Have you ever seen patterns that you are really attracted to yet to your personal taste there is something you'd like to change? Not that the pattern designer didn't have a good design because otherwise you wouldn't be attracted to it in the first place. That is how it was with me for a couple patterns I purchased.
I hooked this great design by Wendy Miller of The Red Saltbox but tweaked the rug so that it would suit me. It is called Flying Trio; now don't misunderstand, I was not making the changes so that I could call the design mine ~ I was only changing it so that it was more in tune with my tastes.
This is what the original design looked like that I was attracted to. Wendy has some fantastic designs and would eventually like to hook more of her whimsical rugs. Check out her patterns at: http://www.theredsaltbox.com/
Obviously you can see that I changed the border, including making the border wider. Wendy provided a lot of excess margin which was wonderful and made the enlarging of the border quite easy. I liked the wavy line thru the border which plays off the flow of the string the angel has attached to the star and added more stars in the border. And I changed the size and shape of the angel's wings as well as changing the direction of the flying bird's legs to indicate they were flowing behind him in flight.
Another rug design that I tweaked was one called Crow Sampler by Ali Strebel Designs for Kindred Spirits http://www.alistrebeldesigns.com/categories/Rug-Designs/. This is the way the design was originally hooked. Now you just gotta LOVE those primitive and whimsical crows; I knew that I liked the design....but.
And this is the way I hooked mine and the change is obvious. Again there was adequate excess linen for me to play with the widening of the design so that I could do the border all the way around. It seemed a little off to me to have it framed only halfway around the rug. Yeah, it is a sampler after all, I get that, but it had to please me so I fiddled around with it and more than pleased with the way it turned out.
So, don't hesitate to purchase a pattern if there is something that draws you to the initial design because you could always take creative license to make the design something you'll be happy living with even more.