline in the ribbing.

Knitting Cable Sweater

I crocheted the chain along the neckline and picked the stitches from that chain. I think it helped to hide all the flaws.

Knitting Cable Sweater

I hope it helped if you are considering this pattern. I really enjoyed making it.

By | 2016-04-10T09:02:55+00:00 January 6th, 2015|Finished Objects, Knitting|8 Comments

The Last Project of 2014

Photography Elena Letitskaya

I finished my Fitted Raglan Pullover, just in time before New Year Eve.

Knitting cable sweater

As you can see it’s slightly different from the original pattern. If you don’t mind I’ll walk you through all the modifications that have been done to it in 2015. Meanwhile you can join me for a walk in Mexico.

Knitting cable sweater

As soon as I finished the last seam, I put the sweater on and headed for a long walk with my dear friend and dogs.

Knitting cable sweater

Knitting cable sweater



At the moment me and my husband are taking care of our friend’s two dogs, so our house is quite noisy and messy, but so much fun. Our guy is a little bit jealous, so he’s really trying to get all the attention he can 🙂

Knitting cable sweater

Knitting cable sweater Knitting cable sweater

For me the weather is calling for this sweater which is made with 100% Mexican cotton yarn. So comfortable, soft, squashy and perfect for windy evenings and mornings.

Knitting cable sweater


Knitting cable sweater

Knitting cable sweater


Knitting cable sweater

I think this is the most beautiful cable panel I’ve ever made. I am in love with it. Neutral color allows the light to play its game. Different shades come out from different light angles.

Knitting cable sweater

Knitting cable sweater I am looking forward to 2015, new horizons and new projects!

Knitting cable sweater

By | 2015-08-29T12:09:53+00:00 December 29th, 2014|Finished Objects, Knitting|3 Comments
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