Yarn Substitution and Frustrations


I’m still slogging along with my Iced sweater from Knitty. After an alarming number of frogs and ciphering, I am cautiously on a roll. Yes you would think with yarn this bulky, that this sweater would be done in a week. Me too!

I started with this lovely yarn that I purchased for another pattern, sound familiar? How many times do I do this? It laid around and mocked me for some time. I just wasn’t happy with the pattern that I originally bought for it.

Of course the yarn being rather super bulky, it was hard to find another pattern to fit my needs. Enter Knitty Fall 2010 Iced Sweater by Carol Feller. I feel in love with it and had to have it. Well,,,,,,I didn’t want to buy more yarn, so I decided I would “force” this yarn into behaving itself began and perilous journey.

Getting Gauge: not going to happen, the knitting gods laughed at me…Frogged

Getting Gauge second try: still laughing, and do I detect some snorting?….Frogged

Begin knitting, I’m blindly knitting along, tightly to “get gauge”, and realize that my sweater is feeling similar to a bullet proof vest…..Frogged

OK seriously now, I decided to make a swatch with the recommended needles, (imagine that!), and try to make the sweater in a smaller size. As my gauge is approx 25% larger than the pattern recommends, OK this seems to be going well, until I try it on, (oh the beauty of top down sweaters), and realize the arms are like bat wings…..Frogged

Now, I’m knitting again, trying it on every couple of rows and it is looking pretty good. I think I’ll even have enough yarn to finish it!

Moral to the story?

Yarn Substitution is very tricky, you must take into account not only the size of the yarn! This is about the best article I have found on gauge and yarn substitution, from Knitty Summer 05 by Jenna Wilson.

Good luck, hopefully next time you see this yarn, it will be an actual sweater.

dancing in the rain--
Knit Fast, Dye Yarn
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass... it's about learning how to dance in the rain."


  1. Anonymous2/15/2011

    Oh my gosh what a patience you must have! And looks like you _really_ liked that pattern. To remake a thing 5 times? Ooh!
    Good luck with your sweater - I hope you'll see it done soon and show here too :)

  2. Love the dancing hamster and froggy, lol!

  3. I completely agree that substituting yarn is a proposition fraught with hazards - LOL LOVE the yarn and color you are using and I can see this is going to be a super sweater. Great pattern find!

  4. Thanks for the link to the knitty article. I've never had luck subbing in yarn and the sweater I want to make next - the yarn it was made with is discontinued! Looking forward to seeing the finished sweater!


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