Hand up how many of us choose a pattern, but decide to use a yarn which is different to what is specified? I”m sure we all do it and there are a few important things to think about when substituting for a different yarn.
- Tension – It is vital that you check the tension of the yarn originally used with what you would like to substitute it with. You will need it to be the same tension as the original. No using a Dk pattern and a chunky yarn won’t work out unless you want to do lots of maths!!! Nowadays a lot of yarn companies work to standard tensions ie dk as 22sts x 30 rows to 10cm/4in which makes things a lot easier.
2. Meterage vs weight.
This is something which we spend a lot of time talking about to our customers. there is a misconception that when choosing yarn you need to look at the weight of a ball of wool and make sure you get the same weight quantity i.e a pattern says you need 4 x 100g balls but what you want to use is in 50g balls so you must get 8. This is not necessarily true. You need to look at the meterage on the original yarn.
For example, say the pattern was for Sirdar Countrystyle DK yarn and takes 8 balls. It is in 50 g ball and has 155m.
We need to look at the total meterage we will need, so 8 x 155m = 1240m.
You have had a look at the yarns we have on offer and can’t choose between:
If we had gone with the original quantities based on weight, you would have run out of yarn if you had used the merino or alpaca, hense the need to look at the meterage.
Often we are shown very old patterns where the yarn does not exist any more, The majority of the time, a quick google search will produce the relevent information on the meterage of this yarn, which will help you find a substitution.