Math for Knitters – Substituting Yarns

Math for Knitters – Substituting Yarns

[music] a lot of the videos i do start wtih questions
people send me. and i always say i get a lot of questions
on this, so i’m making this video. and this one is no exception. the question that i get from people is, i’m
following this pattern, i decided to use yarn B instead of yarn A. the pattern said to buy three things of yarn
A, and i bougth three things of yarn B. and i don’t have enough yarn, what am i doing
wrong? well, the question here is really with the
“put up” of the yarn. a lot of people haven’t heard this term before,
but the put up of the yarn is three different things. the first is the weight, the second is the
yardage, and the third is the way that it’s twisted up for sale. the way the yarn is presented for sale. for example, this is cascade 220. the put up is 100 gram hanks with 220 yards
in it. and this is a very different put up. this is knit picks wool of the andes. and it is a 50 gram skein with 110 yards in
it. it’s the twist, the weight, and the yardage
is all what the put up is. so if you’re working through a pattern and
the pattern calls for cascade 220, and it says buy three things of cascade 220. and you buy three things of this, you’re not
going to have nearly enough yarn, just the way it is. now the reason that i picked these two yarns
is because cascade 220 and knit picks wool of the andes are super similar. each one is 100% wool, it’s worsted weight
yarn, the twist on the plies is very similar. so it’s super easy to substitute one yarn
for the other. you just have to be aware of the put up of
it. and that’s what i’m going to show you is when
the pattern calls for this and you want to use this, how do you figure out how many of
these that you need to buy. all of the answers are there, and it starts
on Ravelry. let’s go ahead and take a look. this is a screen shot from Ravelry, you might
recognize it. if you don’t have a Ravelry account, i’ll
give you a link in the video description field below. it’s free, it’s very cool. this is a screen shot from Ravelry, and across
the top you’ll see the yarns tab. this is what you want to click on. there is some information that you need to
get about each yarn if you’re going to substitute one for the other, and everything you need
is going to be in this yarns tab. so i clicked the yarns tab and then i searched
for the first yarn that i want. which is cascade 220. cascade 220, i can look here and find everything
that i want for information to be able to do the math. it is 220 yards for 100 grams. and that’s what i just showed you. so my pattern says that i need three of these,
so i know what that is now. and we’re going to get to the math part in
just a moment. i need to look up the second yarn, so i clicked
the yarns tab and did a search for knit picks wool of the andes. this yarn is 110 yards and 50 grams. okay, so i’ve used Ravelry to get all of the
information that i need to be able to do the math. to figure out how much of one i need for
the other. [staci reading from cards] those of you doing math in your head are saying,
wow, this math works out really perfectly! [laughs] I didn’t pick these to do that! [staci reading from cards] so to get to this number, i’ll need 6 skeins
of the knit picks yarn. some things to keep in mind, because the math
worked out so perfectly here i kind of feel bad. [staci reading from cards] i hope this helps with figuring out how to substitute
one yarn for another and i hope this math all works out well for you, good luck! [whooshing sounds] [music]


  • SafePet Haven

    October 15, 2014

    As a secondary ed. math & science teacher since 1968, it breaks my heart that so many people still can't even do the equivalent of third grade arithmetic. This calculation involves nothing more than multiplication & division. It's fractions/ratio & proportions concepts.  Sigh.

  • VeryPink Knits

    October 15, 2014

    @SafePet Haven – when it comes down to it, I think the math is easy enough to grasp for most people, but it's the concept and gathering the necessary info to put together to be able to do the math.  Sort of like trying to solve an equation vs solving a story problem.  The practical use of arithmetic.  Anyway, this video should help folks, based on the dozens of questions I get on the topic.  🙂

  • Rita Tadeu

    October 15, 2014

    First I want to thank you for your video, I'm a real fan of your work, but I really don't understand how it is possible that exists people in the world that don't know how to do that… It is basic math… OMG

  • Meredith Smets

    October 15, 2014

    Thanks for clarifying that up.  I am pretty much a self taught knitter.  If we didn't have you tube and your videos, I don't think I would ever be able to do the things I have done.
    Thank you for all the time you put into your videos.

  • jmarylastone

    October 15, 2014

    it is not the "yardage" I have the problem with because yardage is simple add/subtract and reading the label – where I run into problems is when the pattern is lets say sport weight and I want to use a different weight – all basic math again and I do get it figured out in the end but I was wishing for a shortcut so I didn't have a bunch of equations  

  • ElizabethAnn625

    October 15, 2014

    The problem I have is how to figure out how much yarn I need if I decide to use another weight is ie bulky instead of worsted or worsted instead of DK. How do you figure that out and how you decide on gauge when substituting? I realize I'm changing a lot but I'd really like to know how to do that.

  • Renee Clutter

    October 15, 2014

    Thank you! That is always a great tip! You're awesome!

  • Robin Stark

    October 16, 2014

    Thanks for "putting up" with those of us who may need a little extra help, Staci; what may seem obvious & basic to some isn't always so clear on the first pass to others & it's hard for me to believe that people exist in this world who don't understand that. Sigh.
    Your videos are always so well-produced & informative & I've always learned something new, like the term "put up"! I recommend them to everyone, new & experienced knitters alike. And now I can't wait for that sweater pattern!

  • Tina LeBlanc

    October 17, 2014

    Great video!. 

  • Beverly Dolfini

    October 19, 2014

    Love your video help. Thanks for helping all of us knitters!

  • Kim Hernandez

    October 30, 2014

    This has to be one of the best tip on yarn substituting that I have ever seen I realize it worked out even and that is not always the case but its the explanation that is perfect I can refer questions to you ….I have been knitting for many years and I am always asked this….Why is new knitters want to sub the yarn????

  • shydragonfly07

    February 8, 2015

    I have a friend who is allergic to wool, so how do I find a search for a yarn that is similar in weight so I dont have to change from a bulkier size to a sport size? I was hoping to stick with natural fibers instead of acrylic. But I am unfamiliar with knowing how heavy a type of fiber might be.  Thanks Oh, and I am not so great at math, and being new to this, I was also unsure if the yardage division was the only thing that would make a difference and as it turns out, it really doesnt come down to just simple division/multiplication when you need to switch weight.

  • marls4life

    May 20, 2015

    I remember I had made a hat that was way too long and way too wide for my head. Therefore I wanted not only to shorten it but also make it more snug by decreasing the number of stitches I used but it got very confusing especially since I used different weighted yarn. Do you have any math videos that deal with adjusting patterns?

  • Familystore Ross

    July 19, 2015

    how do i work what type  class yarn is like 0,2,3 in new sytem from unmark wool or ply as in australia we are not getting labels marked  with ply as we use get ply but we dont have either

  • Cassius Smith

    August 16, 2017

    Great video – it would also be good to compare very different yarns though!

  • Savannagh Kacey

    September 10, 2017

    Thanks for all your good tips and the way you clearly explain everything!

  • Cassie Adams

    January 6, 2018

    My question is this. I obtained beautiful yarn (in excellent condition) from an estate sale. It was made in Belgium, imported by Joseph Galler in New York. It is 100% Virgin Wool, and the net weight is 2 ounces. No where on the label does it say how many yards. Am I just stuck with beautiful yarn or is there a way to determine the yardage. I did put the skein on the kitchen scale and it weighed 57 grams.

  • Yvette Hobbs

    January 22, 2018

    What do you do if the recommended yarn for a project is discontinued?

  • Annette Bollmeyer

    January 30, 2018

    Wow this was very helpful thanks!

  • Danielle Cerverizzo

    March 4, 2018

    This is really helpful. I have one question though. I am allergic to wool and I have found many patterns that call for wool and I would like to know how to substitute it. I typically use 100% acrylic yarn that is soft so I don’t have any reactions. Can you help me find a substitute yarn for wool?

  • Derek Everette

    April 2, 2018

    Thanks for the information. I'm trying a pattern for the first time and this was very helpful!

  • Brittany Disher

    July 2, 2018 makes it easy. Just put in your pattern yarn and it will tell you what yarn in their list matches. And they're very good at adding new yarns to said list.

  • Melissa Steiner

    August 8, 2018

    Thanks for the great tip. I love your videos.

  • Mooose Gal

    August 26, 2018

    This make it so much easier.

  • dianna smith

    October 15, 2018

    it's that new math….. it sucks when kids can't do simple math because those fools want to complicate things. sad is all can say. was hoping you would have shown us something a little different the same types more along the line of substituting dk for worsted or such

  • Ashley Folsom

    December 4, 2018

    YASSS Knit Picks is the best! Also thanks for the video, you did an amazing job! Thanks!

  • Susan Beckham

    February 22, 2019

    Do you think Cascade 220 is a higher quality yarn than the Kint Picks yarn? Is cascade more tightly spun? Thanks!

  • Becky I. Butz-Butler

    May 11, 2019

    I understand how to get to yardage pattern requires, my problem is figuring how much more yardage I need to do project in different weight example:
    My pattern calls for 880 yards worsted #4, I want to work in fingering #2 How many yards do I need?? I've converted pattern to my gauge but get lost trying to figure quantity You make things so understandable, Please HELP

  • Linette Low

    June 6, 2019

    Thank you for sharing, sweetheart 🙂 Love your channel. ♡ Your guidance, dedication & lovely tutorials are a breath of air. Wishing you and yours a beautiful week. Xx

  • Lauren Miller

    June 27, 2019

    Brilliant advice, thank you!

  • Margit Rees

    September 20, 2019

    Thanks very helpful

  • Carolyn Kocian

    October 25, 2019

    If a pattern calls for worsted weight yarn how can you change the pattern to Dk yarn?

  • Garden Glory

    November 2, 2019

    yes, its was awesome. enjoyed hearing you laugh.

  • Ooohbopbopboppadoohwah

    November 29, 2019

    I've found this really good website called it gives you the variants, weight, texture, fiber, needles, gauge, ball yardage, wash care, color styles, and price of the yarn that you need to substitute. And it gives you the percentage of how closely another yarn matches with the yarn you need to substitute. (and it has filters)


    December 7, 2019

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge of knitting with us, I just stared learning and your teaching makes very easy to understand it ! Love your Channel ! 😊💗


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