I completed a commissioned scarf recently. I was sent a photograph of a pocket scarf, a thing I have never heard of before. I was intrigued, and set about looking for a pattern that was stylish and would work with the yarn I have on hand.
After checking out Ravelry, we both settled on the Camote Pocket Scarf by Cassandra Milani written for Manos Del Uruguay. It just so happens this was written for worsted weight wool yarn. I had my sights set on DK weight cotton/linen blend. This is a vastly different yarn, not only in weight, but drape as well. My friend wanted something lighter for work and this yarn by Cestari Sheep and Wool would be lovely.
There have been a few times that I have been able to substitute yarn in a project. Some of been successful, others not so much, like the time I modified a wrist warmer pattern. Some patterns just aren’t made for certain fibers.
I did a little research and found a handy resource to help me substitute my yarn. The key: swatching. Yes, folks, that’s right. You gotta swatch. I have repeatedly walked the line of living dangerously by not swatching a project and I regret it every. single. time.
There are a lot of blogs and knitting sites that can help with figuring out how to knit a garment in a different weight. I found that Knittingbrain.com was very useful. They also have a yarn substitution calculator that is very helpful.
If you are looking for substituting yarns I also enjoy Yarnsub.com This site will give you a list of yarns that can substitute a yarn that you can’t get a hold of, has been discontinued, or you might not be able to afford. It is super helpful.
Once I did the math on my yarn substitution and figured out how many yards I needed in DK weight and what size needle I needed to use, I cast on my swatch. You want to make sure you knit enough, I was able to do something that was about six inches and measured my gauge. Once I saw that I was on the right track, I cast on my project.
The two photos above show the first pocket that still needed to be seemed. This was a very easy scarf to knit. I only ran into one roadblock when I flubbed up my gauge on the second pocket. I had to rip it out and start over. In the end it all worked out and my friends was quite pleased with the outcome.