Monday, March 24, 2014

A Knitter's (or Crocheter's) Right to Choose-A NM Tutorial on How to Substitute Yarn

Here at Nordic Mart we answer lots of questions about yarn. How many yards? How much is it? Is it machine washable? Does it come in a more yellow-orange, instead of a gold-orange? You get the idea. :) One of our most common questions is "How much do I need?" This question happens a lot, sometimes it is a simple answer and sometimes it is a little more involved.  So to take away some of the mystery here's a handy how-to!

Lush by tincanknits

To get started lets choose a pattern. We thought we would go with this cute cardigan called Lush by tincanknits. This pattern calls for a DK weight yarn. Two great options to choose from would be DROPS Karisma Superwash or Cascade 220 Superwash.

DROPS Karisma Superwash- 109 yds / 50g
Cascade 220 Superwash- 220 yds / 100g

So lets say we are going to make a size Medium using DROPS Karisma which calls for 1100 yards of yarn. For this calculation you would take the yardage required (1100) and divide this by the yards per skein (109), the answer be the number of skeins needed. It's that simple! :)
1100 yards ÷ 109 yards = 10.09 skeins

For this number we would not round up. Most patterns count skeins not actual yardage, we would round up a skein if the decimal place was over 3. 10 skeins should be plenty for this project as long as the gauge is correct.

Let's do an example with Cascade 220 Superwash. Here's a pattern for you crocheters from Ravelry! This Chevron Stripes 3 Season Sweater by Esther Chandler is made using Debbie Bliss Rialto DK. What would we do if we wanted to make it in Cascade 220 Superwash instead? 

If we make a size 36 we need 4 skeins of cream, 2 skeins of purple and 2 skeins of Navy. 

Step 1:

Find the yards per gram of Debbie Bliss Rialto
Debbie Bliss Rialto- 115 yds / 50g

Step 2:

Multiply the skeins required by the yardage of Rialto

Cream: 4 x 115 yds. = 460 yds.
Purple: 2 x 115 yds. = 230 yds.
Navy: 2 x 115 yds. = 230 yds.

Step 3:

Find the yards per gram of Cascade 220 Superwash
Cascade 220 Superwash: 220 yds /100 grams

Step 4:

Divide the total amount of yards required by the yardage of Cascade 220

Cream: 460 yards ÷ 220 yards= 2.09 skeins
Purple: 1 skein
Navy: 1 skein
The purple and the navy require 230 yards, but the designer states that she had plenty of leftover yarn. This means that we only need one skein of purple and one skein of navy. We love an even exchange!

 It's not rocket science, but we know that calculations can be a challenge. Now you are ready to choose a color, which is the best part! We hope this tutorial helps more of you branch out and feel free to pick the yarn you want to work in! :)