How I Alter a Crochet Pattern

Sometimes I have altered a crochet pattern and this time it was because I ran out of yarn. I usually make sure I buy enough but the yarn used in the pic above came from a local store where there was only these 2 balls of this colorway left. I knew I was going to knit the scarf. But the hat was a last minute decision.

I used Sheep & Stitch's pattern (video tutorial below) for the scarf except I made it to fit an adult, so when it lays flat, it's 6' long not measuring the pom poms. I'm so proud of how my knitting is coming along. This pattern is a 1x1 ribbed stitching so lots of knitting and purling. The yarn is Lion Brand Homespun yarn in Candy Apple Red.

Homespun is not the easiest yarn to work with because it has a lot of texture but with a little patience and persistence, it's worth it and in the end you have a lovely fabric.

As for the hat, I knew I wanted to crochet a cabled hat. I have no qualms about mixing knitting with crocheting, I love them both. However, I haven't crocheted cables in awhile so I had to do some research. I looked for an easy pattern on YouTube and found one that I liked. It wasn't until I got all the way to the crown of the hat that I realized I wouldn't have enough yarn to finish the pattern. So this is where ingenuity and being creative comes in.

In the pattern, you're making sets of cables all the way to the top of the hat so since I was working with less yarn and I had to make sure to leave enough for a pom pom, I altered the pattern and only crocheted 2 sets of cables and the rest I used all half double crochet stitches then cinched up at the top to make it more of a slouchy hat. I love how it came out, plus I had enough yarn for the pom pom and just a little left over!

Should you alter a pattern? It's hard to answer that, I think it depends on several factors. For me, I've altered a pattern when: (1) I didn't have enough yarn to finish as in this case; (2) I don't like how the yarn is looking so I might change the type of stitch; or (3) I want to add a border as in a prayer shawl.

If you choose to substitute the yarn in a pattern, you kinda do so at your own risk because the designer chose that yarn for a reason. Not all the same yarn weights act the same. For example, Caron Simply Soft is a #4 medium worsted weight yarn, however it feels more like a DK weight yarn. Whereas, Red Heart with Love, also a soft #4 medium worsted weight yarn, is thicker and stiffer than the Caron Simply Soft so crocheting even the same stitch pattern for both yarns will look differently.

Now, sometimes the designer will give recommendations for substituting yarns but if not, I think it's best to use the yarn they used but choose a different color. Also, we all crochet differently, our tension, and the way we hold the yarn and hook can yield varying results. Doing a gauge swatch is helpful so you end up with the right size. I don't think there's anything wrong with altering a pattern, but I don't recommend it for a beginner crocheter. I think you need to be comfortable and knowledgeable with the basic crocheting stitches, yarns, and hook sizes.

And with this yarn, even though the hat and scarf is a different pattern, I think it really looks good as a set. It'll be selling for $45 at my local Arts Center. If you're anywhere in the Florence Oregon area, stop by the Florence Regional Arts Alliance where I'm selling my collections, (read this post)! A big thank you to my hubby for taking such beautiful pictures!