I was just in my LYS. I was sooo overwhelmed! I’m trying to find substitutes for some discontinued yarn and got totally lost. Then I found some cute balls, but a) I have problems picturing the final product when it is variegated/marbled or such and b) I have NO idea how many balls I would need!

I’m sure the lady would have been anxious to help me, but some of the yarn I was looking at was expensive (I’m so cheap LOL) so I probably wouldn’t have bought it and I didn’t want to put her out.

I sooo need to learn about yarn! FYI I’ve been knitting for about 20 years now, but I usually just buy the yarn called for in the pattern. Ya, I know, boring!

I’ve been knitting for a little over 20 years. I have only started buying the less than cheap yarn for projects. (Just bought some Alpaca for the first time for a hat and scarf for my DD). Walking into a strictly yarn store is like heaven for me. I guess like a man walking into a hardware store. I take a list with me of the types of yarns I need for what’s on my list and then I can look at the yarn, touch it, and contrast and compare.

I have to do this as out closest yarn store in an hour and a half north or south. The places like Michael’s and JoAnn’s here have less than optimal yarns.

It is pretty overwhelming the first time you go. :teehee:

To substitute a yarn you need to know the gauge (and yarn weight helps, too). For amounts, it usually says how many yards you need on the pattern.

What is the name of the yarn you want to find a substitute for?

You can’t just go by weight. Even if the pattern used 8 skeins of 50gm balls, it may not translate into 8 skeins of another yarn. You need to know the yardage.

Like Jan said, that pattern will list the yarn used. Look up the yardage per skein on that yarn. Then compare that to another yarn to figure out how much to buy.

Thanks everybody.

My problem is I’m cheap:teehee: If I stay on the expensive side of the store everything is laid out nicely and labelled with the contents of the yarn, the yardage and the gauge. BUT, I go straight to the clearance section and it’s organized like a garage sale! There are bins everywhere and nothing is clearly laid out! At least the keep similar yarns together, ie. ribbon, cotton, wool. So I end up having to look through every individual ball to see what I’m looking for. Then I get stressed out and leave.

What I’m trying to substitute is Katia yarn. I have an old pattern book with some cool tops I want to knit. The yarn has since been discontinued, but it’s very hard to find current Katia here in Canada (that isn’t $14 for a dinky ball). I have found some on Ravelry, but am still looking. Most of that yarn is ribbon yarn too.

Okay, according to Ravelry there 262 yarns by Katia… you might want to narrow down to the one suggested so we can help. :teehee:

I’ve been searching around on Ravelry and have bought 2 balls already - another order is pending. I don’t have my book here with me at work, but I’ll take inventory tonight. The one I’m having the most difficulty with is

Katia Idea - a ribbon yarn that is a cotton/rayon/linen blend, 16 st/4 inches on 5.0-5.5 mm (US 8-9) gauge.

I haven’t found anything like that and there are only a few on Ravelry offering theirs up for sale.

It doesn’t have to be the exact yarn it just as to be a similar gauge. It doesn’t have to be ribbon yarn even, but here’s a few…

According to Ravelry they are still making one version of Idea.



Sounds like the Idea Mix. Elann has one color available, it’s an orange, and they only have 8 balls of it. There’s a couple other Katia yarns available that might work, and you can search for others in the same gauge.