Double the Yarn, Double the Trouble

19 Dec

I am confused and it’s not the first time. And this is no time to be confused – this is the time for decisive action. A couple of hours ago I suddenly realized that there is one more Christmas gift I really need to knit, and it’s a biggie. These Drops Tights. 

Let’s not even get into whether or not I have a stoat’s chance in hell to get these done. I’ve rationalized that to myself, that’s not confusing. The yarn suggested in the pattern is. The pattern lists two yarns, held double (one strand of each). One fingering, one sport. And yet the Ravelry page for the pattern lists the pattern as for a sports weight yarn.

Maybe Ravelry doesn’t let you list several weights under one pattern. But if that’s the case, why not list the combined weight of the two yarns? That would make it easier for folks like me who want to substitute the yarn for something else… and I may just have answered my own question there.

Some googling gave me three entirely different results on what the combined weight of the two suggested yarns might be, ranging from sport to worsted. Finally, in a forum comment, someone said it’s easy: generally, fingering weight translates to 4 plies. Double that, you get 8 plies. That translates back to DK weight. And so on.

This to me seems to be somewhat less arbitrary than some of the other proposed approaches to this pickle, and I was glad.

Except that sport weight is 5 plies, making the combined weight 9 plies – smack dab in the middle of DK (8 ply) and Worsted (10 ply).


There was no other option. I had to swatch, and choose which weight to go with based on which would match the pattern gauge more accurately or easily. I was more inclined to choose a worsted weight yarn because I’m in a hurry here… so that’s what I swatched first.


I didn’t say I did it well, or anything. I’ll do a proper swatch when I have the actual yarn. This was just to see what weight might be appropriate. Based on this shoddy swatch, I’d say worsted.

Then there’s the issue of the stated yardage. I can’t brain this bit. As an example: say you need 200 yards of X and 200 yards of Y – that’s 400 yards, stated in the pattern. But how much is that of XY? My instinct is it’s 200 yards, because when you knit X and Y together, you’re still only knitting 200 yards worth of yarn. Right?

Not to mention that these tights or long johns or what-have-you aren’t supposed to be full length like in the pattern.

 I’m basically going to have to wing this yarn purchase, aren’t I?

I’m sure it’ll be fine. Just like getting these ready in time for gift exchanging will be fine.


4 Responses to “Double the Yarn, Double the Trouble”

  1. sally1137 December 19, 2013 at 02:04 #

    I’d respectfully disagree with your math here. Despite the fact that you’re knitting them together, if you need 200 yards of each, you’ll need 400 yards total. BUT I do see your point that since you’re knitting them together, it will ACT like 200 yards.

    Good luck with them!

    • bamboo#1 December 19, 2013 at 02:19 #

      I think we agree on the math but my wording wasn’ t as clear as it could’ve been: since I’m replacing the two strands with a single thicker strand, I will need half the yardage (200 yards). But I’m glad we agree because it’s that more likely I’ll get enough yarn 🙂

      And thanks!

      • sally1137 December 19, 2013 at 04:48 #

        And I forgot the part about a single thicker yarn….duh. I’ll be interested to see thesemwhen they’re finished! 🙂

  2. The Twisted Yarn December 20, 2013 at 21:11 #

    Two strands together just sounds like unnecessary hassle. Hope you can find a one-strand solution. And hey, Christmas is still AGES away, isn’t it?

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