Over the past year, there have been increasing discussions online about yarn substitution, design samples, and accessibility. This year has been one of change and the focus of this post is no different. Today I’ll write a little about the essential crux of the question, Can I change that?. There are future posts planned will discuss how to systematically go through and evaluate if a given substitution to a pattern will result in the outcome you’re looking for.
Most of my designs were sponsored by a yarn company. Either I was approached and asked to create a pattern with specific yarn (and color) or I wrote a proposal and sent a query to them. This means that the sample was created with that yarn and there was promotion for it at yarn shops and online.
You don’t have to make it exactly as I did – it’s all up to you. There may be some incentive for you to create what I made. Often a small company created a particular color for a limited special. A goal of my design was to help them sell the yarn as much as much to help me sell a pattern.
The answer to “Can I change that?” is YES.
Making a change or substitution, may impact the result.
I will be the first to admit I’ve not always been the clearest about what different types of yarns can be used in my patterns. I’m working on improving!
My newer pattern descriptions give the type of yarn more prominence and (hopefully) show that the sample is an example. Yes, I still hope you’ll be able to support the companies I’ve worked with, I want them to be continue to thrive. But I understand you might want or need to make changes.
How do you do that? Swatch.
Why? Fiber and structure can affect a yarn in subtle and different ways.
Figuring out how a yarn will work is key to successful substitution. Both kinds of swatches – the fun ones that introduce you to a yarn and the ones you work when you need to have an accurate measurement to figure out stitch and row gauge – are needed.
Learning how to do this will provide you the skills to evaluate if a substitution will work for you or not.
The best way to do this is to jump in and begin. Together we’ll build a library of yarn information based on researching details about each yarn and swatching.
What do you need to get started? Pick your favorite yarn and be prepared to research and record all its details and make at least one swatch.
I hope you’ll join me.
Posts on Swatching
- swatching, tips for practice
- swatching, tips for choosing tools
- swatching for fun(damentals)
- 5 lessons from my swatches