We all know the feeling. You fall head over heels in love with a pattern on Ravelry, in a magazine or a knitting book … and then we experience the crushing moment when we realise that there is no way we can get the yarn.
Heart breaking as this often is it can easily be solved by some clever substitution. Trust me, substituting yarns is easier than you might think. There is a vast range of yarns available with multiple options to suit every project, budget and taste. Armed with a few simple guidelines and the willingness to swatch and experiment you will be knitting that dream project in no time.
Here is my quick reference guide to substituting yarns
Want to know more? These are a few of my favourite resources when it comes to substituting yarns.
YarnSub.com is the perfect tool for your yarn substitution match matchmaking adventure. You tell it what yarn you are looking to match and it churns out a selection of yarns to consider.
Ravelry is a brilliant tool for ideas on substituting yarn. Have a look at the “Yarn Ideas” tab in the design listing. This will show you what others have used for to knit the pattern, it is a great way to get an idea of what works and what doesn’t. Have a look at others projects and search by “Fibre” or “Weight” to see if anyone else has knitted that Merino jumper in cotton successfully.
Want to knit a popular pattern, like the Featherweight by Hannah Fettig, at your gauge without doing the maths? Then Custom Fit by Amy Herzog might be the answer to your dreams. Just pick your yarn, swatch, supply your gauge and body measurements and your custom pattern is created just for you.
Not sure about swatching? Have a look at this blog post I wrote about swatching.
About the Author
Clare Devine is a writer and designer. Originally from South Africa she has nomadic tendencies and is currently knitting her way around the UK. She is passionate about all things fibre related (especially if it’s grey), knitting, travel and sunshine in equal measures.
She regularly blogs at www.yarnandpointysticks.com. You can find her on Ravelry as Knitsforklipskaap, Twitter as @_ClareDevine and Instagram as @Clare.Devine.