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Old 11-22-2007, 01:01 PM   #1
panthergirl
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So Much Yarn, So Little Experience
Hi all,

I started knitting last winter and made a bunch of scarves. I attempted a baby poncho which actually turned out fine until I asked my neighbor to help me assemble the pieces and she screwed it up. :(

I went crazy buying yarns, especially when a local store was going out of business. I have wild ribbons, some beautiful grey alpaca wool, sparkly eyelash yarn...you name it.

My problem is that when I look at patterns they tell you exactly what to use. So I understand how to do that, but what about the opposite? How do you figure out what you can make with the yarn you have?

Does this make any sense? Thanks for your help and wisdom!
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Old 11-22-2007, 01:32 PM   #2
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Ah, well I usually wait for my yarn to "speak" to me. sometimes I get a bunch of it out and "commune" with it. I know I'm not the only one! There is yarn that I've had for years, and it doesn't know what it wants to be yet. I just leave it and eventually it speaks. For example, I have 4 skeins of pure wool. Kinda scratchy. Finally one day I was going through one of my pattern books and happened on a felted bag pattern. Perfect!
Hope that helps!
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Old 11-22-2007, 01:40 PM   #3
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Alot of patterns tell you exactly what yarn to use, up to the brand and colour. I've found however, that you can generally replace it with which ever yarn you'd like in the same weight class. Or adjust your needle size to get the appropriate gauge for the project.

I'm also of the "yarn speaking" type. Unfortunately, the small stash I've aqquired since moving still isn't talking to me. And I'm afraid once I get the rest of my stash, it'll be so mad at me, I'll be lucky if it hrmphs at me.
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Old 11-22-2007, 02:05 PM   #4
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Keep looking at patterns and when you find those you like, see if you can use some of the yarn you have. It should be of similar weight (dk, worsted, bulky, etc) but you can also sub a different weight and adjust the pattern.
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Old 11-22-2007, 04:17 PM   #5
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I'm glad someone asked that question as I have the book Cables Untangled. The pattern I'm trying is the His/Hers Reversible Scarf which is done in 4-worsted yarn. While I don't have the type of yarn the pattern calls for, I'm hoping to pull it off with Red Heart. Also I don't have a size 7 needle so I'm using size 8 but I do have size 9. I'm going to do a swatch to see how it looks. If I can't pull it off with Red Heart, I may use Plymouth Colorspun. I'll keep you informed of how this goes.
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Old 11-22-2007, 04:19 PM   #6
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For a scarf, following the exact yarn and needles isn't as critical as in a fitted object. I think you'll be just fine, though I suggest going up to a size 10 on the needles - RH is a lot softer if knit a little looser.
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Old 11-22-2007, 04:51 PM   #7
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Thanks suzeeq, I'll try it that way.
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Old 11-23-2007, 09:13 AM   #8
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I am also glad this question was asked. I also feel my yarn will talk to me and tell me what it wants to be. My dd was helping me sort all my stash last night, so I could keep track of what and how much I have. Sshe asked me what I was going to make with it all - I told her I wasn't sure yet. She thinks I'm a bit nuts and maybe obsessed with knitting but hey, there could be worse things to be obsessed with - right???

I used to buy a lot of material and patterns to sew but still have those waiting for me as welll. I just don't have the space in my current house to set up my machine and leave it out for weeks at a time like I did before we moved to FL. Knitting doesn't take up much room (yarn - maybe but not knitting itself).

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Old 11-23-2007, 05:05 PM   #9
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Thanks for the info, everyone.

I guess I'm a little nervous about "substitution", so I'm just going to have to get over it.

What I've done with some of the eyelash yarns is to double them up with a standard yarn for extra pizazz.
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