The autumn hat I shared recently is one I based on my pattern The Reversible Biking hat. I’ve made a few of them now, so knowing the pattern pretty well, I wanted to change it up a bit. And altering knitting patterns to fit your own needs really isn’t that hard! Here is what I did/what you can do:
First, I used a different yarn, which usually means a different gauge. The gauge in the original pattern is 24 stitches per 4 inches, or 6 stitches per inch. My gauge for this new yarn was around 17 per 4 inches, or 4,3 stitches per inch. How many stitches do I need to cast on to make the same size? (hmm, I sound like a math book problem!)
The circumference of the hat is 18 inches, and with 4.3 stitches to the inch of my gauge, I simply multiply the goal number of inches with the amount of stitches per inch my gauge is:
18 x 4,3 = 77,4 (≈78)
goal # of inches x your stitches pr inch = amount to cast on.
At this point, you might have to make some adjustments to your cast on number. If there is a repeat pattern, the number for your cast on has to be a multiple of that. In this case, the repeat pattern I used is 6 (p1, k5), and 78 is divisible by 6, so I’m all set. Alternatively, if you have a cuff or a brim, you can adjust the number of stitches up or down in the first round after the cuff.
Another thing I did to change the look of this hat, was to stagger the 5-row repeats and create diagonal lines instead of straight lines. This is also quite simple; at the first round of the repeated section, knit the first stitch, then do the section as normal. You’ve effectively just nudged the pattern over by one stitch, and when you keep nudging at the beginning of every repeat, you get diagonal lines!
When you tweak the number of stitches, one thing is to be aware of the stitches in each repeat. The other is to be mindful of the decreasing. The Reversible Biking Hat is pretty simple in how it decreases, so the major thing to consider here is that I have an odd number of repeats (13) instead of an even number of repeats (24) like the original has. This means that while most knit stitches in the very last row corresponds to two whole sections, there is one left over that corresponds to the last, thirtheenth section. That is ok – you can cut the tail and loop through the rest of the stitches that turns out to be 14, instead of 12.
The more intricate the pattern and the decrease design, and the longer the repeat is, the harder it is to substitue numbers. But for relative simple designs like this one, all you need is a little math!
If you have any questions, or if something was unclear, do please ask!