What to Look for When Substituting Yarn

Have you ever seen a crochet pattern and fell in love with the photo? Shortly after you realize either a) you can’t find the yarn locally, or b) you can’t afford that particular yarn? Here are some tips to help you when substituting yarn so that you can still create a project that looks like the one in the photograph.

1) Yarn weight – A good rule of thumb is to stick with the same weight yarn that the pattern calls for. Especially if you are making a garment!

2) Gauge – After choosing a yarn, even if it is within the same weight category, swatch out the pattern and make sure the gauge will match the designer’s gauge. Adjust your hook accordingly, and make sure your yarn will give you the results you’re looking for.

3) Yardage – Calculate the yardage needed from the supplies list, then make sure you buy the same amount of yards in your new choice of yarn. NOTE: Just because you use the same yarn called for in the pattern, does not necessarily mean you will get the same amount of yards. Below is a photo I took using the same yarn I had used on a project before, only this time I purchased a different color. Needless to say I had to go back and purchase more skeins.

Substituting Yarn

Left Label: Bernat Softee Chunky #6 – 3.5 oz. 108 yds.

Middle Label: Lion Brand Hometown USA #6 – 5 oz. 81 yds. (color: Oakland Black)

Right Label: Lion Brand Hometown USA #6 – 4 oz. 64 yds. (color: Neon Pink)

While all 3 skeins were #6 Super Bulky, the label on the left was the smallest with only 3.5 ounces, but it had the longest yardage! The right 2 labels were the same yarn, but different colors had different amounts.

Check these 3 things before starting your project to avoid issues arising half way through, or worse yet when you’re almost done! For more information on using a differnt brand yarn, read my 5 Tips for Choosing a Yarn Substitution.

Happy Crocheting!

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