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 General Technique Questions
 Substituting Wool for Cotton
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franklin_auntie
New Pal

USA
27 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2004 :  12:44:59 PM  Show Profile Send franklin_auntie a Private Message
I want to substitute wool in a pattern that calls for cotton yarn. Besides ensuring same gauge and total yardage, are there other things I should keep in mind? I'd like to make sure I buy enough wool yarn to avoid running out and search for the same dye lots a few months later.

Your advice will be much appreciated.

Rebecca
Permanent Resident

USA
1119 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2004 :  3:58:44 PM  Show Profile Send Rebecca a Private Message
I did this last year and it was a project that ended up in the Never again forum. Cotton hangs differently than wool. the wool version was very clingy compared to the cotton as I did the pattern in both fibers. The sweater was designed for cotton and looked it's best in the cotton.

Dances with Wools
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carpe diem
Permanent Resident

1158 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2004 :  4:40:31 PM  Show Profile Send carpe diem a Private Message
It depends though. For instance, Mission Falls 1824 Cotton and Wool patterns are interchangeable. Depending on the style, you may need a wool that has a nice drape.

Sometimes cotton will shrink 10-20% in length, but in the case of Debbie Bliss Cotton Denim, it's already preshrunk. Do you have a link to the pattern you're interested in?

~ Lisa, Seattle
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franklin_auntie
New Pal

USA
27 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2004 :  5:09:21 PM  Show Profile Send franklin_auntie a Private Message
The following is the link to the pattern:
http://www.crafts-beautiful.com/projects/?view=view&ID=199

I was thinking of using remaining Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran as the substituting yarn but short about 4 balls. What do you think? Should I make the substitution or save the yarn for another project?
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carpe diem
Permanent Resident

1158 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2004 :  11:55:24 AM  Show Profile Send carpe diem a Private Message
Oh my goodness, nice cardigan! I saved the link .

Because the pattern suggests All Season Cotton (no shrinkage factor) with a gauge @ 4.25 spi, I think it'll work out fine. I'd definitely read Clara's review of Silkroad Aran - http://www.knittersreview.com/article_yarn.asp?article=/review/product/021205_a.asp - she mentions a slight expansion of .25 spi in her swatches.

If I was thinking about doing this, I'd ask my LYS. Do you have that option? If not, I'd be happy to ask b/c I need to go today regarding something else.

~ Lisa, Seattle
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sarah_knits
Chatty Knitter

161 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2004 :  12:34:16 PM  Show Profile Send sarah_knits a Private Message
I once made a sweater with wool rather than the cotton called for. Although the gauge worked out right, the sweater didn't. However, that was a sweater with an allover stitch pattern that would have looked 'crisper' in cotton. I think for the cardigan design, it'd look lovely in any beautiful smooth yarn.

Sarah
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jade
Permanent Resident

USA
1543 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2004 :  1:32:49 PM  Show Profile Send jade a Private Message
The cardigan is pretty basic, so I can't imagine substituting wool will make a big difference when you're knitting it. I find wool lighter than cotton, and the resilience of wool will help to maintain the shape of the cardi. I would think that if you have about the same yardage and get the same gauge you should be OK. You might find that you need less in weight because cotton tends to be more dense than wool.

Cheryl
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carpe diem
Permanent Resident

1158 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2004 :  2:24:34 PM  Show Profile Send carpe diem a Private Message
According to a trusted teacher/designer at my favorite LYS, claims "no problem". She substitutes wool for ASC and vice versa, frequently and quickly reminded me of her long jacket she's finishing in ASC that's originally written for 100% wool.

In this case, it's definitely an option for you IMO.

~ Lisa, Seattle
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franklin_auntie
New Pal

USA
27 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2004 :  05:40:40 AM  Show Profile Send franklin_auntie a Private Message
Thank you ladies for sharing your wisdom & experience. I'll take everything in consideration when I start the cardi!
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kdcrowley
Permanent Resident

USA
4773 Posts

Posted - 06/16/2004 :  10:34:00 AM  Show Profile  Visit kdcrowley's Homepage Send kdcrowley a Private Message
Should not be a problem, as long as you take the nature of the fibers into consideration. Wool has alot more give and stretch to it, where cotton does not, and is likely to sag a bit. Good cotton patterns take this into account and will use a different gauge (tighter) and more structure (ribbing for give) than wool.

Kelley

Everywhere you go, there you are! Imagine that....
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diana.enky
Permanent Resident

Australia
1092 Posts

Posted - 06/17/2004 :  01:21:00 AM  Show Profile Send diana.enky a Private Message
Thanks for that link . The cardy is Grace from Rowan book #27 for anyone interested.
You should have no probs substituting wool for cotton in that design - just make sure you have enough yarn. Work out how many metres in All seasons cotton you need for your size (there are 90m to a ball) and then work out the no. of balls of your sub. yarn you need - keeping in mind the gauge of course.

Diana
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lacylaine
Seriously Hooked

USA
989 Posts

Posted - 06/18/2004 :  12:09:05 PM  Show Profile Send lacylaine a Private Message
One other point to take into consideration. If you are planning on wearing your wool cardigan over other clothes, as opposed to a summer tank, you might want to add an inch or so to the diameter of the sleeves.

Melanie

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." Ecclesiastes 9:10
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