and overcoming my fear of pattern modification!
A wooly ensemble perfect on a snowy winter day!
This is one of my favorite pictures.
It's snowing in Massachusetts so it seems appropriate that today's post is about things that keep you warm! Do you remember this picture from back in November? After ripping the mitten apart several times for various reasons (like: it was too small in the cuff, too wide in the palm, too spacious in the thumb, too pointy at the top, the finger opening was off center, etc, etc, etc...) I finally had a mitten that I was happy with. Well, after I took off the daisy button and replaced it with one in plain white. Of course by the time I was done I was so tired of working on the mitten that I set it aside in lieu of something different.
As the weather became consistently cooler it was time to give my mitten the mate it had patiently been waiting for. I found my marked up December 2012 issue of Crochet World
magazine still open to the Texting Mittens.
This is first time that I actually made multiple changes to a pattern to make it fit better. I've done things like add rows to make something longer, or used a magic ring instead of joining a chain into a loop. But never anything like this. I've always been afraid that making one change would through things off later in the pattern. This time though I just went for it. I figured the worst that would happen is I'd rip it out and try again. Which I did many, many times before I got it right! Thankfully I was wise enough to take ample notes of the changes. One of the most important lessons I've learned is to ALWAYS write down everything in detail. No matter how much I like to think that I'll remember what I did, the truth is I have no hope whatsoever of that happening. I can't even remember what hook I used, let alone how many stitches I deleted or added! I was able to decipher my scribbles and diagrams and in relative short order I had a (matching) pair of mitts! I was so excited to wear them for the first time along with my coordinating Tassel Hat
(from Voie de Vie's Accessories: Autumne 2012 Collection
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I took all my scribbles and clearly wrote out round by round the modifications I made. I was in the zone and curious to see if I could actually make a mitten according to the (new) pattern without having to frog and try again. The answer is YES!
I have to tell you that this really has given my crochet confidence a boost. I realize that I don't have to be afraid to deviate from a pattern. That I can go ahead and try things that might give me a better fit or a custom look. If it doesn't work, all I've wasted is my time. And really it isn't even wasted because I'll always be learning something.
Does this sound familiar? If it does, I really encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and just go for it. Eventually you're sure to come up with changes that suit your needs. And even if you don't imagine all that you'll learn about what not to do!!
Did you notice that there is only one purple mitten in the picture? Are you wondering where the other one is? It's the same old story. I spent so much time finishing the red one and then on the pattern mods and making sure it works that by the time I finished testing it out I was tired of making these mittens and moved onto something new!! Of course now it is in the basket next to the chair taunting me. Telling me I have no excuse and that I really should be able to whip it out in an evening or two. Will I listen and finally get it done, I'm sure I will. I just don't guarantee that there will still be snow on the ground when I do!!
Well my friends, that's all for now.
Thanks so much for stopping by and spending a bit of your day with me.
Until next time,
Be blessed and stitch & read with love!
By the way, just in case you're interested here is a downloadable PDF file detailing my modifications. If you happen to give it a try please let me know. I'd love to hear how it goes. I'd also like to hear about how you handle modifications. Do you stick to the pattern or do you try different things and make it custom? Were you always brave or were you a fraidy cat like me?