Modern Quilt Wrap
substitution. The very words strike anxiety into the hearts of knitters
everywhere. The published photo is so beautiful, the yarn the designer
used so utterly perfect in every way...but alas, the specified yarn is
wool, and you're allergic to wool. Or the yarn called for would put too
large a dent in your grocery money. Or you live in Australia, and the
yarn is unavailable there. What to do? How can you find a substitute
yarn that is perfect for you AND perfect for the pattern you've fallen
in love with?
Sooner or later, every knitter is faced with the need to substitute
yarns. The process can be painful and frustrating, or it can be
exciting and creative, depending on how you approach it. So, given that
so many of you wondered about substitutions for the Modern Quilt Wrap from our new book Folk Style, let's start there.
Ask yourself: What do you REALLY like about this scarf? Is it the
color combination? If so, then look for yarns that have a lot of colors
available, whether they are mohair, cotton, or merino. Does the fine
fuzzy texture lure you in, but you want to make your own quilt-like
color choices? Then you have a wider set of options: mohair, alpaca,
merino blends might all do. Allergic to wool? A silk or bamboo yarn
could be really beautiful.
Mag Kandis' Folk Style
point is that in making substitutions, you are going to have to make
compromises, because the only way you are going to get a scarf that
looks exactly like the one in the Modern Quilt Wrap
photo is to use the yarn Mags used. For example, that lovely color
selection in a fine mohair/silk blend yarn is unique to Rowan KidSilk
Haze, and it is highly unlikely you are going to find anything close to
that combination in a similar yarn anywhere. (Now, watch: One of you is
going to scour the Internet and prove me wrong. Go for it.)
As some of you noted, the weight designation for Kidsilk Haze varies
depending on the source. My take on this: A fine mohair yarn can be
tough to evaluate, because it has all those little fuzzy fingers
sticking out of it (charmingly referred to as its "halo"). When the
yarn is knitted, the fingers on one stitch push against the fingers of
the neighboring stitch, and thus makes the yarn behave as though it
were "fatter" than it is. I've got the Actual Sample Scarf right here
on my lap, and the core of the fiber (without the halo) is close to a
laceweight. But the halo gives the core extra bulk, causing the yarn to
knit up more like a fingering, or even a DK, depending on needle size
So what's the "correct weight" of yarn to substitute in this wrap?
If you want to use a non-mohair, non-halo yarn, you will need to swatch
(sorry! you knew swatching had to sneak in here somewhere) to discover
a combination of needle size and yarn that gives you a drape that you
like. Tip: To get the airy, lacy look of the original
scarf in a non-mohair blend, try a fingering yarn and start with a
needle size about two sizes bigger than that recommended on the label.
If you like that look, great! If it's not open and airy enough for you,
keep going up in needle size until you like what you see. (If the
fabric is too open, go down a needle size.) Swatch until you love the
fabric, then knit your heart out.
Will your scarf end up looking like a clone of the one Mags made?
Probably not. Will your scarf be a gorgeous mirror of your own creative
heart? You bet--and I cannot wait to see the photos of what you come up
You asked for it...The Yardage For Each Color
I wasn't sure if we at Interweave were going to be able to pull this
particular rabbit out of our hat--but thanks to one of our
miracle-working tech editors, the rabbit appears: The individual yardage amounts for each color used in the Modern Quilt Wrap.
There were no notes from the original wrap, and figuring out the math
was something no one here in the office had time to attempt. Enter the
tech editor, Ms. L., who stayed up into the wee hours and worked out
the numbers! We won't always be able to respond to these sorts of
requests (especially not this fast!) because we just don't have the
resources, but happily, this one time we can. Hooray for the amazing
Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.
What's on Sandi's needles? About 38 inches' worth of cables and twisted stitches for my Red Scarf, coming soon to Knitting Daily.
Note that I am desperately trying NOT to cast on for the Modern Quilt
Wrap. (Don't encourage me. Next on my needles is supposed to be a
Husband Sweater for Christmas. Must. Stay. Strong.)