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Workshop With Cookie A: Stitch Patterns

Alex Capshaw-Taylor

March 25, 2011

Sock designer Cookie A.'s tips for modifying stitch patterns for your own designs. Especially helpful when adding a cable design to a sock or anything with ribbing. I can't wait to try this tip on my next cable-design pattern!
Designers Alex Capshaw-Taylor and Cookie A.

Fun news! My friend and fellow knitwear designer and instructor, Alex Capshaw-Taylor, owner of WorldKnit and Handspun, has volunteered to share with us her experience of a weekend class she took in October with one of the knitting world’s most famous and beloved sock designers, Cookie A. This is part II of her guest blog post.

Resize Stitch Patterns Proportionally For Best Results

The third class I took was about resizing stitch patterns and creating the perfect rib. You can resize any stitch pattern, but be sure to keep these points in mind:

1) If you add stitches to make a pattern wider it won’t flow the way it did before (your diagonal lines will be off).

If you widen something that has diagonal elements you also have to make it taller relative to the pattern repeats (increase both stitches and rows).

2) If you add rows to in make the pattern longer it won’t flow correctly (the diagonal pattern will look like it is sitting inside the diagonal pattern below it).

If you lengthen something that has diagonal elements you also have to make it wider relative to the pattern repeats (increase both stitches and rows).

3) The easiest way to see what you are working with is to use colored pencils to color in the various stitches on the chart. Once you outline the different stitch areas you can replace the stitches with anything.

Line Up The Ribs With The Pattern To Make A Cuff Perfect

When creating a rib for a knit garment it will look a thousand times better if you make sure that your rib pattern flows into the garment

Notice how the rib flows into the sock pattern

To do this, work backwards from the garment pattern into the rib.

You may need to increase or decrease stitches from your ribbing to your garment. To do this, the last row of ribbing (the row that flows into your garment) should be the set up row.

Determine the best place to increase or decrease a stitch (usually directly next to a cable or in the background of a design).

Don’t miss part III of this workshop series – Lessons Learned From A Top-Down Sock-Design Workshop

About the guest-blogger: Alex Capshaw-Taylor blogs at, and you can see her handspun yarn and knitted creations in her Etsy shop.

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If you liked this guest post on resizing stitch patterns, post in the comments!

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9 thoughts on “Workshop With Cookie A: Stitch Patterns”

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  1. I am here beciause Knit Purl Gurl sent me. Now I’ve found another wonderful site that I wasn’t aware of! Signed up for your newsletter.
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    Andrea W.

    1. Hi Andrea! Welcome! I love Knit Purl Gurl and how she helps us find so many cool knitting resources on the Internet. I’m so glad you signed up for the newsletter, because you are going to get so many free videos and tips, it will blow your mind! Hahaha. I hope you win the ebook!

  2. Great information. As a man with large-ish feet, I sometimes see sock patterns I think I’d like to try but they’re written for women’s small or medium. This will help me adjust those patterns and maintain the design.

    1. Thanks Rich! Adjusting sock patterns is something I often forget to talk about, so I’m really glad this helped you!

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