View Full Version : Yarn conundrum

04-20-2008, 02:02 AM
I am a new to knitting and am a little lost in the patterns I have. Don't they normally tell you what weight of yarn to use? I have a few patterns that I wanted to try out but I need to order all of the yarn at once since it will take a bit to get here. One says to use Colinette Giotto (50% cotton, 40% rayon, 10% nylon), another says to use Cascade Jewel (100% Peruvian wool), and yet another says to use Curious Creek Fibers Isalo (100% silk). I was wondering if they are brand names and will be a specific weight or is it goes by needle size or what? Please help as I am lost and confused.

Thank you,

04-20-2008, 02:04 AM
I'm new, too, but I know that when you're in doubt to check your guage.

04-20-2008, 02:14 AM
Hi Cyndi,

I would check the gauge but I'm not sure how to do so when buying the yarn over the internet and wait for it to show up. The little glitch is that I live in China and I can't buy yarn here as I have no clue what anything says here and I can ask since I don't speak Chinese. Thank you for the thought. I will have to stock up on yarn when I am in Canada this summer.


04-20-2008, 02:20 AM
If you copy the yarn into google, like this: 50% cotton, 40% rayon, 10% nylon, the different manufacturers and retailers will come up for you.

I hope the Giotto yarn is really nice at that price! Fortunately, there are other companies that sell that combination of fibers for a lot less, you can pick and choose.

Out of curiosity, what kind of yarn is available to you in China? Is there a wide selection?

04-20-2008, 03:20 AM
Thanks for the tip. I'll have to try that.:happydance:

There does seem to be a variety here in China but I'm not sure but maybe I will learn how to read the symbols. I may have to if ordering the yarn is too expensive. As for now, I gave up looking in the knitting stores on tailor street yesterday. Tailor street isn't the actual name of the street but it is where all the custom made shops are. While I was there I ordered a shirt. It's so cool when they measure and all so that it fits perfectly.


04-20-2008, 07:44 AM
I Google'd the yarn and the Colinette Giotto is a Bulky weight yarn (156yds/100g). The Cascade Jewel is Heavy worsted or Bulky (142yds/100g). The Curious Creek Fibers Isalo is Worsted weight (262yds/95g)

04-20-2008, 08:45 AM
Most patterns suggest a certain yarn, but this doesn't mean you only have to use that yarn.
Wenda looked up the weights of the yarns, so this gives you a guide. For each pattern you can buy the yarn in the correct weight/ gauge. Most sites divide yarn into weights (Sock, DK, Worsted etc.) so that it makes it easier for you to find.
Once you get your yarn, you will have to knit a gauge swatch. Your patterns should have a part that says "6 stitches and 8 rows = 1 inch in stockinette". So you will knit a little swatch that is larger than it calls for, maybe 18 or 24 stitches by 16 rows (for this particular example) in order to measure it and make sure you have 6 stitches (or whatever your pattern calls for) per inch. This means you will "have gauge" and you will make the pattern the same size as it should be.
All knitters have different gauges, which is why this is so important. If you are going to knit a sweater and you ignore gauge, you could end up knittng it WAY bigger or smaller than it should be. If you're knitting a scarf or dishcloth, you probably don't have to worry about gauge too much.
Do you have any knitting books? Perhaps when you order yarn for your patterns you should order a knitting book too. They really help explaning a lot of this.
Hope that helps and if you need anymore help just ask!

04-20-2008, 09:33 AM
Those are yarn names, but they're somewhat expensive, I think. As the others mentioned, you don't have to use the same ones, but can substitute others in the same weight range - bulky, heavy worsted and worsted.

Jan in CA
04-20-2008, 01:22 PM
Using Yarndex helps a lot when you need to find out info about a yarn. Many manufacturers have their own sites as well.


04-21-2008, 11:14 AM
I'm in Korea, so I can empathize with not knowing what anything says and not always being able to ask...
Do you have anyone who could write out a few common translations for you, like wool, cotton, etc? I find that generally helps when I'm looking for something. If it's anything like here, the gauge and needle size tends to be written in symbol form on the yarn band with a square showing stitches per 10*10cm and recommended needle size in metric. (see this page (http://yarnstandards.com/label.html), at the bottom, second square from the left). I find this on most yarns imported to Korea and even those made here for the local market.

Also, if you are on Ravelry, there is a China Knitters group who might be able to help you more.

I've ordered online quite a bit and it's been great, but yarn is certainly cheaper here and even more so in China. You might regret not stocking up while you have access. And certainly stock up on cheap bamboo circulars of any size you can get your hands on while you're there!