Top Tips – Yarn Substitution

Millie FurbyNews, Top tips

Top Tips – Yarn Substitution


Often customers come in with a pattern which they might have had for a long time, or choose a pattern from our selection, but want to use a different yarn to what it has been designed in and this is absolutely fine… but we do have some top tips when changing yarns:


  1. Tension – this is vitally important. Always check the tension square on the original yarn used and the one you want to use. They need to be the same for a successful knit. For example, below is a Sirdar Snuggle Pattern I want to use, but I don’t want to knit it in Snuggly, I would prefer to use WYS Bo Peep.

Now if we look at the ball bands on both these yarns you can see that they both use the same size needles and have a tension of 22sts to 28rows. This is perfect. I can swap between these two yarns.



2. Composition and spin – Check the composition and spin of a yarn before you work with it. If the yarn is a regular spun yarn, then swapping to another regular yarn will be fine, but if the one the pattern was designed in, or the one you want to use is textured, or something like a chenille, that pattern might not work as effectively and you might be disappointed with the result.

3. Meterage – Another vital thing to check or you could end up with not enough yarn!

Always check the meterage of the original yarn used and compare it to the yarn you would like to use.



For example the Snuggly which was used in the pattern has 165m and the pattern takes 2 balls. This means I am going to need 330m. When I look on the Bo Peep yarn band, each ball has just 112m (because it has more wool in it and wool is slightly heavier than acrylic/polyamide/nylon). So to get the 330m from Bo Peep, I am going to need 3 balls. If I only took 2 balls I would end up sort.

If you do not know the meterage of the original yarn used, ask your yarn shop owner and they will help research it to ensure you have enough.