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 Do you use the recommended yarn?
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New Pal

31 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  08:26:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit RebekahJoy's Homepage Send RebekahJoy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hello everyone!

Iím wondering how many knitters actually knit their projects with the patternís recommended yarn. Iím the kind of knitter that lives off of Elann and Knit Picks yarn, so I canít even remember a time when I used the recommended yarn, but Iíd like to know about everyone else. So...

When you look through Interweave Knits, do you visualize the projects in your favorite, inexpensive yarn?


When you come across that perfect pattern, do you lay down the bucks and buy that delicious, but normally pricey, recommended yarn?


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6331 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  08:44:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I do both.

If part of what attracted me to the pattern is the yarn then of course I use that yarn.

If it is solely the pattern that caught my attention then I use my choice of yarn.

If I have an appropriate yarn in my stash I use it.

If the pattern is made in a yarn that I have used before and liked then I use that yarn.

If I like the pattern but not the yarn I choose my own yarn.

I have no answer to this question.


the pictures tell the story
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1475 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  08:59:53 AM  Show Profile Send socks4all a Private Message  Reply with Quote
GFTC summed it up well. For me, a pattern is the point of inspiration but not necessarily the way I will make the project. I have been known to change gauge, sleeves, neckline, length, and yes, yarn. I have had some stunningly good results, and I will admit, some flops. Those are the joys, challenges and rewards of knitting.
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4177 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  09:09:18 AM  Show Profile Send kbshee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would guess that one out of ten things I make are made with the yarn in the pattern.
But I have a SIL who would probably say that nine out of ten things she makes are made with the yarn in the pattern.
That's the glory of knitting and knitters!

kim in oregon
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Gabber Extraordinaire

365 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  11:03:43 AM  Show Profile  Visit knitting_wounded's Homepage  Send knitting_wounded a Yahoo! Message Send knitting_wounded a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I almost never use the "recommended yarn", but that doesn't mean I lean towards inexpensive. I try to think of how the yarn would look at a part of the pattern. Just because the weight matches doesn't mean it will work in the project, I've learned to my disgraced amusement.

Check out the Knitting Wounded Tent:
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Seriously Hooked

821 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  11:15:41 AM  Show Profile Send orangina a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Really, it depends on if I can afford it. I think it can be really fun either way.

The one thing I've never done, though, is make a whole sweater with 2 strands of yarn held together. It just sounds annoying (not to mention expensive). So I'd probably never follow that particular recommendation.
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2460 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  11:37:06 AM  Show Profile Send YarnGoddess a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I follow the rules. I hardly ever follow the directions. I'll use what I want out of my stash, or whatever catches my eye at the LYS.

Zipper & Diva

A sense of humor can help you tolerate the unpleasant, cope with the unexpected, overlook the unattractive and smile through the unbearable.

To learn more about healthy nutrition for your cat, go here: and here:
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1349 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  11:38:28 AM  Show Profile  Visit hissyknit's Homepage Send hissyknit a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sort of. I'm a not a great designer so how I express my artistic knitting ability (such as is it) is through the yarn I decide to use.

Christy B.
"Live boldly and take risks. Make someone say when you leave, "What the heck was that about?"
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3076 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  11:44:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit kadiddly's Homepage  Send kadiddly a Yahoo! Message Send kadiddly a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Very rarely. I live on a pretty tight budget, so KnitPicks and Elann are great for me. I think the only time I went out of my way to get the specific yarn for a pattern was a Crystal Palace Waikiki yarn that it took three weeks to find anyone with the color I wanted, and then it was more expensive because she had to special order it, so I had to save up for it for another few weeks, and ended up not really liking the yarn so much once I finally got it!

Don't be afraid that it won't be perfect...the only thing you should really be afraid of is that it won't be! - Company
Backstage Stitches
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2761 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  12:04:24 PM  Show Profile  Visit purlthis's Homepage Send purlthis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am one who rarely makes it out of the yarn it's shown made up in. I've got serious skin irritation from anything remotely not super soft merino, so unless it's super soft, the answer is substitution. Also, they seen like they use THE most expensive yarns for magazines, so no, I am not spending 150 bucks on a vest...I'M CHEAP!

As I get older, I prefer to knit. Tracey Ullman UPDATED! WITH PICS!
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12598 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  12:59:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have used the recommended yarn exactly once. And I ran out of yarn 2/3 of the way through.

But it's not a matter of buying the cheaper stuff (I'm on a pretty severe budget, too, but I see no reason to punish myself for it) it's a matter of selectively matching two inspirations to each other.

"The web of our life is a Mingled Yarn, good and ill together."
All's Well That Ends Well, IV, iii
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1093 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  1:51:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit LittleMousling's Homepage Send LittleMousling a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You know, I think of myself as buying yarn to fit projects, but that's not strictly true.

Really, I buy yarn for vague projects--so I have yarn and fiber for several sweaters, but rarely know exactly what sweater they're going to be until soon before I cast on.

For that reason, I'm not sure I've ever used the called-for yarn in a pattern, though to be fair I don't use patterns all that much. And, of course, when a pattern calls generically for "sock yarn," (for, say, socks ;) I do follow that!

I'll say, though, that I generally use a nicer yarn than the pattern calls for; I'm not terribly prolific, and I'm trying to change my stashing from "everything and anything that can be a sweater, socks, or shawl" to "the very nicest stuff that I really, really love, and somewhat less of it." Luckily, I prefer fine-gauge sweaters (and everything else), so my money goes a long way.

-Molly, obsessive but not exclusive socknitter
Stash photos, FOs and a sock recipe
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Ditzy Girl
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4723 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  2:22:39 PM  Show Profile Send Ditzy Girl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I use the yarn in the same gauge, but not the actual yarn. Only occasionally do I use called for yarn. I am not creative enough to try with a diff gauge.

Zola, Seattle, Wash.

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1212 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  2:24:19 PM  Show Profile Send 2totangle a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The only time I've used the recommended yarn, I ran out, too! I often substitute because I don't like the colors available or want a softer feel or drape. It also seems like books and magazines frequently call for yarns that have been discontinued or are difficult to find even on the web, let alone in a place you can see and feel them. I'm a big sale shopper, so if I can upgrade cheaply, I will. My greatest score was finding Cash Iroha at an unbelievable price in a gorgeous color, in place of a discontinued yarn offered only in dull variations of brown. I also really, really hate weaving in ends, so I've substituted 440-yard skeins for a coat rather than use the 80-yard per skein yarn called for.
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Seriously Hooked

700 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  2:35:42 PM  Show Profile  Visit knitwitt's Homepage Send knitwitt a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If I like the yarn used in the pattern, then sure. But I sub pretty freely and often use a different yarn. It really varies a lot.

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1844 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  4:54:19 PM  Show Profile Send scraffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I followed the pattern in Knit It for the Fair Isle Blue and Orange set.

Saw the set and I wanted it.

went to the LYS and asked do have this yarn. "No."

Do you have a yarn I could use for this. Yes several different ones.

I used Ultra Alpaca and went with Geen and Gold. (When coping the chart I switched gold to Yellow so I would not get confused by seeing G(for green) followed by a G (for gold)

For the Roza's sock in interweave that hit me as a DO IT NOW... so I went with prewashed wool that I had. (First yarn I put my hand on in my stash that I knew I had enough of for the project)

Will I use a certain yarn for a certain pattern? Yes if it is a yarn I like and a color I like. Both of those ifs are big and play a big role in the yarn eventually used in my work.

I am also partial to some patterns that say for example sports weight sock yarn, or worsted weight yarn. The pattern does not say best used with Brand X. This gives me a chance to use a specific weight of yarn but I can go with a brand name or a local farmer that has the specific type of yarn worsted weight for example and be a color I want.

Just because a model looks nice wearing an "eggplant" shade vest, does not mean I would look good in that color.

In cases like this the person doing the knitting has more leeway.
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3449 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  5:08:18 PM  Show Profile Send hillstreetmama a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Short answer: No. If it says fingering or worsted or bulky....I'll pick something similar, but almost never use the exact yarn stated in the pattern.

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1670 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  5:15:08 PM  Show Profile Send Mickey a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Never. Usually, I use yarn from my stash.
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1179 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  10:05:54 PM  Show Profile Send lizknit a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by purlthis
Also, they seen like they use THE most expensive yarns for magazines, so no, I am not spending 150 bucks on a vest...I'M CHEAP!

That's not cheap, that's sensible. I wouldn't do it either unless it's a very special vest.

I can't remember ever using the recommended yarn for a project. I follow certain guidelines when substituting and sometimes I use more expensive yarn but I use what I like and not what's dictated by someone else. I usually change pattern details too so whatever I make is uniquely mine, for good or ill.

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
Scott Adams, 'The Dilbert Principle'
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6604 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  10:18:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit Atavistic's Homepage Send Atavistic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In the States, sometimes.

Here, no way. I can't find the yarn here!

Amanda Takes Off... and Amanda Knits

Hand and foot when harmonized forms martialism/but Military and literary when harmonized is art and this brings/philosophy. (Lee, Chang Hoo)
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9715 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2007 :  10:18:51 PM  Show Profile Send lella a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Elann and Knitpicks have some very nice patterns in their yarn sites. But, mostly, I have had to fit odd yarn non wool blends to patterns most of my knitting days, so I really don't often use a recommended yarn.

Swatching and being able to figure out how to get up to gauge with mixed yarns are two important skills that I learned from a terrific knitter where I once worked. This has helped to broaden my knitting knowledge which is pretty narrow.

I also don't have a lot to spend on yarn but I do love Lorna's Laces, Wildefoot, Malibrigo and a several great one-woman spinner/dyeworks here and there. I think these yarns I will always buy.

Boy, my day started at 4 am and I should say good night, Gracie! [:00]


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