Substituting Yarn in Patterns

Most of the FreshStitches animal patterns call for ‘worsted weight yarn’. But what if you want to make an animal using another yarn? Not a problem! In this article, we will discuss how to substitute yarns for your pattern.

With stuffed animal patterns, substituting yarns is easy! Because animals aren’t made to fit someone (like a sweater), the size of the animal isn’t crucial to your having a cute and cuddly finished project. This means that you can use any yarn that you want, and the only thing that will change is the size of your finished project. If you want to use that crazy bulky yarn that was on sale at your local yarn store, you will end up with a bigger animal than pictured in the pattern. If you want to use the thinner yarn that you have in your stash, your animal will be slightly smaller than the one pictured in the pattern.

Yarn substitutions can be particularly crucial if you live in a country where American yarns aren’t available. For example, in Australia, worsted weight yarn (which is called ’10 ply’) is scarce. The leading yarn is ‘8 ply’ (which we call DK weight). Fortunately, you can easily substitute DK weight yarn for the worsted weight called for in the pattern. All you need to do is make sure you have the right hook size.

label1Fortunately, the back of your yarn label can lend you a helping hand. For many yarns, a recommended needle size is given. Let’s look at this label from Paton’s Astra (a DK weight yarn). You can see a picture of a crochet hook, with ‘4mm’, ‘US G/6’ written next to it. This means that for this yarn, it is best to use a size G crochet hook. An animal crocheted with this yarn will be slightly smaller than the size indicated in the pattern. But, as long as you use the recommended needle size, your stitches will come out looking great!

label2Let’s look at a less informative label. This label is from a skein of Ella Rae Classic (a worsted weight yarn), and only a knitting needle size is recommended. A ‘4.5 mm’ knitting needle is recommended. What size is a 4.5mm crochet hook? Just take a look at our post on converting crochet hook Sizes. In that post, you will see that 4.5mm is in between a size G and a size H hook. I crochet tightly, so I would use a size H (5mm), but either will work fine!

As long as you read the label and select the proper hook size, you can use whatever yarn you would like for your FreshStitches animals! That’s good news all around!

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Jan 22, 2009 | Posted by in Tips & Techniques | 2 comments

Comments (2 Responses)

  1. louise says:

    Can you help, I bought a set of crochet hooks and the size is graded as follows: eg 2.00mm,2.5mm to 3.00mm,3.5mm and so on, as I’m just a beginner which size represents a size one or do not have suitable sized hooks?
    Any help would be appreciated as I feel lost before I’ve even started!

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