Monday, November 05, 2007

100 Posts!

( Random pumpkin image - totally irrelevant)

It feels like only yesterday.... actually, it doesn't. It feels like years and whole other lifetimes ago that I started this blog. But only 99 posts later, I feel such gratitude to my little rambling blog - I have met wonderful people and feel that I am part of a wider community of knitters and genuinely great folks. So I figured it was time for a little celebration! A competition, even!

Here's the deal:
Post a comment telling me about your most successful/disasterous/favourite yarn substitution. I am deep in the throes of trying to use up my stash - gleefully substituting yarns and only sometimes getting it right. I am keen to hear advice, pitfalls, and pointers! I'll pick winners via random number thingy.
Also, if you wanna put this competition on your blog, you can - anyone who enters and says they came from your blog will earn you an extra entry.
Now - the goodies!

  • As I am going to the London Stitch 'n Bitch next weekend (small scream stifled) there will be a yarn prize from there. Sorry not to be more specific, but I will run the comp until after next weekend if you wanna wait to see.
  • Also, there will be one of my dad's 'shawl pins' available (pictured below or more info here if you didn't see them before) - probably one of the ones pictured. They are hand-carved from Tasmanian timbers.
  • For the non-knitterly, there is a copy of Richard Flanagan's 'Goulds Book of Fish' - my favourite Tasmanian piece of literature.

So what are you waiting for? Post away! And let me know which prize you would like (or if you don't care!) Entries close Wed 14th November.


Claudia said...

Drat you, pipped me to 100 posts by a couple of days! Congratulations though! SnB tickets came on Friday - (suppressed squeeeeing over here too)!

Yarn substitutions - you know the Drops cardigan I was so excitedly knitting at the beginning of October? It weighs a TONNE and is itchy - serves me right for trying to be clever and use doubled up Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride. Not so clever. I think it might have to be frogged and the yarn repurposed. Shame, really because one of your Dad's shawl pins would be the perfect closure for it! :)

Stephieface said...

Most of my stash comes from recycled sweaters, so any pattern I try has substitued yarn. So far I have a Calorimetry that has no spring so has unintentionally become a cowl... socks that could be slippers.... and the itchyist hat ever.

Congrats on 100 posts!

Chris said...


The first time I tried knitting something other than a scarf, I had no concept of gauge, so I substituted willy nilly. The cropped tank top I was knitting ended up very wide (should straps about 6" beyond my shoulders) and short (VERY, VERY cropped). It was a valuable lesson!

Jenn said...

My nightmare substitution is Clapotis. I decided I didn't want to spend the money to buy the lion and lamb yarn, so I found a really pretty alpaca/wool blend. The stitches won't drop. I have to work every single stitch down and fight the alpaca fuzz of the yarn trying to stay where it was!!! It's so pretty that I keep trying. The worse part is that it would have actually turned out to be cheaper to buy the right yarn!!! :(

Congrats on your 100th post! I found you through Chaos. :)

Redheadskydiver said...

I substitute yarns a lot. As another commenter mentioned I also substituted for my clapotis. I chose Royal Plymoth Bamboo yarn and I love the way it turned out. Wonderful drape and I wear it all the time!

Diane said...

I'm also here from Stumbling Over Chaos.

I used a cabled cotton-Provence, I think-for a baby sweater. I fought it until I got gauge and came out with something much like chain mail. It's on a teddy bear now.

Miss T said...

I substitute yarns all the time. I learned to be careful substituting cotton for wool, because the weight of it will pull it out of shape with certain patterns and it doesn't spring back. But knitting's all about trying things, so experiment!

Paper said...

Hmmm... I substituted (at the yarn shop's suggestion!) Zara for Muench Touch Me. Let's see... Springy worsted-weight superwash for unstretchy soft velvet? I knitted a 1x1 rib sweater that was about 1/2" thick and had zero drape. I never wore it even once... The yarn was cannibalized for many other projects.

5elementknitr said...

There was a really pretty poncho (back in the days of Poncho Madness) where you took a laceweight mohair and a laceweight ladder yarn and did this pattern:
Holding yarns together as one,
CO 90, k 8 rows, RS) k, WS) k10 p80 k10, to desired length, k 8 rows, BO.

I used a bulky yarn and a ribbon yarn and in a complete state of denial, knit something that only fit my 2 year old niece.

uberstrickenfrau said...

Happy century mark! I never have luck using another yarn instead of what they suggest. I too, used a thicker yarn in a poncho- it was that stupid Lions brand- and it was sooo stiff it was like an iron tent! Went on to build a shanty town with it.......

--Deb said...


I'm afraid I don't have a good substitution story, though. I almost always substitute because I'm so darn independent and don't like being told what to do, and it usually works out, as long as I do the math right.

That said, of course, my current sweater is not only using the called-for yarn, but in the exact colors . . . I honestly can't remember the last time THAT happened!

Jen C said...

Congrats on the big 100! My worst yarn sub was a huge rookie mistake. I subbed some Lion Brand microspun for Rowan calmer and the resulting sweater was ok...wearable. But after washing it grew to ridiculous lengths. Needless to say, I frogged it.

Heide said...

Oh dear, I don't know if I've ever used the yarn recommended by the pattern. Then again, I knit so loose that my gauge never works out with the suggested yarns, but I usually try to match the yarn size to some degree. My favorite substitution was when I began using an alpaca worsted weight instead of Cascade 220. This proved successful because the drape of the yarn was similar, yet the alpaca was softer to wear... For the life of me I can't remember the yard brand now.

Fancy Pants said...

Congrats on 100 posts! Okay, so I actually have two stories. One: I substituted DK weight alpaca for the worsted weight yarn the cardigan pattern I am currently knitting calls for. Not only did I have to go down two whole needle sizes, I have also gone through twice as much yarn. Ask me how much I love that and I'll tell you about it in private as I'm sure a string of expletives is not what you are hoping for. The cardigan is turning out lovely though. Second: I substituted some random chenille I had in my stash for a chenille washcloth from LMKG thinking all chenille was the same (right?) and I ended up with a washcloth that is more the size of a towel and it has (and I'm not making this up) a nipple in the middle, perfect to fit over a pregnant woman's tummy as an outie cozy. PS: I'm all about some yarn or one of your papa's beautiful shawl pins. Have fun at the SnB!

tikrimari said...

Most of the patterns I try to knit have substitute far 2/3 are successful - yea! - but I have many @¤%#%#%#%-projects too. My biggest disappointment was North Star tam - I tried very hard to get the right gauge (and I'm still convinced that I did), but the outcome was way too big and saggy. I still don't want to purge it, but I do have an idea, how to fix it.

Congrats on your 100th post! I love your blog!


Turtle said...

Congrats on number 100!!

I have not played too much with big substitutions as i am still a newbie, well 1 1/2 now but i consider that new. I did make a pair of fingerless gloves that i felt the weight was similar to another pair i made so did not do a gauge....they are so big! I have tried washing them as they should have felted a i wear them as they are when hiking and tuck them into my sleeves!

Kenyetta said...

When I first started knitting, yarn was yarn to me. I wanted to make a Booga Bag, so I used what was on hand. Sad to say after running it through the wash tons of time, it did not felt! At a knit-a-long, I was schooled that acrylic yarn does not felt, I would need wool for that. But I still loved my "booga bag"!

Congrats on 100 posts!

LizKnits said...

I made a terrible substitution recently... I tried to make Urchin with a cheap acrylic substitute. Bad news.. bad pics are at:
Funny how different yarns produce different fabric with different drape! LOL.

ikkinlala said...

I don't think I have any good yarn substitution stories to tell - like turtle, I'm a fairly new knitter, and so far I've been pretty unadventurous. I do substitute yarns, but I usually try to stick with a similar weight and fibre content unless I'm just making something to try out a new technique.

If trying new techniques counts, my first pair of socks was made of hot-pink baby acrylic that my grandma had bought for me at a garage sale. I have worn them for about ten minutes in total, to test out the size, and already they are fuzzy and show signs of pilling.