Tips for Adjusting Crochet PatternsBy Rachel Choi – 7 Comments
Most of us crocheters have worked with a crochet pattern at some time or another and thought it would be even better if the finished size was smaller, bigger, or just slightly different in some way. Some patterns will tell you how to adjust the pattern if you choose to adjust it, but others do not. Brave crocheters can venture into adjusting the pattern on their own, but there are others that aren’t quite sure how to go about it. Truthfully, there really isn’t a golden rule to follow when adjusting a pattern. How to adjust will always depend on the pattern and how it’s written. Here are some tips that may help you out along the way:
Count stitches and rows. The number of stitch and the number of rows/rounds is like a measurement for the width and length of the crochet piece. Sometimes adjusting a pattern is as simple as subtracting or adding a few stitches in a row to adjust the width, or subtracting or adding a few rows to adjust the length. Just be careful to check that you’re removing the correct number of stitches if your pattern is written in repeats/multiples.
Look for the repeats/multiples. A lot of patterns use a repetitive stitch pattern, were you are basically crocheting the same series of stitches over and over until you reach the end of the row. When you wish to subtract or add stitches in a pattern, you must know how many stitches are used in the repeated section of the pattern. To determine the number of stitches that are used in the repeat, try to find the symbol that indicates the repeat. For example, lots of pattern will use asterisks * * or brackets [ ] or parentheses ( ) to encase the section that contains the repeated instructions. Within the repeated section, you can count how many stitches are used, and then can subtract or add stitches accordingly.
Find where it increases or decreases. Depending on the pattern you’re working with, there may be sections that increases or decreases the number of stitches on a row. Try to look for abbreviations such as inc, dec, tog, or multiple stitches being made into one stitch. The increases and decreases can be found at the beginning/end of a row, or strategically staggered throughout.
Experimenting is key. As mentioned earlier, there isn’t a golden rule for adjusting a pattern. Being able to transform a pattern into what you desire comes with experience and a lot of experimenting. Try what you think will work, whether it be removing rows and stitches or adding more increases, and see what happens. The more you experiment with it, the more you’ll learn.
Always be willing to start over. There’s nothing wrong with trying something, having it not work, then having to take it apart. Stay patient and keep up the experimenting, even if it means you have to try again with a different technique. If you’re consistent, your work will turn out as you want it sooner or later!
Do you have experience adjusting a crochet pattern? Please share your tips in the comment section below!