Horizontal Stripes

It's easy to add horizontal stripes to any of the master patterns since doing so does not affect the gauge or how the shaping is worked. You have to calculate what approximate percentage of your work will be in the accent color and buy yarn accordingly. Adding horizontal stripes is also a great way to use up stash yarns of the same gauge.

FAIR ISLE PATTERNS

If you want to work in a Fair Isle pattern, you should knit a gauge swatch in the color pattern and see how it compares to the gauge of yarn that weight in the master pattern. Some knitters go up one needle size to work Fair Isle patterns, to compensate for the tighter gauge. This may be all you need to do to match the desired gauge. However, you might need to follow the instructions—in terms of stitch count, not vertical measurements—for one of the other gauges presented.

It is easiest to apply a Fair Isle pattern that has a repeat that fits into your stitch count. But you can still make other Fair Isle patterns work, by casting on 1 or 2 stitches more or less to accommodate it or to center it. Be sure to take these extra/fewer stitches into account when reworking the shaping.

INTARSIA MOTIFS

Adding intarsia motifs is another way to enhance a master pattern. You can chart a schematic on graph paper and map out where you want to place the motifs on each knit piece. You can scatter numerous motifs throughout a garment or simply center one on the front of a sweater or vest or on the back of a mitten or glove.

You should chart out the placement of each individual motif so that it is centered properly, both horizontally and vertically. In addition, you need to be careful not to knit motifs too tightly so as to change the overall size of your final garment.

COLOR EMBELLISHMENTS

If you finish knitting a project, and it's not as interesting as you'd hoped it would be, you can spruce it up by adding some color after the fact. You can completely change the look of your handknits by adding colorful embroidery, crochet trims, pompoms or tassels, buttons, handknit flowers, or other accents. Sometimes a simple whipstitched edge in contrast yarn is all you need to transform a dull sweater. Embellishing in this way is a great way to use up leftover yarn, too.

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