Change the Yarn- Tips for Yarn Substitutions

We have all done it, and sometimes it goes well, others it does not. I am talking about yarn substitution.

Honestly, I never really thought about the yarn I was substituting. I would find a yarn I loved then pick out a pattern I liked and just begin working up my stitches. I never looked at gauge, I never paid attention the fiber or even the weight of the yarn.

In some cases things worked out fine, in others I found myself with items smaller, or firmer, or just plain awkward looking. So I have learned, and it is time to share some insights.

First realize that the pattern you find was designed in a specific yarn. The way it looks in the photo is because of this specific yarn. Changing the yarn will change the effect, maybe the drape, maybe even the size.

Now what to compare to make the change.

Check the weight of the yarn. The weight is in essence the diameter of the strand of yarn, it can be assigned a number (from 0 lace-7 super chunky) or given a name such as lace, thread, sock, fingering, baby, sport, DK, worsted, Aran, chunky, craft, bulky, roving.  These numbers or names are assigned by the manufacture and finding matching yarns at least get you in the ball park that the yarns are similar.

However there are times that you pick up a yarn and it doesn’t have a weight listing by number of name, but it does have a knitting gauge listed. This gauge can help you make the weight comparison too. Yarns that have the same gauge, using the same size needles, will be also be compatible in weight. If the yarns are using the same size needles in the gauge but the stitch and row counts are not the same, the yarn with the higher number of stitches in the gauge will be thinner than the other.

Another way many compare the weight, is to compare the yard/meters and the ounces/grams of the skein. If a skein states that it is 400yrd/366m and 1.75oz/50g it would be compatible with a yarn of 425rds/388m and 1.75oz/50g, but not compatible with a yarn that was listed as 600yd/549m and 1.75oz/50g, as the latter yarn is much thinner. It is a comparison of yards/meters and comparison if ounces/grams that help you see if things are in the same ball park.

The next thing to consider when comparing yarns if the fiber content. In some cases it may not make much of a difference, but a few fibers act completely different from one another. For instance if you are substituting a wool yarn with a lot of bounce or springiness, with a 100% silk you fabric will not even resemble each other. The silk tends to have a lot of drape, it flows, and in comparison to the wool will be limper. Whereas the wool will have some stretch and spring back into place.

Yarns with similar fiber content will behave similarly, so use caution if the labels vary greatly.

Now that you have found a yarn to substitute, if you want to ensure that you will be happy with the outcome of your project, make a gauge swatch. If you make gauge and are happy with how the fabric feels and looks, make your project.

 

Woven Kisses Wrap- Free Pattern

For the last few years I have released new patterns featuring yarn from Lisa Souza Dyeworks to highlight the New York Sheep in Wool show, affectionately known to many simple by the town that hosts it, Rhinebeck. This year is no different.

With Rhinebeck occurring this next weekend, October 20 & 21, 2018 at the Duchess County Fairgrounds, I have designed a new shawl; Woven Kisses.

Woven Kisses is essentially a mesh, but not created with your most common stitches. It is worked with tall stitches and Love Knots (aka Solomon Knots). It works up quickly, and adds a great airiness while giving beauty. If you need to learn how to create these lofty stitches, I share how here.

This wrap is airy and have a beautiful drape. One of the things that I always find interesting is that even with the openness, it is quite warm, making for a delightful project. In addition, this entire wrap is created with only one skein of yarn, everyone loves that. It helps keep things cost effective, while also only having 2 ends to weave in, my favorite kind of project.

Even if you cannot attend Rhinebeck, you can enjoy this design, since I am sharing it as a free pattern. I hope you enjoy it and that it helps you get into the crochet season.

Woven Kisses Wrap

Materials

  • Hook size 1/9/5.5mm
  • Lisa Souza Yarns Delux Sock light weight 80% superwash merino, 10% nylon 10% cashmere (4oz/495yds): 1 skein color: Rhinebeck 2018 (www.lisaknit.com)

Gauge is not critical for this project

Finished Size approximately 24” x 84”

Row 1: Ch 2, sc in 2nd ch from hook, 50 LK, turn.

Row 2: Ch 4 (counts as tr now and throughout), LK, tr in knot between 2 LK, [LK, tr between next 2 LK] rep 48 times, LK, tr in last knot, turn.

Row 3: Ch 4, [LK, tr in next tr] rep across, turn.

Row 4-26: Rep Row 3. Fasten off, block.

Stair Step Wrap- Free Pattern

I have always appreciated relatively simple repeat patterns that are successful with only 1 skein, so playing with this design I have actually created a few different variation. The Stair Step Wrap increases is worked side to side, with one edge being straight and the other having all the increasing and decreasing be worked.

It is simple enough to use any yarn in this pattern, simply choose a compatible hook for the yarn, and work the increase end of the pattern until you have used half of the yarn, then begin the decrease end of the pattern. To know if you have reached the “half way” point of a skein, you can use a kitchen scale to weigh the remaining yarn and subtract this from the total weight of the skein. This should be noted on the band wrapper for the yarn, if not simply weigh all the yarn, used and unused together and divide by 2 to find the halfway point.

Stair Step Wrap

Materials:

  • Mountain Colors Twizzle light weight 85% merino wool, 15% silk yarn (100g/240 yrds) colorway Lupine
  • L/8mm crochet hook

Special Stitches

BegV= (Ch 4, dc in same st) counts as dc + ch 1

V st= (dc, ch 1, dc) in same st

Increase End

Row 1: Ch 4, dc in first ch, turn.

Row 2: BegV, sk 1 ch, dc in next ch, turn.

Row 3: Ch 3, V st between 1st 2 sts, sk dc and 1 ch, V st in next ch, turn.

Row 4: BegV, V st between next V sts, dc in turning ch, turn.

Row 5: Ch 3, V st between dc and V st, V st bet V sts, sk dc and 1 ch, V st in next ch, turn.

Row 6: BegV, V st bet each V st across, dc in turning ch, turn.

Row 7: Ch 3, V st between dc and V st, V st bet each V sts across, sk dc and 1 ch, V st in next ch, turn.

Row 8-31: Rep Rows 6 & 7

Row 32: Rep Row 6

Decrease End

Row 33: Ch 3, V st between dc and V st, V st bet each V sts across, sk dc and 1 ch, dc in next ch, turn.

Row 34: Ch 3, V st bet each V st across, dc in turning ch, turn.

Row 35-62: Rep Rows 33 & 34

Row 63: Ch 3, V st between dc and V st, sk dc and 1 ch, dc in next ch, turn.

Row 64: Ch 3, sk V st, dc in turning ch, fasten off. Weave in ends, block.

I have worked this up in a couple of different yarns, this one I like too. It was made with Plymouth Yarns Arya Ebruli 

 

I am A #HumansThatYarn

Humans that yarn. Sounds like an interesting caption, but to the Craft Yarn Council it is a bit more than that.

The Craft Yarn Council is a nonprofit organization that is designed to promote all things yarn that includes certifying knitting and crochet instructors….it is an interesting course that I completed of crochet in 2012, and really has helped me to teach crochet more effectively. (You can find information about the program here). The Humans that Yarn campaign is an effort by this organization to hear the voices of those that craft with yarn.

Often as crocheters it seems like we are defined by the fact that we are not knitters, and this campaign gives us an opportunity to talk about who we are and what yarn means to us, so I thought I would share my thoughts.

For me I really do not remember a time in my life without yarn somewhere around. As I have talked about in the past I taught myself to crochet at the age 10 from a book, but it wasn’t from a true desire to crochet as much as it was to learn and create. It just happened that I had access to yarn, hooks and the book.

Most of my yarn came from others. Other people would give me there left over scraps and partial skeins. There was a time when I finally committed to creating my first afghan that I convinced my mom to allow me to purchase some yarn. I remember spending time going over patterns finding the one that I wanted to create. I remember standing in the aisle of the store putting various combinations of yarn together to find the perfect colors. I remember asking my mom’s advice on the color selection, she after all as in many different art classes at the time.

Yet yarn is not just a memory for me. It is a way of moving my hands and keeping my mind flowing it is being productive in even the most likely of times.

It might be that I tend to want to do or experience things that no one would quite expect to look at me. No one in grade school would expect me to be crocheting, I had many friends in high school look at me like I was crazy when they found out…although many still have the afghan I made them. I guess I liked a bit of the awe factor. Not fitting into any particular mold…I still find it appealing.

People that know me are no longer surprised by the crocheting, but they tell me they are inspired by my designing, teaching and taking it on as a business. The title “Crochet Designers” does garner surprise from people I meet, as they never thought of any career like it.

So I guess, my easiest summation for Who am I? when considering Humans that Yarn, I am contrite wanting to be different and a bit surprising while utilizing a common craft.

Share your #HumasthatYarn story, Who are You?

Christmas In July -Slight Trail Men’s Gloves- Free Pattern

As part of the Christmas in July Crochet Along, I am happy to share Slight Trail Men’s Gloves as a free pattern for you!


Check out more Christmas in July patterns as well as giveaways here

 

Slight Trail Men’s Gloves by: Linda Dean

Fingered gloves are a must during the cold months, and are easier then they look! This simple stitch pattern offers a unique texture that gives the gloves just enough stretch.

Skill Level: Intermediate

Finished Size: men’s size gloves-10” circumference

Materials List:

  • Size I/9/5.5mm hook or hook size needed to obtain gauge
  • 1 skein of Lisa Souza Baby Alpaca Sport, sport weight,  100% Baby Alpaca Yarn (330yds/3.4 oz)  (www.lisaknit.com)
  • Stitch Marker
  • Tapestry needle

Gauge:  8 st /10 rows =2”

Pattern Note/Special Stitches

Glove are worked in a continuous spiral, there is no joining. Use stitch marker to indicate end of round.

Pattern worked in round has single crochet stitches stacked upon single crochet stitches in the back loop, and single crochet in the back loop stitches stacked upon single crochet stitches.

Magic Loop: Create a loop with yarn, inset hook, yarn over and pull through a loop, work indicated stitches in loop, pull the “tail” end of the loop to tighten.

Abbreviations:

ch: chain

rem: remaining

rep: repeat

sc: single crochet

sl st: slip stitch

sk: skip

sp: space

st(s): stitch(es)

Gloves (Make 2)

Cuff

Row 1 : Ch 10, working in back bump only, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each back bump across, ch 1, turn. (9 sc)

Rows 2-39: Sc in each back loop across, ch 1, turn.

Hand

Rnd 1: Turn cuff so that ends of fabric (Rows 1 and 39) are touching forming a tube, crocheting in the ends of the rows, sc in the end of each round. 39 sc

Rnd 2: *Sc in next 3 sts, sc in back loop of next 3 sts; rep from * 6 times, sc in next 3 sts.

Rnd 3: *Sc in back loop of next 3 sts, sc in next 3 sts; rep from * 6 times, sc in back loop of next 3 sts.

Rnds 4-16: Rep Rnds 2 & 3, ending with a repeat of Rnd 2.

Rnd 17: Ch 9, sk next 6 sts, *sc in back loop of next 3 sts, sc in next 3 sts; rep from * around. 33 sc and 1 ch-9 sp

Rnd 18: 9 sc in ch-10 sp, *sc in next 3 sts, sc in back loop of next 3 sts; rep from * around. 42 sc

Rnd 19: *Sc in back loop of next 3 sts, sc in next 3 sts; rep from * around.

Rnd 20: *Sc in next 3 sts, sc in back loop of next 3 sts; rep from * around.

Rnds 21-28: Rep Rnds 19 & 20

Index Finger

Rnd 1: Sc in back loop of next 6 sts, turn glove over, working in 7th stitch from end, sc in back loop, sc in back loop of next 6 sts. 13 sc

Rnd 2: Sc in back loop of each st around.

Rnd 3-16: Rep Rnd 2. Finish off, using yarn needle weave end through each stitch in last round and pull tight, sewing end closed.  

The rest of the fingers, with the exception of the thumb, start by working into Rnd 28 of the hand. Start with the glove positioned so that the index finger is to the right. (For left handed crocheters the index finger should be to the left).

Middle Finger

Rnd 1: Join yarn with sc in same st as last st for index finger on same side, sc in back loop of next 7 sts, sk next 19 sts, sc in back loop of next 5 sts, sc in next st (that was used in previous finger).  13 sc

Rnd 2: Sc in back loop of each st around.

Rnd 3-18: Rep Rnd 2. Finish off, using yarn needle weave end through each stitch in last round and pull tight, sewing end closed.  

Ring Finger

Rnd 1: Join yarn with sc in same st as last st for middle finger on same side, sc in back loop of next 7 sts, sk next 8 sts, sc in next st, sc in back loop of next 4 sts, sc in next st (that was used in previous finger).  13 sc

Rnd 2: Sc in back loop of each st around.

Rnd 3-16: Rep Rnd 2. Finish off, using yarn needle weave end through each stitch in last round and pull tight, sewing end closed.  

Pinkie Finger

Rnd 1: Join yarn with sc in same st as last st for middle finger on same side, (sc in back loop of next 7 sts, sc in next st (that was used in previous finger).  10 sc

Rnd 2: Sc in back loop of each st around.

Rnd 3-12: Rep Rnd 2. Finish off, using yarn needle weave end through each stitch in last round and pull tight, sewing end closed.  

Thumb:

Rnd 1: Working in sk sts of Rnd 17 of Hand, sc in back loop of each st, evenly work 9 sc in bottom side of ch-9. (15 sts)

Rnd 2: *Sc in back loop of each st around.

Rnd 3-14: Rep Rond 2. Finish off, using yarn needle weave end through each stitch in last round and pull tight, sewing end closed.  (note optional for texting thumbs, simply weave in end, not closing top of thumb)