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Yarn Substitutions and New Yarn Products

October 07, 2020 3 min read

Yarn Substitutions and New Yarn Products

The Joys of Custom Made Knitting and Yarn 


I’ve been thinking about this a lot of the weekend…

It feels like we’ve gradually changed over the years. Back in the day, when all we had to go by was a sketchy pattern involving loads of quess-work and maybe (if we were lucky) a friendly yarn shop or relative to help out, we were more willing to experiment and play. And ripping out was not unexpected. We learned so much from our mistakes. 

And then patterns got better, and social media, and YouTube and Revelry happened, and it was easier to get things right the first time around, and we expected our “thing” to be as perfect as the picture on our screens. 

We see it, we want it. Now. And machine-perfect. 

And the SM element has also meant that they want the thing to be instagrammable, so maybe we are less willing to play about with colours in case it’s not liked enough? Not validated as good enough? 

And it’s not just with knitting, It’s with home decor, making-up, travel, cooking, everything…


But here’s the good news! Knitting (and crochet) could also be the cure! It’s the place where you CAN experiment without it potentially ruining your life. It’s the one place where it likely won’t impact anyone else (unlike that acid-pink wall in your living room), and the more you make those mistakes, the better, more confident, more badass you become! 

I’ve ripped out and tinked back so many times, I couldn’t possibly begin to count. Occasionally it’s a bit annoying, but mostly I love that I can rewind and have another bash. How often does that happen in life? And I still learn so much every single time, AND am much more likely to love the finished thing and use it after the experiments. So yay for mistakes! 

And here’s where the Local Yarn Shop comes in....

You’re not alone! A good local shop is brilliant with yarn substitutions and recommendations. That’s what we do! We live and breathe that stuff. 

Plus, there’s not a Yarn Shop on the planet that can carry every yarn brand so that you can buy the exact yarn every time, but in my opinion, a great Yarn shop is one where the owner has hand-picked the selection because of the quality and properties of the yarn (as opposed to choosing the biggest, most fashionable brands at the time). They are purposeful in their selection, know the yarn inside and out, and can tell you what it’s good for and not good for. 

So, don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations. And please, please have fun experimenting! 

And from the Yarn Shop staff’s viewpoint, we live vicariously through your choices and colour combos. So, please - pretty please, free your creative genius and go your own way! 




New Yarn Products 



Paca La Alpaca 

Paca La Alpaca

Paca is the newest indie brand in the shop! And I was so thrilled to finally get my hands on it, and experience it, I placed another order with Zoa at Paca HQ immediately!

I am thrilled with both the SIlk-Merino fingering weight yarn which is so glossy and alive, and the incredible fade kits which will be so much fun to use! 

I’m just so happy with this yarn. Wish I’d pressed “Go” on ordering with them years ago!!


More Bilum Bases

You might remember that I used one of the 200g Bilum Gradient cakes for my Painting Bricks shawl, and fell in love with it! 

The thing with Zsofi’s dyeing (yes, I only order from dyer’s whose names begin with Z) is the smoothness of the colour transitions. 

That’s because, unlike machined gradients, Zsodi’s yarn starts out as a super long knitted strip, instead of a coiled up skein. 

And because gradients are her only jam, and she has a ton of experience in dyeing this way and she only works with super high quality yarn bases and dyes. 

So, we’ve added some more Bilum bases, because knitting with gradients is SOMUCH FUN!!!

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