There’s a great new department in Knitscene called Pattern Play. Starting in our most recent issue, Knitscene Fall 2015, Kate Atherley is getting in depth with patterns, explaining, clarifying, and generally making patterns more accessible for knitters of all skill levels.
In the fall issue she tackles yarn choice, helping readers to understand things like why a certain fiber content composition might be important, and how that texture might come across in your finished piece. It’s important when substituting yarn to make sure that your substituted yarn will behave similarly to the yarn in the pattern; if you choose completely different fibers your drape and feel will be entirely different. Sometimes this works out but sometimes it leads to disappointing finished projects (and no one wants that!).
The project Kate uses to elucidate yarn choice is our cover project, Deborah Helmke’s Caen Cowl. The cowl is made with beautiful Malabrigo Chunky which is 100% merino wool. If you love the pattern but want to take a stab at stashbusting to make it, Kate explains how to be successful!
(As a side note, if you want to make this cowl as is, check out the kit!)
The more you know about patterns the more able you are to customize them to fit your own specific desires. Want to change up the yarn? Change the gauge? Put on a different kind of collar or sleeve or hem, etc.? Once you really understand how patterns work you can decide if you want to make them exactly as the designer did or if you want to modify them. It’s exciting and liberating, and Kate is going to help us all master the basics so we can take off from there!