Category Archives: substituting yarn

Substituting Yarn for the Turoa Mitts from Drop Dead Easy Knitting and a Giveaway.

In my ongoing attempt to knit all of the book’s projects, Turuoa Mitts, Abide Shawl and the Oxbo socks are hands-down the winners for frequency so far.

Turoa mitts gale

The Turoa mitts are simple to make, look complicated, take very little yarn, and people love them. One of my knitting students is on her fourth pair, plus an additional mate for the daughter who lost a mitt.

The book project used Fibre Company Road to China Light.  A lovely yarn, but not carried in my LYS. Azula Oasis, alas, is discontinued due to production issue.  A big part of the concept of Drop Dead Easy  is that you can find a yarn at your LYS that will work for every project.  The book has a list of substitute yarns in the back, and although I haven’t used any of the recommended subs for the mitts so far, I have used two yarns that I especially enjoyed using, West Yorkshire Spinners BFL DK, and Brooklyn Tweed Loft.

One of these yarns is listed as a DK, and one a sport. Can I use either one? Here’s my test for checking how that might work out when trying to sub yarn.  Warning – this a quick and dirty check.  You still need to make a gauge swatch!

Take a length of each yarn, and compare.  Then loop and twist together.  Run your fingers along the length of the twist.  Do they feel similar, or does one feel much heavier? The bulky vs. the super bulky test.  The bulky yarn looks thinner, but not by much.  When twisted, especially as you feel it, it is more obviously lighter.


The gauge for the Turoa Mitts is 24 sts over 4 inches.  The Loft for sure works to that gauge, and I made a pair with one skein.  I shortened the mitts by a couple of repeats, just to make sure I would have enough yarn.  They are still plenty long enough.

Turoa Loft

In fact, I had enough of the yarn left that I could use it as a pop of brightness in the Sidekick Hat I made in Loft.

Sidekick Small Loft copy

Here’s a side by side view of the Fleece BFL and Loft:


I can’t find (or didn’t take) a photo of the twist test, but they seemed fairly close, so I cast on and started.  When testing gauge on a small project like this, I just start.  There are few enough stitches to cast on that it makes sense to just move ahead with the mitt.  You get a true reading of the size, and if it isn’t right, you have no more to rip out than a generous gauge swatch.

Finished mitts in the BFL:

bfl mitts

You may notice that they are two different sizes.  I shall pretend that I did it on purpose, so that yarn shop visitors (these are currently at Double Ewe) can see what size works for them.  The reality is I forgot what size I was making, so one is a small and one is a medium.

Go see what your LYS has to offer, or shop your stash.  I’m eyeing a skein of Pediboo, now called Hikoo Sueño, for a January birthday.

Want a skein of Loft to try yourself?  Tell me what scares you about subbing yarn, or share tips on how you check when you start to think about subbing.  I’ll draw a name and send the Loft your way!