Is there a reference for switching yarn?

s wondering if there was a chart or something that someone made out there that can give you brand replacements for the major brands of yarn. There are a few projects I want to make out of KnitWit…but they would cost WAY too much when finished.

If you can’t find a chart, you can always knit up a 5inch swatch in whatever yarn you want to use, and see how it compares to what the pattern directions say. Then you can make adjustments (bigger or smaller needles) if you need to, make a new swatch and then compare again. The new Stitch and Bitch Nation book has a huge section on making changes to existing patterns, from changing yarn and needles to adjusting the pattern for alargers/smaller size to designing your own patterns. I liked the patterns in the book, so I bought it, but you could always check it out of the library (or borrow from a knitty friend). Here’s link to the book on the author’s blog : … And just an FYI to anyone who bought/wants to buy the book (or the first stitch and bitch) make sure you check the wbesite for pattern corrections!!!

I have the same problem. I would love to have one reference site to discover substitutions. However, all I know right now is that some sellers enable you to search via gauge and sometimes type of fiber. Of course, it’s usually just what they are selling like,

But then there is Elann, where you can search what they currently have in stock by gauge or fiber content, or you can peruse what they have had in the past and also see what the gauges and compositions of those yarns were

Or finally they do have an archive of yarns where the “?” gives you label info and the “>” gives you any substitutions they might have in stock.

Hope you find this helpful!

Thank you Hildegard for reminding me to check for corrections - I always forget!

Are there alot of mistakes in them? :?

That answers my question. At the yarn store alot of time it only has gauge , not weight, which is confusing.

I hate swatching. :lol:

I wouldn’t say a LOT of mistakes, but enough that it’s worth checking out, especially when you start knitting something and suddenly it just doesn’tlookright (or fit right or whatever) and you’ve followed the directions exactly. It’s generally just a typo in the editing… I think knitting book authors should always have someone totally unreleated to them and the project test the patterns as written in the book before going to press! In a perfect world!

I saw a “formula” on a Web site that was pretty helpful for adjusting patterns to a new stitch size.

Let’s say your pattern calls for 30 st over 4".

Knit a swatch, and you have 19 st over 4", not 30.

So divide 19/30 = 0.63. That is your “multiplier.” In other words, you need 63% of the number of stitches called for in the pattern to use the gauge in your swatch. 63% of 30 = 19. So if you are supposed to have 114 st/row as the pattern calls for, multiply that by .63 to get the adjusted number of stitches to use the gauge of your swatch (114 x .63 = about 72 stitches). So instead of a row that has 114 stitches, you have a row of 72 stitches to get the same size.

It works the same way for row gauge.

It gets a little trickier for armholes and necklines. I haven’t tried that yet, but I imagine it’s not that hard to figure out (famous last words…)

I saw a freeware program called Knitting Companion (I think that’s the name) It’s a simple thing, really geared towards machine knitting, but it works for hand knitting too. It tells you the adjustments in stitch and row numbers you need to make.



I also wanted to mention that you can get a lot of information about a particular yarn on the manufacturer’s website. Useful if a pattern just gives the name of the yarn. Then once you have the gauge, you can go looking at other brands’ sites for similar weight yarns before you buy at an online retailer or your lys.

Proportions/percentages: That’s a great help Carie! I’ve been doing this myself, but I didn’t mention it because sometimes one just wants a “straight-across” substitution.

Right now, I’m using the same yarn a pattern calls for, but I CANNOT get gauge, no matter how much I vary my tension or needles. So, I made sure to get one dimension and adjusted for the other using proportion. I haven’t tried percentage adjustment for both dimensions yet. I imagine it may not work if the percentages are different. And yes, I think those knitting applications do precisely the same thing - didn’t know there was freeware…going to look…