How to Substitute Yarn in a Knitting Pattern

How to Substitute Yarn in a Knitting Pattern. There are times when you may want to use a different yarn for a pattern than the one that is recommended. For instance, you may be allergic to the recommended yarn or it just might be to expensive. With these steps and some swatches, you can easily use whatever yarn you want for any pattern.

Find out what yarn the pattern uses and research the yarn. You will want to know the weight, the gauge given by the yarn, fiber content and yardage. This may be contained in the pattern or you may have to research through another source.

Find another yarn that has a similar weight and general gauge. You may also want to consider the fiber used in the yarn since each fiber has it's own drape and behavior in a knitted piece. The yardage is also important because that will determine how much you will have to buy.

Carefully swatch the yarn according to the pattern. Not having the correct gauge can change the looks and size of your project.

Carefully wash and block your swatch. This will ensure that the yarn is the correct size since some yarns tend to stretch and grow once they are washed and blocked.

Carefully measure your swatch. Count the number of stitches per inch and the number of rows per inch to determine that the swatch is correct.

Label the swatch that is correct for the pattern. Now you can begin knitting with the new yarn. As you knit, periodically check the back of the swatch to make sure that the number of stitches and rows per inch continues to be correct.


You may have to make several swatches with different sized needles to ensure that you have a swatch that right for the pattern. Label each swatch so that you know which is which.

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