Adapting Patterns When You have No Idea What You are Doing

This story might have a sad ending.  I am not sure because I haven’t reached the end of it yet.

Some of you know, I’m having a baby!  No, that isn’t the sad part.  I’m also Orthodox, which means babies are baptized after they are 40 days old.   So I found this beautiful baptism gown, which I love.   I did all the necessary requirements, well except wind the yarn.  I’m writing this post instead of winding the yarn.

I bought the pattern and set about reading it to see what I had gotten myself into.  The first big thing, no charts.  A lace pattern without charts?  I am feeling pretty apprehensive.  There is a reason why I love charts and that is I can’t read written directions very well.  But I calmed myself.  It’s ok.  It’s only a 16 row repeat.  You could even chart it out yourself to give you practice for designing.  I soothed myself with these thoughts.

Then I actually read the pattern.  It states:

With one ball of yarn and size 3.75mm needles cast on 72 sts.

With a second ball of yarn, on same needles, cast on 141 sts.

With a third ball of yarn, on same needles, cast on 72 sts.

Purl 1 row, increasing 3 stitches across the centre 141 sts. (144 sts)

Uh what?  3 balls of yarn?  What the heck?!

Turns out that those 3 holes are for the arms later.  You have to seam the arms onto the dress I guess.  At this point, I have pulled the emergency brake.

After one lace repeat on each of the 3 balls, you knit them all together (the start of the skirt I suppose), but flat.  Oh hell no.  I refuse to work a skirt flat so that I have to seam it all up the back.  UGH.  Luckily I will just join it in the round there (and so did everyone who has knit this pattern before).

So I realized if I am going to knit this pattern, I am going to have to change it to suit my needs.

First off, there is no way I am knitting with 3 different balls of yarn.

  1. I’m lazy and I don’t want to have to wind all three balls of yarn at once
  2. I would rather have live stitches hanging out than trying to seam it later
  3. I don’t mind working sleeves from the top down.
  4. Just no.

Unfortunately, all my experience has to do with knitting lace shawls, not sweaters.  I think I can just cast on extra stitches and let them hang out on placeholders, but I am not really sure.  Any knitting experts want to chime in?  Would I add the stitches to the cast on section (the upper part of the shoulders) or do I keep adding stitches as I go down the repeat?  Or do I just add all the stitches at the bottom of the repeat?  I have no clue.

So I am talking to one of my online knitting groups, and I will be talking to my in-person knitting group.  I hope they can set me straight.  However, there is no way I can cast on until I figure this out.  So I am just going to have to put this off another day.  Rather frustrating but you can either fall the directions or try it your own way.  And we know I am all about doing things my way.

I’ll keep you informed!  It might be a sad ending though, with me choosing another pattern in despair.


2 thoughts on “Adapting Patterns When You have No Idea What You are Doing

  1. Rachael,

    I didn’t know you were having a baby. Congratulations. When is “it” due? Good luck on your knitting. I am sure it will be lovely. Love, Grandma Mary


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