So what do you do when you have a design all ready to re-release and you get the crushing news that the yarn its made in is discontinued?

crochet cardigan A Walk in the Woods

Sadly the wonderfully squishy Artesano British wool that I made A Walk in the Woods Cardigan in is no more. I absolutely love this cardigan and have worn it so much so I couldn’t not release it as a PDF (which I possibly would have done if it was a design I wasn’t as fond of) So a substitute had to be found. Here is the process I went through to ensure the substitute would work well.

1/ Select a possible new yarn. Here I had to consider lots of things:

  • the weight, chunky is not all made alike and some chunkies are much heavier than others. I was looking for yarns that had the same ball band tension as the discontinued yarn.
  • the fibre and spin: Artesano was a very woolly, rustic feeling pure wool.
  • the colour range it has: can I make a like for like swap for all three colours? This is much harder than it sounds, especially in chunky weight.

With these three things in mind I began to look in shops, at festivals and online and found only one good contender so I ordered a ball ready for stage two.

2/ Swatching (yes I know you all think I’m obsessed, but its crucial!) It isn’t practical to make a whole new sweater so I wanted to make a really large swatch to assess the following:

  • Can I get the right tension?
  • Does the swatch drape and move in the same way as the original?
  • Does the fabric feel similar to the touch after washing?

The large swatch is crucial for step 3 in the process.

3/Work out the required yardage accurately. I did this in two ways to make sure:

  • first I took the yardage of the old skeins and weight used for each size (from the original spreadsheet) to calculate the old yardage used. I then took the yardage from the new skeins and calculated how much this would weigh in the new yarn to find out many skeins are required for each size.
  • secondly I checked (using the very large swatch) that it weighed stitch for stitch what I expected it to based on these calculations (phew spot on!)

Because I’m suggesting this as an official substitution I need to get all of these things really spot on so people can be confident making it in the new yarn.

A Walk in the Woods cardigan is now available to download as a pdf. 

 (or you can visit the pattern page here.)

I bought the yarn from loveknitting.com. If you haven’t used them before then use this link to get yourself 15% off and free shipping (I’ll also get a discount – so its win win)

Photo is copyright of Britt Spring and with permission of Inside Crochet where it first appeared.