Help with substituting yarns

When you’re going to do a project, but you want to substitute a yarn - something less expensive maybe - what do you look for first?

Do you start with looking for something of the same weight or materials? Or a yarn with the same gauge?

Hope that’s not confusing. :smiley:

You’ve got the right idea. I look first to see if it’s worsted, dk, sport, fingering, etc. That puts me in the ballpark for the right gauge. Even if the label gauges are off by a stitch or two, you can usually make up for that with needle size adjustments if gauge is important.

My LYS owner walked me through the steps recently when I had to substitute a yarn for my Skacel yarn ad sweater. The first thing she did was look at the gauge, and we tried to match that in a fibre I liked. There wasn’t enough in stock of the colour I liked, so then we went down a size of weight, {to double strand it}. Then I purchased enough yarn to cover the yardage of the sweater based on the original yarn’s requirements. Just going by grams/ounces wouldn’t have worked because I was using a completely different fibre. We allowed extra since I needed to alter the pattern a bit, as well as to allow for the double stranding possibly taking up more yarn than the original. I got home and knitted up a sleeve, checking my gauge after I had about 5-6 inches knitted. Once I changed my needles to get the correct tension, I completed the sleeve to make sure that I would have enough yarn to complete my project.

This was a fairly involved process, but well worth it considering the investment I’ve made into this sweater. Several alterations to what the original pattern called for, so it required me double-checking everything. What I learned the most from this is to check your tension very carefully, and make sure you have your yardage “covered” for the pattern.