Substituting Yarns

As the temperatures rise, you might find yourself looking for lightweight knitting projects to make and wear. Louet Euroflax is a wonderful lightweight yarn that’s perfect for summer: it’s airy, machine washable and dryable, and linen is is cool and breatheable on hot summer days. Today we’re going to talk about how to substitute Euroflax into a pattern, with tips and tricks to make sure your project is a success!

Substituting yarns can affect the gauge, size, and overall appearance of your finished item. It is extremely important that you check for gauge and also take the properties of the yarns used in the original design as well as the key design elements into consideration when making your substitution. Linen yarns have a very different hand and drape from other fibers; in this post, we have some suggestions to help you successfully substitute Euroflax yarn into some of our designs for warm-weather knits.

Before we start, let’s review the recommended stitch gauge for each of the yarns we’ll be looking at today:

Euroflax Sport Weight: 6 sts per inch

Gems Sport Weight: 5-6 sts per inch

Gems Fingering: 6.5-7.5 sts per inch.

When swapping yarns, it’s even more important than usual to make sure that you swatch! This step is crucial to ensure that you match your gauge swatch to what is required in your pattern. Not matching the gauge accurately means your item could come out too large or too small – or you could run out of yarn! When working with Euroflax make sure to machine wash and dry your swatch before measuring, this will give you the most accurate reflection of how your finished item will measure up too. You can read more tips and tricks for knitting with Euroflax in this blog post.

First up, it’s pretty easy to substitute Euroflax Sport weight yarn in patterns which call  for Gems Sport Weight yarn (and vice versa!) . A few things you’ll want to keep in mind is that the item in Euroflax is going to have lots of lovely drape, but it won’t really hold its shape because it doesn’t have the memory of wool. In other words, Euroflax is much better suited for items that are intended to flow a bit, and don’t require a close fit. So, while the gauge may match for hats or mitten patterns which originally call for Gems Sport Eeight yarn, we don’t recommend substituting in Euroflax – which is totally fine since we’re talking about summertime knits anyway!

Swapping Euroflax Sport for Gems Sport

Ballson, from Louet North America Spring 2014, was originally designed for Gems Sport. The gauge is the same as Euroflax (6 sts per inch) and the lace would look great knit up in our linen yarn. Therefore, this pattern would be a great choice for knitting with Euroflax!


Need a lightweight cardigan for chilly evenings and air conditioned offices? What about a Euroflax Sport version of Zulia? Originally worked in Gems sport, this crochet cardigan would work well for summer in Euroflax!

Swapping Euroflax Sport for Gems Fingering

Although Gems Fingering is a lighter weight yarn that’s generally knit at a smaller gauge than Euroflax sport, it’s still possible to swap the yarns without having to do the math.

One great candidate for this would be the Roanoke top from Louet Spring 2014. This breezy tee was originally designed for Gems Fingering, but since it’s knit at 6 sts per inch, Euroflax Sport would be a lovely substitution for a lightweight summer top!

Accessories designed for Gems Fingering are also perfect for knitting in Euroflax Sport. Since you don’t have to worry so much about fit, it’s much easier to just work the pattern at a different gauge. Of course, it’s important to note that you’ll probably need a little more yarn and your item will come out larger – you may also need to adjust the needle size when making this substitution. Cowls, wraps and scarves are all excellent options for this type of substitution, and we think both of these shawls would be wonderful in Euroflax Sport:

Ewyn, from Louet North America Fall 2014:

Sheyenne, from Louet North America Spring 2014:

If you have questions about substituting Euroflax for one of your projects ask the experts here in our Ravelry group!