Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Toolsday: Substituting Made Easy

I know I'm not the only one who falls in love with a pattern which calls for a hard-to-get yarn or calls out to me in a period of needing to shop the stash, not the store. I also find myself designing patterns with well-aged stashlings that have been discontinued.

In the process of writing what I thought would be today's post, I came across a newish website that takes some of the headache out of substituting yarns:  YarnSub

Run by Wendy Petersen of the muddy sheep blog, this is an extremely easy-to-use resource.  You enter the name of the yarn you want to substitute for and up pops a detailed description of the yarn (fiber, gauge, yardage, etc.) and list of possible subs.  The substitute candidates are listed in the order of how closely they match, and this is spelled out in detail.  If you don't like arithmetic or can't find your calculator, the listing includes the per ball equivalence.

The interface of YarnSub is very clean and features a soothing blue color scheme. As someone with horrible eyesight I appreciate those elements and the large clear font and the lots-of-white space format in which information is displayed.

The big-name yarns are there, but so are a lot of the independent dyers and smaller producers.  In some cases, a link is provided for buying the yarn, particularly useful for some of the less widely available brands.

The site also includes articles on substituting in general, watching, and yarn characteristics.

The science of yarn substitution.

I've bookmarked it for myself, and I know that it will be well-clicked.

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