Need help with vintage yarn substitution

Hello there and Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the US.

I have a vintage pattern book (Bernat Fashions Book 90, copyright 1960). There’s a sweater I want to make, but it lists the yarn in ounces only, not in yardage.

The yarn is called Nylo Sports and came in 2 oz. balls. I even emailed Bernat and asked them about it, but they couldn’t tell me. Does anyone have any advice on how to try to figure out how much yarn I need?

The sweater is a pullover with long sleeves and is knit in a fairly smalle gauge (8st/inch on size 4 needles), and from this, and the name of the yarn, I am assuming it is a sportweight. The size I want to make calls for 9 of these 2 oz. balls.

Thanks in advance for any advice anyone has!


Here ya go -

It’s got 275 yds.

Thank you! I’ve bookmarked that page.

In your opinion does that seem like a lot of yarn for a pullover (even for one knit with thinner yarn)? 9 x 275 seems like a lot to me…but then, I’d rather have left over yarn than not enough!

It does, but it’s knit on very small needles. Or has a stitch pattern like cables that would draw in a lot so you would need more stitches to get the same width as in stockinette. Though Thermal from Knitty ( was knit with fingering weight on size 2½/3mm and it only calls for about 1540 yds. 9 skeins would be almost 1000 more yds. It also has a gauge of 7 sts/in on the smaller needles which would be bigger than your yarn says with larger needles and supposedly thicker yarn. So I would get a skein of the yard you want to try out the gauge and see what you come up with. Could be you’ll get a larger gauge and can knit a smaller size of the sweater with less yarn.

That Thermal pattern looks great-I may have to add it to the list.

This pattern doesn’t have any cables per se, but does have some stitches that are slipped over others to make a sort of diamond pattern. But I probably will try getting one skein or just something out of my stash to give me an idea of how it will knit up.

Thanks again for the help!

I wondered if I had any yarn by that name in my stash. I buy a lot of yarn second hand and have some old stuff. I actually laid hand to it in only a few seconds. The skein is 2 oz all right but it doesn’t say how many yards is in the skein. Neither does it say what size needles to use or any of the modern stuff we find on a skein. My ball says “PERMANENTLY MOTH PROOFED 50% Virgin Wool Worsted for Soft Comfort, 50% Dupont Crimpset Nylon for Triple Strength. So Easy to care for.” It also says, “Washable Color Anti-Shrink and Stretch.” The label has a picture of a lion and a lamb snuggling up next to each other inside of a black triangle, and it says BERNAT (above the triangle) 50 So Soft (on one side of the triangle) 50 So Strong (on the other side).

It looks pretty fine, and sounds like a blend that would have been used a lot for socks. If it says 8 stitches per inch I’d think more toward a baby or fingering weight. If it is sport weight, it is a light sport weight. I have another yarn right here that is called a fingering yarn 80% wool and 20% Nylon. It looks thinner on the slein than the Nylo Sports, but if you stretch the strands of each kind out next to each other they look very similar. The Nylo Sports is puffier looking in the ball though.

I don’t know if any of this information is of much help, but it is interesting history anyway. :slight_smile: I didn’t give you every word on the skein label, there is information about where it is made and about dye lots, etc.

Thanks Merigold! That is really interesting…it’s nice to know the fiber content. My brain was thinking there might have been some nylon in it due to the name. I might just grab a ball of sock yarn out of my stash to make a swatch and see if I come up with the right gauge.

I was wondering if someone might actually have some on hand–but I wasn’t expecting it. That’s really cool! :yay:

Yeah, I’d try the sock yarn. If it can’t be made to work, you will at least have learned a little more, and know how much bigger or smaller you’ll need from there.