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Did You Know…? How to Substitute One Yarn for Another

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Did You Know…? How to Substitute One Yarn for Another

Over the last decade, we’ve collected many of the common questions we’ve gotten from yarncrafters like you and created a useful database. Our Frequently Asked Questions section ( > Learning Center > FAQ) is a great resource for most of the basic questions that crocheters and knitters have about yarn, projects, techniques, and even our website!

One of the most common questions we get is “How do I substitute one yarn for another?”

Click here for the answer.

Want more answers to your FAQs? Just type a few keywords into the search box in the middle of the FAQ page and it’ll bring up related topics! Click the title of the article that you want to read, and get the answers you’re looking for!

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  • Sometimes when I do the gage, esp. in crochet, the stiches accross work out but the rows don’t.
    What can I do?

    Zontee says: Hi Patty, with crochet, the vertical size of your stitches will have a lot to do with how much you pull when you draw your loops through. If you are getting too few stitches per inch vertically (row-wise), then you are pulling too much. If you are getting too few rows, then you are pulling too little. Make some practice swatches to adjust.

    Also, don’t forget that row-gauge is usually less important, since on many patterns, it will say to repeat rows until you have X number of inches — you just work until that measurement is reached, and if you don’t get that measurement, then you just keep going.

    Patterns aren’t set in stone; you can always add more rows or take away a few to make your project the right size.

  • I was crocheting a striped prayer shawl for a child using Chunky USA. I ran out of the yellow and cannot find any other yarn to substitute. Some are too thin and others too thick. Can you help?

    Zontee says: Hi Carol, you can see all of our yarns by weight (thickness) by clicking on the “Yarns by Weight” option under the “Our Yarns” heading on — click here to visit it now. As you’ll see, Chunky USA was a bulky/chunky, category 5 yarn — a good replacement option would be Wool-Ease Chunky, which is in the same weight category.

  • Re: Carol Hollar’s question about the yellow yarn: In a similar situation, I could not find a yarn in a similar weight that was close enough to the colour that I needed. I did find one in a lower weight, and, luckily enough for me, doubling it (using two strands to crochet instead of one) gave me a perfect size match to the original yarn! The original was a 4-worsted weight yarn, and the replacement one was a DK double knit yarn. Good luck

  • How do you substitute a worcestered weight yarn, #4, with a chunky, #5, in a knitting pattern that calls for using four strands and a #19 needle?

  • Years ago I used to send for a list of yarns and they were listed as to which yarn was inter changeable with other yarns of the same weight. Does anyone put out a list like this any more? With all the different types of yarn these days it would surely be a big help.

    Zontee says: Hi Barbara, for our yarns, just go to and click on the Yarns by Weight option that appears below the “Our Yarns” header. For a more general list of yarns, you can find their specs at sites like or Again, as it says in the FAQ, you should be substituting by weight category (thickness).

  • Bonnie, this is where swatching is absolutely essential. You need to experiment with how many strands and what needle size will get you the necessary gauge. I would try two strands of chunky first with the 19 needles, but that may not give you the fabric you want. I would also swatch 4 strands of worsted on a 19 and check the gauge to know what the fabric should look like. Hope this helps.

  • This website gives lots of information:

  • I would like to knit the Pelham Bay Cowl, which calls for Cashmere,what could I use that would be less expensive.

    Zontee says: Hi Carol, as it says in the substitution FAQ, you should be replacing the yarn suggested with another yarn in its weight category. You can find our Yarns by Weight guide under the “Our Yarns” header at Since LB Collection Cashmere is a category 3 (DK) weight yarn, you just need to choose a different category 3 yarn that you would like to use. Then follow the substitution guide to figure out how much you need.

  • I am very frustrated with the current method of winding skeins. They used to come through as “pull skeins” where you could pull one strand and it would come out from the middle. Now I find it difficult to find a strand to pull from the middle, or sometimes even from the outside. I sometimes end up with an impossible tangle which takes hours to untangle and wind into a ball so I can use it. Does anyone have a solution??

    Zontee says: Hi Beth, there’s an FAQ on pulling from the center. Click here to see it.

  • I can’t find the FAQ page on your website or the answer to my question under the Basic or Tips tabs. My question is: How can I figure out the multiple of stitches in a pattern? Thank you. Sharon

    Zontee says: Hi Sharon, as it says above, > Learning Center > FAQ. This means that you go to, go to the Learning Center, and then click on the FAQ option to see the FAQ bank.

    If the pattern doesn’t specify the stitch multiple (which most stitch patterns have, like those in our StitchFinder), then you just count the stitches in between the asterisks (*) which represent the part of the pattern being repeated. Don’t forget when casting on that you may need to consider the border stitches added by the designer (the stitches before and after the asterisked section). See more on this topic by clicking here.

  • I have a pattern for a sweater but it using bulky weight yarn. I want to use a lighter weight yard to make the same pattern. How do I convert the pattern to adapt to the yarn

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