When & How to Substitute Yarns

11/08/2012 at 5:26 pm 2 comments

 We again welcome our guest blogger, Jill Holbrook to help you learn how to substitute a yarn called for in a pattern with a Cotton Clouds’ yarn.

Jill’s love of lace knitting will inspire you to give it a try with our versatile and oh, so soft and silky Bambu 7  yarns.

My adopted “boys” on a trip to Maine.

Have you ever seen a pattern that called for a yarn you could not find? Maybe you just happened to have something in your stash and wanted to use that instead.  It can be tricky substituting different yarns – especially if the yarn is a different fiber. Knowing about the fiber and its characteristics – how it drapes, if it has body – can help make decisions on when and how to substitute yarns.

Rose Shawl*

     This lovely shawl is from Margaret Stove’s book Wrapped in Lace: Knitted Heirloom Designs from Around the World.

Wrapped in Lace will inspire

The pattern calls for Moco Quiviut Merino Silk Lace yarn. The shawl is light (approximately 2 ounces) and airy in this yarn as it is lace weight and contains a light-weight down fiber similar to cashmere.  It is knit with US size 6 (4mm) knitting needles at a gauge of 20 stitches and 34 rows over 4 inches in garter stitch. The pattern calls for 2 skeins of yarn at 300 yds each.

However I wanted to try Cotton Clouds’  soft and silky Bambu 7  yarn on mini cones instead.

Cotton Clouds’ Bambu 7 is soft & silky

Bambu 7  is approximately twice the weight of the lace weight yarn called for in the pattern. Bamboo is generally denser than wool depending on how it is spun and plied. Also Bambu 7  does not have the elasticity or memory of wool. However, it has great drape. This shawl would have more weight in a bamboo yarn but the drape and silky effect is worth it.

The yardage in one Bambu 7  Mini Cone  is close to what the pattern calls for – 525 yards versus 600 yards.  One mini-cone is probably enough but knitters vary in their gauges. I always buy extra yarn so I don’t have any anxiety about running out. Usually I can find something else to do with the left over yarn – maybe a scarf.  Bambu 7 is affordable enough to purchase extra, compared to other yarns.

Shawl Swatch in Bambu 7 yarn

I knit this swatch with one needle size smaller, a US size 5 (3.5mm) for more body. My gauge is close to the pattern gauge. The nice thing about shawls is that gauge is not as important. The shawl may turn out a little smaller – a shawlette – or a little bigger – a cozier wrap.

My swatch after finishing looks like a go!

Because of the lack of elasticity in the Bambu 7 yarn, the lace will stay open so it does not need blocking.  It does not change much after wet finishing, i.e. soaking and laying out. I love how it  maintains its luster and sumptuous softness. 

Just imagine, if you start now this could be a treasured gift for someone special at Christmas or maybe something special for you to wear to a Holiday party!  Too ambitious? Try one of the gorgeous lace scarves in this book, Wrapped in Lace: Knitted Heirloom Designs from Around the World.

Fiber Trends pattern knit by Jill Holbrook
I knit this lace shawl for my niece Sheley as a wedding gift. Although knit with a wool/silk blend I can see this pattern being knit with Cotton Clouds’ Bambu 12 yarn, a finer and eve more drapable yarn.  I would probably adjust the ruffle.    
 
Whatever you choose to knit, have fun and explore your creativity with joy!  Be sure to check back as I continue to explore knitting with Cotton Clouds’ yarns!
 
Jill Holbrook

*Rose Shawl photo by Joe Hancock, © Interweave Press 2010,  used with permission of publisher.

About these ads

Entry filed under: Knitting with Cotton Clouds yarns. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Keep your handwoven cotton towels smelli Save up to $24.95! Free Ship Kit Sale th

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. pamela  |  01/20/2014 at 3:37 pm

    Where can I get that cat shaped gauge? I’ve looked at kiwiknitting.com, but the website is not mobile friendly

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 974 other followers

Recent Blogs

November 2012
M T W T F S S
« Oct   Dec »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Cotton Clouds

1-800-322-7888
www.cottonclouds.com

Categories


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 974 other followers

%d bloggers like this: