Yarn substitution question!

My dad’s aunt used to knit a Fisherman’s Knit/Aran afghan for each person in the family. Her daughter finally found the pattern she used and I’d like to make one for myself!

Only problem is…the yarn she used is called Fisherman’s Sayelle. What’s a good substitute for Sayelle yarn? Would I be able to use Red Heart Supersaver instead??

Also, is there a difference between the “Aran” color and “cream”?

Last question – This woman used 11 skeins of 3 1/2 oz yarn. About how many yards is that?? I do have some old Sayelle skeins in my stash, but there’s really no way to tell how many yards are in them (from looking at the label).

So, if anyone can help I would REALLY appreciate it!


I don’t know what the term Sayelle actually meant. I looked for in on the site called Vintage Yarn and found several. It looks like they could come in different weights. They were all 100% Orlon. I think some acrylics are called Orlon Acrylic. It sounds like it was just a man made fiber of some kind. You could probably use Red Heart if you want. But you wouldn’t have to, you could even use wool if you wanted, you’d just have a nicer afghan, but need to wash more carefully.

Unless you know which weight they yarn was it is pretty hard to be sure, but I think most afghans are made of worsted weight. One way to make an educated guess would be to go by needle size if your pattern gives one. Vintage Yarn said worsted weight had a recommended needle size of 8, 9, or 10. According to Vintage Yarn, Botany made a worsted that had 140 yards yards in 2 oz. And Dawn made a worsted that had 258 yards in 4 oz.

Math is not my best subject, but I think based on 11–3 1/2 ounce skeins (which would be about 38.5 ounces) one of those would figure out to about 2401 yards and the other about 2800 yards. Could be that much I guess.

I think “Aran” is cream, or off white.

Thanks Merigold!

According to the pattern, it calls for size 10 needle. The gauge is 4 sts per inch and 5 rows per inch.

That sounds “off” to me, but that’s what the pattern says.

Thanks again!

Sayelle was used by several companies, but it’s a heavy worsted. RH super saver would work, or Caron Pounder, or any of the large skeins by the different companies. Using size 10 with a worsted weight works okay even in plain stockinette. With this pattern you probably have a lot of cables and/or bobbles, so using a little larger needle makes them easier to do. Besides, cables pull in a lot more than plain stockinette, so it would be too narrow if you used smaller needles.

I would suggest Bernat Berella 4, a worsted wt. yarn, in 3.5 oz. balls. It is really nice for acrylic yarn. Just made a 45" x 50" afghan with ten balls. You can buy it at joann.com for 2.49 a skein and has been on sale for 1.74. I ordered some in forest green for another one.