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As a designer I want to use the best kind of yarn or thread for the project, whether that be a bargain bin acrylic, dishcloth cotton, bamboo, or 100% cashmere. We crocheters want our finished items to be used by the recipients, and to age gracefully with use!
I know that yarn substitutions can be tricky and confusing. With new yarns being discontinued all the time, and so many yarns available in only a few countries or parts of the United States, it's hard for most of us to know if we're wasting money on the wrong yarn. And, knowing what to do with leftover crochet yarn needn't be an unpleasant struggle to understand the latest yarn weight systems.
That's why as an independent designer I spell out in each pattern why I chose the yarn that I did and specifically what to look for if you want to substitute with a different yarn -- whether it's from a craft store, yarn shop, or your own yarn stash.
When possible I show my design crocheted twice: one version in a craft chain store yarn and another in a local yarn shop yarn; or one in the lowest-priced yarn for the job, and another in a high-end luxury yarn version. I tell you what I actually paid for the yarn I use in a pattern, and what I think of the results.
Sometimes a higher-priced yarn is better for a design, and sometimes it just isn’t. I do the math and report when a yarn seems more expensive at first, but ends up being a bargain--or vice versa!
I stock some of my hard-to-find favorites for your convenience and mine. They might not be available to you locally, and you might have a hard time finding good substitutes for them. These are crochet threads and yarns that I tend to design with for very specific reasons (I explain why in my pattern descriptions).