View Full Version : Yarn confusion - help

10-16-2006, 09:14 PM
There is a poncho pattern in the "Weekend Knitting" book. It calls for 100% Merino wool 73 yards/50 grams

I'm very new to wool. Is Marino always expensive? Can I only buy it in skeins that are 73 yards/50 grams. I adore the Marino at the LYS, but can't justify the 11.00 a ball (and this project takes 12 balls).

I'm trying to learn what I can and can't use in patterns. For example, the class I take had a pattern for a hat and we could only use the Noro yarn. So I bought the yarn. After I finished the first hat, I did try it with another type of wool - brand and it turned out just find and much less expensive (two hats, one skein).

HELP I feel dumb :oops: :shrug:

10-16-2006, 09:28 PM
Hi! Welcome to the world of knitting. Merino wool isn't always expensive. I think Patons makes a merino that is considerably less than the price you quoted. Just look around...at your local stores and online. And no, you don't have to buy balls that are 73 yds. or 50 grams. The most important things are to make sure you buy the correct yardage...just do some simple math to make sure...and to buy the correct gauge or "thickness" or yarn.

Also, consider the content of the yarn...what it's made of...when choosing yarn. If you aren't sure what you need, ask here or at your LYS.

Happy knitting!

10-16-2006, 09:32 PM
Knitpick's Merino style is 123 yards and $2.49 each. It's listed as DK, but it's more like a light worsted. It's softer than Patons Classic Merino, too. Not sure if elann.com has a merino wool, but I bet they do and that it's far less than $11/skein.


10-16-2006, 10:23 PM
Even Debbie Bliss Merino is less expensive than that and it's a lovely yarn.

Since you need so much you might want to look at it here (http://discountyarnsale.com/pd_debbie_bliss_merino.cfm).

Merino as a yarn is always nice. Don't feel you have to buy what the pattern calls for. So many of those yarns are the pricey ones. You can substitute as long as the weight of the yarn is correct and you buy the right yardage.

10-16-2006, 10:39 PM
Welcome, janie! :waving:

FYI: Merino is a type of wool, not a weight. It's supposed to be the softest type of wool.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merino *warning, cute pics of little sheeps!*

In the pattern you wrote about, the 73 yards/50 grams tells you how many yards are in one gram of the model poncho's yarn. To find this, just divide 73 by 50 = 1.46 yards per gram. If I remember right from this pattern, that's just telling you the weight of the yarn that was used in the model. Don't worry about finding it in the same amounts per skein/ball/hank/whatever. Just find a yarn that's the same weight per yard. The types of yarn weights, from lightest to heaviest, are : lace, baby (a.k.a. fingering), sport, DK (double knitting - I don't know why it's called that), worsted, bulky, and super bulky. Various yarns are labeled in various ways, but this is the standard. Worsted is the most common weight of yarn for hand knitting.

When you're knitting a garment, you want to look at the weight of the yarn, not necessarily the fiber content. If it's worsted weight, you can substitute other (cheaper!) worsted weight yarns for the yarn called for. Yarndex.com will show you different yarns that you can substitute for each other. It's always helpful to knit something for the first time in a really cheap yarn, like a wool-acrylic blend, especially if you're a new knitter.

Different fibers (wool, cotton, acrylic, etc.) will make your finished garment feel and look a bit different, but the size should be the same if your yarn weights are the same.

Also, if you want some relatively nice but cheap yarn, if you have a Michael's craft store in your area (www.michaels.com), they're having a huge yarn sale this week! You can get some 100% merino wool (Patons Classic Merino) for $4.

Oh, another thing to keep in mind about wool: If you wash it in the washing machine and dry it in the dryer, it will felt and become Barbie-doll-sized. You can get superwash wool, which can be machine washed and dried, but be sure to READ THE LABELS! Many knitters have been heartbroken over accidentally felted handknits. (not that I would know from personal experience, or anything...)

10-16-2006, 11:13 PM
DK (double knitting - I don't know why it's called that),

Because fingering weight knitted with 2 strands together (doubled) makes the same weight yarn.


10-16-2006, 11:17 PM
Aha! That makes sense. Someone once told me that it was because two strands of DK makes worsted, but I know that's not right...

10-16-2006, 11:44 PM
It does, but that's not why it's called DK. Or maybe it is? :??


10-17-2006, 02:02 AM
Everytime I come to this forum I learn something new! :muah:

10-17-2006, 10:26 AM
I agree, do try Knitpicks. There wool is so much softer than Patons. Debbie Bliss would be perfect (I love her!)

Knittersreview.com reviews yarns. It's a very useful website.

10-17-2006, 08:08 PM
For letting us know about the Michaels store sale! I am brand new to knitting, and there's another gal new to town, and neither of us have ANY WOOL! So, here we go! (TO Michaels) No coupon needed??
Thanks again!

10-17-2006, 10:30 PM
Debbie Bliss - okay - so I'll do a search for her and look at knitpicks. I looks at Michaels today & that Merino was no where near as soft as the yarn at the LYS.

So I'm going with a worsted weight & the correct # of yards and I'm good to go, right? :roflhard:

:hug: to you all.

Hey - I have 7 inches of a sock done! :)


10-17-2006, 10:55 PM
So I'm going with a worsted weight & the correct # of yards and I'm good to go, right?

Yep, that's right. Knitpicks Merino style is listed as DK, but I find that it's not really much thinner than the worsted, so I think it would be an acceptable sub if you wanted to go with it.


10-18-2006, 03:24 AM
Gonna toss my .02 in, as far as substituting yarn best way I've found is, and mind you it helps to have a sample of the recommended yarn, use a ruler and wrap your yarn around it, count the number of wraps, if less than the recommneded, the yarn is too bulky, if more than, the yarn is too thin. I've found this method to be quite handy when substituting yarn.