A Note on Substituting Yarn

I take a lot of care in selecting the yarns I use in my designs–in fact, often I start with the yarn and see what it wants to be knitted as. Whenever possible, I strongly recommend using the same yarn for your project. However, I know that’s often unrealistic. You may need or want to knit from stash, or be limited by price or local availability. Whatever your reason, I would like to help you make a good substitution.

Some factors to consider:

Yarn weight. Did I use DK? Worsted? Fingering?
Gauge. I don’t always knit at the recommended gauge for the yarn. So the pattern gauge might suggest a typical DK gauge, but in fact call for a fingering weight yarn knitted loosely (for example).
Fiber composition. Different fibers behave in different ways. Cotton will almost always act like cotton, wool will almost always act like wool, and so on. Try to choose yarn with the same fiber make-up. If you are substituting because of a fiber sensitivity or to make a garment more appropriate for your climate, try to choose a fiber that will behave similarly.

Doubling a thinner yarn to get gauge:

A common misconception among knitters that holding any yarn doubled will get you the approximate gauge of the next size yarn up. This is not accurate! To determine appropriate substitutions with doubled yarn, look at the suggested stitches per inch. If you are doubling your yarn, you need to use one that, used single, gets twice as many stitches per inch as the called-for yarn. For example, sock/fingering weight (8-9 stitches per inch) held double = worsted weight (4-5 stitches per inch).

I know this can all get confusing. If you are uncertain about a yarn substitute for one of my patterns, please email me! I’d love to help you choose. I also have a Ravelry group, Noir Knitters, where you can talk to other knitters and look for advice.

Fall Sale!

Last month I adjusted my pattern prices to be more uniform. Accessories are now $5 (sets of two are $8); children’s garments are $6; I do not currently have any adult garments for sale but they will likely be $7. Since some of my prices went up, I am offering 25% off anything in my Ravelry shop through the end of October. Use the coupon code FALL25. A Little Night Magic is included in the sale!

A Little Night Magic

Grace asked me to make her a skirt for her third birthday. This is what I came up with, and I love it so much that I decided to write up the pattern! (Let’s just ignore the fact that it took me until nearly her fourth birthday.) It’s a quick knit, at a large-ish gauge and worked from the top down. The perfect use for that special skein of variegated yarn, but also well-suited to a solid. Buy it on Ravelry.

A Little Night Magic

This A-line skirt is easy to knit and fun to wear! It’s swingy and fun and the perfect way to use your favorite variegated yarn. Choose a size that is at least an inch smaller than the wearer’s waist.

1-2 [3-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10] years. Shown in 3-4 years.

waistband: 19 [20, 21, 22, 23] inches

waist: 21 [21.5, 22, 23, 24.5] inches

16 stitches and 24 rows equal four inches in stockinette stitch
(Row gauge is not critical, as you will knit to measurements.)

Heavy worsted: 150 [180, 220, 280, 350] yards MC
75 [90, 110, 140, 175] yards CC
Shown in Yarn Pirate BFL Aran in “Night Magic” from the 2010-2011 Woolies Club

US #8 16-inch circular needle
Or needle size to obtain gauge

21 stitch markers, one distinct for EOR
Tapestry needle

A Little Night Magic is knitted from the top down, in the round. A wide waistband is worked in welted rib in a smaller circumference than the wearer’s waist, then increases are worked evenly to form the A-line shape. The hem is finished off with more welted ribbing.

The yarn used for the sample was from the 2011 Woolies Booty Club and is not commercially available. You may use any heavy worsted yarn, such as Malabrigo Rios. I do not recommend lighter worsted weight yarns for this pattern. I do recommend a hand dyed yarn!

Technical Editing by Joeli Caparco.

Paw Print Cardi! Finally!

After several delays, the Paw Print Cardi, companion/brother piece to Posy Cardi, is out in the world! I borrowed my friend Sara’s son Simon to model. Isn’t he adorable?! Because the two patterns are so similar, Paw Print is half price on Ravelry for anyone who has purchased Posy.

Paw Print Cardi

From the moment I designed Posy Cardi, I knew I wanted to make a boys’ version. Paw Print Cardi is that sweater! Featuring the same asymmetry and finishing details that make Posy so lovely, with a lace paw print motif up the front.

If you also purchase Posy Cardi (past purchases included), you will receive Paw Print Cardi at a 50% discount. These patterns have identical dimensions and gauge, with very similar design elements.

a note about substituting yarn: Honor is a very drape-y yarn, so although it is a DK you might be happier substituting a sport weight yarn if you use something that has a high wool or cotton content. I do not recommend acrylic for this pattern, but it is YOUR knitting so you should use the yarn that makes you happy.

Preemie/doll [newborn, 0-3, 3-6, 6-12, 12-18, 18-24 months]
Simon is wearing size 6-12 months

chest: 15.5 [17.5, 18.5, 19.5, 20.5, 21.5, 22.5] inches (open)

chest: 13 [15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20] inches

22 sts and 30 rows equal 4 inches in st st after blocking

Lorna’s Laces Honor [70% baby alpaca, 30% silk; 275 yds /100grams]
1 [1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2] skeins Cedar

US #5 24-inch circular and 2 DPNs (for i-cord) Or needle size to obtain gauge

Waste yarn
Tapestry needle
4 [4, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7] small buttons
Needle & thread for sewing buttons

Technical editing by Joeli Caparco.


Belt & Crown
To fit 16[17, 18, 19, 20] {21, 22, 23, 24, 25} inch head or waist circumference

Leg Warmers
1-3[4-7, 8-10] years

Size Shown
Crown, 17-inch (to fit 18-inch head); Belt, 18-inch (to fit 19-inch waist); Legwarmers, 1-3 years

Finished Measurements
Belt & Crown
15 [16, 17, 18, 19] {20, 21, 22, 23, 24} inches
Leg Warmers
Slouchy: 8[9, 10] inches circumference, 7[9, 11] inches height
Ankle: 6½[7½, 8½] inches circumference, 6[7½, 9] inches height

Spud & Chloë® Sweater [55% Wool, 45% Cotton; 160 yards/146 meters per 3.53 ounce/100 gram hank];
#7505 Firefly [MC}; 2 hanks
#7509 Firecracker [CC]; 1 hank
#7504 Lake [CC2]; 1 hank

Recommended needle sizes
For belt or crown: US 8 (5 mm) 16 inch circular (a 24 inch circular may be used for the largest sizes)
For legwarmers: US 8 (5 mm) 40 inch circular (or 2 circulars)

Stitch marker
Removable stitch marker or safety pin
Tapestry needle

16 sts and 24 rows = 4 inches in St st
Gauge is critical for this design.

Pattern Notes
Because every child is shaped differently, I have given measurements rather than ages for the belt and crown. If you cannot measure the child you are knitting for, you may wish to consult Craft Yarn Council’s sizing standards. Please note that my model, Grace, is 3 years old but has a 19-inch waist circumference and 18-inch head, rather significantly different than the measurements given for her age.

The belt and crown are made in the same manner. In order for the belt to be thicker, more stitches are cast on and more decreases worked. I like the point of the crown to point up, but it looks good both ways. The belt should point down to follow the natural shape of your child’s belly.
Two options are given for the leg warmers: an easy slouchy version, which can be made on dpns if you prefer, and an intermediate ankle-length version with shaping, which works best with magic loop or two circulars.

Skills Required
knitting in the round, increasing, decreasing, magic loop

New Free Pattern!

The spring issue of Petite Purls is out, a little late but totally worth the wait! The theme is superheroes and the patterns are all wonderful. My friend Georgia has a sewn cape tutorial, and I have a set of knitted accessories! Check out Wonder-ific!

Free Patterns!

I am giving away a pattern every day on Ravelry until my 35th birthday (July 6th). My highly scientific method of finding gift recipients is to check my recent activity log and send a pattern to someone who has favorited or queued it in the last 24 hours or so. HINT, HINT, Erin Hodges!

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