2 strand of worsted weight =1 strand of bulky?

I have a cabled poncho pattern I am going to start after I finish the Shepherds Jacket.  It calls for 2 strands of worsted weight.  I found a great chunky weight in a colour I really like.  So huys...does a double strand of worsted - a single starand of chunky?


Aaronknits's picture

If you get the same guage with the bulky or chunky yarn as you do with two strands of worsted, and you like the bulky or chunky yarn, go ahead and give it a try.  Experimentation is a beautiful thing!!! But I think the idea of using two strands (and somebody PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong here) might have more to do with the texture and look of the stitches and of the finished piece which is something you probably wouldn't get with a single strand of heavier weight yarn.  This texture would be especially evident when the two strands are of different but complimentary colors. 

JPaul's picture

Ahh...Aaron brings up some great points for discussion!  Combining two yarns, or stranding two yarns together can be used for a number of reasons.  Generally, it's done to alter the thickness of the fabric, the color of the fabric or the texture of the fabric.

In the case of your poncho, if the pattern is calling for two strands of the same yarn in the same color, then they are most likely combining them to add bulk.  So you could definitely look for a heavier yarn to substitute and a "chunky" yarn is probably the best place to start, but, as Aaron said, KNIT A SWATCH and check the gauge!  It won't take you any time, especially with a heavy weight yarn, and you can simply unravel it and reuse the yarn after you've checked your sts per inch.

It may be someone's rule of thumb as far as substitutions go, but it's not one I would use or trust.  The problem is that so many variable come into play.  Is your yarn "Chunky" or is it "Bulky"?  One is supposedly thicker than the other and there's a good chance it depends on what country you're in.  Plus, when you are knitting with heavy yarns, small differences in gauge tend to be amplified in the finished product (a good reason to knit a bigger swatch, by the way, and measure your gauge over a larger number of inches).  The differences, big or small, may not matter too much, but that depends on your poncho pattern and how much you love the yarn.  Will a bit of added length matter to you?  Can you easily alter the pattern to accomodate the difference in  gauge of your chunky yarn (it's not as hard as you might think).

Lots a variables, eh?  Lots of questions.  That's one of the reasons I love knitting.  There ARE lots of questions...and not many of them have a simple yes or no answer.


YarnGuy716's picture

I gotta agree, it's all about the swatch. I am a big advocate of swatching. Not only to get gauge but to see how the knit fabric looks and if I can work the pattern stitch. I had seen this really cool sweater in Knitters once, thought it would look great on me. I knit up a swatch and I felt like it sapped my will to live. There was no way I would have been able to knit an entire sweater in that pattern stitch. So the swatch can tell you so much more than how many stitches to the inch.

Thanks  Guys!  I've gotta tell you I HATE to swatch...but my Grandfather always told me...measure twice, cut once.  I appreciate the advice!

What advise do you get from the WWK site? 

Knit away, knit away

"They say best men are moulded out of faults; and, for the most, become much more the better for being a little bad." William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

I wonder...?

AS there are, I think 5 members to this group at the time, and 5 posts, 2 from Darrel, I haven't received any advice.



There are plenty of great guys here willing to give advice and answer your questions.  You are welcome here, if not by everyone, at least by most.  So if you have questions....

ask away, ask away