How to Use A Photo Editing Software to Change A Knitting Design!





Sometimes a pattern has everything. Well... maybe everything except one little thing.

  • "Can I change it?"
  • "Sure you can change it."
  • "But what will it look like?!"'
  • "I don't know... but what if you knit it and it's A TERRIBLE IDEA!"

That was the oh-so-deep conversation I had with myself about Millstone by Sarah Hatton (available from Rowan for $5). I loved the set-in sleeves, the wide ribbed neck, the little stamp of colorwork on the wrists... and I especially loved the striped colorwork pattern at the very bottom of the sweater:



But the chainmail-like motif on top gave me pause. The wide neck seemed to cut it off abruptly, like a tank top?

why knit when you can buy this 😂

I thought, what if I just continued the stripes all the way up?

I wanted to use the original yarn called for in the pattern, because it really intrigued me. Rowan's Alpaca Merino DK (now discontinued but still findable online) is a very airily spun yarn that has double the yardage you are used to in a DK yarn -- 115 yds per 25g! When you knit stranded colorwork, you end up with a garment that is twice as heavy because you have to carry both yarns through every row. Two yarns at half the weight would end up as light as a regular stockinette sweater! (Working with this yarn reminded me a lot of working with Berocco Aero for my Piave Cardigan.)

It's true, this sweater is really as light as a feather!




Ok -- I used Photoshop, but you you can use any photo editing app (phone or desktop) that can:

  1. Copy a selection on the photo and paste it somewhere else.
  2. Add a color with a paintbrush tool.

I'm not talking about fancy schmancy work here! I'm just explaining how you can make a crude little drawing to help you make a good decision.

First, I selected a stripe using a selection tool. You can also select the two stripes at once if your tool allows.




Then I pasted that stripe in the right spacing up the front of the original sweater.




Then I chose a paintbrush in the color I wanted and crudely painted over the 'chainmail' portions to approximate the distance between each stripe.




And with an extra flourish of coloring (that you don't need), I created my plan! I love how it worked out, and the best thing was that it wasn't a surprise.







The yarn was really a dream to work with. If you find some -- buy it, you won't be disappointed! Be aware that its softness and light weight will cause wrinkling around the elbows. Also, I'd say it pills, but it's the type of pilling that a Gleener takes care of beautifully.

Full disclosure on why I'm so familiar with how the yarn wears: I finished this sweater waaaaaay before the yarn was discontinued, and I have pictures of it worn from more than two years back!

I wore it hiking ad infinitum on a Maui volcano (and I thought I'd never get out of there):




And while we were there we caught the sunrise, including a "supermoon" hanging in the sky behind me as I watched it!!


Wearing my Brindled Hat by Wooly Wormhead, too (free pattern!)


The sweater also traipsed through a eucalyptus forest with me...






... and leaped alongside me through the oceanside streets of my home turf (Sargent Drive on Mount Desert Island, Maine). 





Yep, it's a fantastic sweater for enjoying the outdoors, because you can fold it into a teeny tiny package in your backpack and still be ridiculously warm when wearing it!

Maybe it's a good thing I waited this long to show you this sweater -- because since then, most booklet Rowan patterns are available for .pdf purchase! Knit it! Use my mods! Jump for joy!


See my Striped Millstone on Ravelry




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Comments

  1. One of my favorites of your oeuvre, Dayana. When you first posted about your decision to re-arrange the striping sequence, I knew it would be an improvement on the original design. Well done!
    -- Gretchen (aka stashdragon)

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