Yarn Yarn so many kinds!

Living on a very small budget, knitting for me needs to be practical as well as enjoyable, paying $150 for a pure wool cardigan was just way out of my reach. I make my own sourdough breads for 1/2 of what the bakery charges, and cook all of my meals from scratch for the same reasons.

After all this yarn talk I thought I would have a look in my own backyard to see whats available online. Living in Australia its more economical to buy from here than overseas and I like supporting the locals. After getting through the first two pages of google (full of boutique yarn sellers) I did come accross some very reasonably priced wool on a few sites so Im glad this topic came up, it forced me to do research beyond the overpriced, craft, chain store I’ve been using down the street. Once Im done with this jumper I really can invest in some nice Aussie wool and not feel like I broke the bank. :slight_smile:

Worsted is a medium weight yarn, usually has a 4 on the label, or the little gauge icon will say that it uses size 8/5mm needles. Other yarns are thicker - bulky or super bulky and use larger needles - or thinner, like the baby or sport weight yarns which use smaller needles.

Thanks! I am a tight knitter, so I had to force myself to let the yarn flow and relax my grip on it, to make it easier to stitch with. Also, I had to try different kinds of knitting needles (wood, plastic, metal), before I finally settled on the ones I used - plastic.

I’ve learned that some yarns work better with certain knitting needles. So, before I give up on a yarn, I try it with all the types of needles I have available.

There are some nicer less expensive yarns. Plymouth Encore and Berroco Vintage to name a few. Not all the stuff in hobby stores is awful either. There are some nice ones if your budget is tight. I’m just thinking you don’t need to stick to Red Heart Super Saver. Even washed that stuff is not that soft. It hurts my hands to knit with it.

I love natural fibers…whether they be animal-based, or plant-based.

I like some acrylic yarns. And there is a definite good case for the purchase of acrylic yarns.

Matching the right yarn to the right project is a GOAL that I swear is never fully attained! :wink:
I can still manage to blunder in this department!

However, that said…my worst blunders in the past two years have always been because I didn’t use the yarn recommended. AND I MEAN WORST. My alternative choice of yarn was a total trainwreck. WRECK.

But who knew? :pout:

[B]Advice:[/B] if you chose an alternate yarn…find [U]your project[/U] on Ravelry…and LOOK AT all the other projects knit up. Read the knitter’s notes. ALSO, find [U]your yarn[/U] on Raverly, and READ all the notes made by others about the yarn.

A lot of problems can be avoided if you research your project and your yarn in this way.
I do it ALL THE TIME. I learned the hard way. I don’t consider myself an expert at all.
So I do my homework before launching into a major project. Even a scarf is a major project
because you spend a lot of time on it!

When I read other’s notes…I learn what NOT TO DO. And/or what yarn NOT TO USE.
In addition to reading the success stories!

So if a pattern calls for a certain yarn, how do you know what alternative you can use?

You can look on www.yarndex.com and search for something that gets a similar gauge. Or on ravelry you can find the pattern’s page, then there’s a button to search for other yarns people used for the same pattern.

So if a pattern calls for Pattons Shetland Ragg (100 g) do I just need to look for a yarn that is 100 g?

LBA, if I searched correctly on the yarndex site, you’re looking for a bulky yarn that is 75% acrylic, 25% wool that gives you about 121 yds. to 100 g and on the label knits 15 sts to 4 inches on 6 mm (size 10 US) needles. Since this is a Ragg yarn, you’re also looking for a 2 color twisted yarn to get about the same result. Take a look at the About This Yarn box on yarndex.com for my search results on Patons Shetland Ragg. http://www.yarndex.com/yarn.cfm?yarn_id=4023

Whenever you’re substituting yarn, that’s the box with all of the info to make a reasonable substitution. Here, if you use Shetland Chunky Multi in any color combo you like it should substitute easily size wise but you may not get the look of a ragg because they’re variegated, not a 2 color twist. To sub for a local wool that is Ragg, I’d go with the gauge results in a 2 color twist( i.e. 2 plies natural, one pile brown).

No. 100 g is just how much the yarn weighs. You need to substitute a yarn that is the same THICKNESS.

Jan, several years ago I made a camera case out of Red Heart Super Saver and have been using it frequently. The other day I was surprised to find that the case is now very very soft.

However, I have to agree with you: in general, that stuff is scratchy, and since wearing it out like I did doesn’t work for most projects, I would only use it for rugs or other non-clothes items!!

I use a lot of Caron Simply Soft for baby blankets and such. One friend with three kids (and, subsequently, three baby blankets from me) swears by that yarn as she has machine washed and dried the blankets gazillions of times, and they always come out looking brand new! Caron has lots of interesting colors, too!

I’m very interested in buying my next yarn from elann! Thanks, Ingrid, for the link to the other online yarn store. Does anyone know of any others besides what’s already listed in this thread?

The 100gr is the weight of the [I]skein[/I]; when we talk about weight of a [I]yarn[/I] that’s whether it’s fingering, dk, worsted or bulky. Many yarns are put up in the same 100 gr skein but 100g of lace would 880 yds, sock would be 440 yds and bulky would be about 120 yds or so. So you need something that will knit to the same gauge as the original yarn, which sounds like a bulky yarn. You need the same yardage, no matter how many skeins that would take of your substitute

ArtLady1981, Your FO is stunning! Was it a pattern or is it freehand? Thank you for sharing…

So why doesn’t it say how thick it is in the pattern? Seems kinda dumb!

Ps. The baby breath yarn that I was talking about earlier in this thread that I said I bought. I absolutely hate it. I can’t knit cables with it, it gets all messed up. I’m actually considering donating it to my aunt who wants to learn to knit. I can do garter stitch with it fine, but it was not what I was looking to do with it. Unfortunately I bought 5 friken balls of it. Ugh

They want you to use the same yarn in the pattern, that’s how you derive the thickness of it. To substitute you would look for something that knits to the same gauge (stitches per inch) on the same needles.

That yarn isn’t too bad, but cables generally look best in a smooth yarn. Boucle tends to hide pattern and details.

New knitters often choose the soft, fluffy or boucle yarns, but it’s easiest to learn with a smooth, light colored yarn. If you like the yarn otherwise you could save it for a project where detail isn’t important. Like a garter stitch baby blanket or something.

Every pattern will tell you which yarn to use, and they will also list the gauge (stitches per inch) you should get with the yarn and the size needles they require.

Also, it helps to look at a photo of the finished product. You have to look closely at the stitches, to see what kind of yarn was used. You’ll want to use a similar type of yarn as the designer used for their item.

If you want to substitute a different yarn, you should first look up all the information you can find about the yarn the designer listed on the pattern. It might say that it is “worsted” or “sportweight” or “bulky” or “super bulky”. Usually, you can find the website for the brand name of that yarn, and you will see a webpage just for that specific yarn.

After knowing all you can about the required yarn, you should then try to find a suitable substitute. You’ll want to look at the [B]label[/B] on the yarn, to see the details of the type of yarn it is. Here is a website that will walk you through how to understand the information on the yarn label.

Before long, you’ll be able to grab just the right yarn to make substitutes. It just takes a little time and experience. Don’t give up! :thumbsup:

You might want to hold on to it, and use it for a different project later. Lots of knitters hold onto yarn, and save it for future use. (I’m one of them! My yarn stash is HUGE!!)

All yarns have their purpose. Some yarns are very thin, and are perfect for knitting or crocheting tiny baby designs…or doll clothes. Other yarns are very thick, and can be used to create finished projects very quickly.

You’ll find fluffy yarns, which are fun to make scarves and blankets with. And you’ll also see some very silky yarns, that are nice for making tops and shawls. Standard worsted weight yarn has it’s purpose as well.

Within all the weight categories (fingering, light, dk, sportweight, worsted, aran, chunky, bulky, super bulky), you’ll find several different types of yarn. You’ll see about 20 different kinds of yarns that are worsted weight. Some are fluffy, some are smooth, some are silky, and some are rough. They each have their purpose, and you’ll eventually learn which yarns work best with specific projects.

Hang in there. Getting to know different yarns is fun! :slight_smile:

Ahh I see. So maybe I should try using it for garter stitch rather than doing cables with it. I actually bought it because the pattern on the lable is a cable blanket and looked so nice, but I think I will save it for another project or try using it for garter stitch. I appreciate all your responses! I’m really enjoying learning about all these yarns!
If anyone is interested I have a knitting store up the street from my place and this is the selection they sell, http://www.yarnfwd.com/#

it looks as though you can order it online :slight_smile: