You may have seen a cookbook that presents a master recipe, followed by ways to change the recipe to create whole new dishes. In this book, the master pattern functions in the same way. Materials specifications, stitch counts, and, in some cases, shaping instructions appear in the master pattern, and alternate shaping, finishing, edging, and stitch patterns accompany it. You can easily design your own knits by choosing the various options you'd like to put together. For example, you start with the same basic pattern to create a pair of mittens or a pair of gloves. You choose a size, find the appropriate directions for the yarn you're using, and then select from a number of cuff options, stitch patterns, and embellishments to make your mittens or gloves uniquely yours.
The master patterns allow you to learn to create your own unique styles without having to tackle too much complicated math. Each master pattern contains instructions and specifications for at least three gauges. The master hat pattern, for example, covers six gauges. Combine that with numerous brim styles, crown-shaping options, and embellishments, and you have an infinite array of options. If you're feeling adventurous, you can go beyond using the various options suggested in the master pattern: You can incorporate color work, cables, or textured stitch patterns into your design by referring to the stitch pattern glossary at the back of the book.
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