Consider these when substituting yarn for another [knitting]

This week I’m warding off the winter chill by knitting with Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted Superwash. This beautiful, springy, 100% superwash wool with a rich and expanding palette of colours is a great choice for warm and cozy garments, accessories, and home décor.

Deluxe Worsted Superwash in Charcoal Heather and my swatch

Today I’m testing to determine if this yarn is an appropriate substitution for the one used in the Roof Tiles Sweater pattern by knitting a swatch in both stocking stitch and in pattern. As I mentioned yesterday, the yarn originally called for by the pattern is Poems Silk Solids which has since been discontinued.

One of the first steps in substituting yarns is to look at the characteristics of the original yarn. Even if it’s no longer listed on the supplier’s website, you can often find it on Ravelry, which is how I looked it up (Poems Silk Solids). Here I learned the fiber content, the recommended gauge and the yardage so I had a comparison to my chosen yarn.

Fiber Content – If you want to achieve a similar result, you should always use the same or very similar fiber content in your substitution.

  • Poems Silk Solids is comprised of 75% Wool and 25% Silk — all natural protein-based fibers.
  • Deluxe Worsted Superwash is 100% Wool. The knitted fabric should be similar, however mine won’t have the silk sheen, but it will have a heather look.

Recommended Gauge – The gauge of the knitted fabric should be the same for both yarns.

  • Poems Silk Solids recommended gauge is listed as 4 – 5 sts = 1” on a US7 [4.5mm] – US9 [5.5mm] needle in stocking stitch. The pattern gauge is 18sts = 4” on a US7 [4.5mm] which equates to 4.5 sts = 1”.
  • Deluxe Worsted Superwash recommended gauge is 18sts = 4” on a US7 [4.5mm]. The gauge is very similar so the test will be the knitted fabric.

For my swatch, I used a US7 [4.5mm] needle and proceeded to knit in stocking stitch to measure the natural gauge. After blocking, my swatch measured at 19sts x 26 rows = 4”. I then did 2 repeats of the 14-row pattern which measured out to 18sts = 4”. I like the fabric that it produced so I will use the US7 [4.5mm] needle for my project.

Swatch knit US7 [4.5mm] needle and Deluxe Worsted Superwash

Yardage – Compare the yardage of each yarn to ensure you have enough for the project.

In the case of the Roof Tiles Sweater pattern, it lists the yardage of the discontinued yarn but not all patterns do. The pattern may just state the number of balls or skeins needed but that isn’t helpful if you don’t know the yardage. In my case, a 50g ball of Poems Silk Solids is exactly half the yardage of the 100g ball of Deluxe Worsted Superwash.

I had one more insight into why I thought Deluxe Worsted Superwash would be a good substitution for Poems Silk Solids – I had previously knit with its sister yarn, Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted Tweed and knew what I could expect.

Now that I’ve determined that Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted Superwash is a viable substitution, I’m ready to start knitting the Roof Tiles Sweater. Please join me tomorrow as I knit away and discuss how I plan to personalize the sweater for me.

Deluxe Worsted Superwash in Charcoal Heather

This is part 2 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 1: Deluxe Worsted Superwash yarn knits up warm textured knits

Go to part 3: 3 pattern changes to the knitted Roof Tiles Sweater | how where & why

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