New Knitter Question

Hey everyone! I’m very new to knitting. I just started last week, but I’m sort of in love with it, lol. I’ve made a scarf in garter stitch that I think turned out pretty well for my very first project.

But now I’m looking at other patterns that are slightly more complicated. My problem is that where I live there aren’t a lot of yarn options. My question is this: Do I need to use the EXACT yarn that it calls for in the pattern? Can you substitute with other yarns of the same weight?

I know I can order online, but I’d like to feel the yarn first you know? Thanks!

Feel free to substitute for the yarn called for in the pattern. When you’re learning to knit, it’s good to stick with a similar weight yarn, but with a little experience, you can even change the weight of yarn and adjust the pattern accordingly.
I like to feel the yarn too before I order. If I can’t do that, I look for reviews of the yarn from others. Knitter’s Review and Ravelry (free to join) are both dependable sites to look at for yarn reviews.
Enjoy your knitting!

Thank you! I’m glad I can substitute, it’ll make it a bit easier. I’ll probably have a lot of newbie questions, because I’m teaching myself from videos and online instruction. This website has really been helpful!

I find that pattern designers, at least the ones that you’ll find in magazines, have a tendency to use some really expensive and completely unecessary yarns. I think they do it because they are probably getting kick backs from the yarn companies in the form of free yarn and monetary compensation. If I used only the yarns that it called for in the patterns that I use, I’d be broke. Not to mention the fact that yarns go out of production and some patterns are older. You’ll get used to knowing what weights and needles to use and what you want the feel of a fabric to be and you’ll choose things accordingly. It just takes time and experience.

As long as the weight and gauge are the same you should be fine. Just be aware that a different yarn may create a different look than the pattern picture if you choose a different texture.

The yarn cost was one of my concerns. Some of them are just ridiculously pricey for a broke college student (or most people, I’d imagine). I actually found a yarn shop close by, so I’m going to take in a couple of the patterns I’m interested in and see if they can help me find a good substitute of the same weight.

Yes, designers get yarn from companies to work up patterns for and some work for or own their own companies so they’re going to feature those yarns. But you can always find a lower cost sub, not so much in the local yarn stores, but definitely in big craft chains like Joann’s, Michaels, Hobby Lobby or AC Moore.

I don’t think i’ve ever used the exact yarn a pattern calls for! Like everyone else said, as long as you find something comparable, it’ll be okay.

I like to go to and see what the recommended yarn looks like. I also enter the pattern name to see what yarns other knitters have used to make their versions!!!

hth, knitcindy

I use knitpicks yarns quite often. They’re decent quality and they tend to be a lot less expensive than what most patterns call for. I made a sweater for $65 (it was knit using two strands at the same time) in yarn would have cost me almost $250 if I had used the yarn that the pattern had called for.

I’m another new knitter, enknamored with knitting. I have to substitute yarns because every pattern I find that I want to use calls for wool and everyone I knit for is allergic to wool…except for me and what good is a sweater for myself if I can’t cuddle my grandkids? My current project is a pullover sweater for myself, free pattern from Lion Brand. I looked at the price of their yarns that I could use, headed off to JoAnn and got Caron pounders and used the 40% off coupons I found in the store, lucky me!! Total cost for 3 pounds (I’m thinking matching leg warmers too) was less than $20. Cheap enough to risk a total fiasco as I’m trying out new techniques. Oh, and I just haven’t mentioned the yarn I selected in the KAL. :wink: