Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Exeter Gansey Cardigan CAL -Let's Talk Yarn!!

In November, I will be having a CAL (crochet along) for the Exeter Gansey Cardigan (which is part of Annie's Signature Design: 2019 Fall Collection) on Sunday evenings on my Bizzy Crochet Facebook page. I will be having a live chat each Sunday at 7PM CST and we will work through questions about the pattern and anything else you can think of.

I will be making the 2XL size, so I researched some of the yarns I could use to make my cardigan without breaking the bank. This is by no means a comprehensive list of yarns to use, but it is a good list, and a place to start in case you are planning to search for something different as well.

If you would like to join the CAL, you will need to purchase the pattern. You can get the pattern here:

Now, let's talk about the yarns you can use to make this pattern: 

Each of the yarns in this list varies in skein size and price, but each of them falls very closely within the parameters of the original yarn for gauge. Each link within the individual yarn descriptions will take you directly to that yarn. Some of the links are affiliates. 

1-King Cole Majestic DK yarn is the original yarn for the pattern. It is a 1.75oz/50g skein for 1.95 Pounds (1.11/oz) or $2.52 USD ($1.44/oz). I have not personally used this yarn, but it is a wool blend with some very pretty colors. The place I found that had the best price and the best selection for this yarn was Wool Warehouse- UK (this link will take you right to the yarn). They ship worldwide and provide amazing customer service!

2- Hobby Lobby Baby Bee Sweet Delight is the yarn I'm thinking about using. I've used this yarn multiple times in everything from blankets to sweaters and hats for babies. This is a very sturdy, but very soft acrylic yarn. The best part is that it's crochet gauge matches exactly to the original yarn used in the pattern. Now, that doesn't mean I'm not going to have to do my own gauge to make sure *I* match with the pattern, but at least I know my yarn is a near-perfect replacement for the original. The other thing I like about this yarn is that you get a lot more bang for your buck. I'm a blue-collar yarn girl, so I like a bargain! haha. Sweet Delight is a 4 oz skein for $5.29 USD ($1.32/oz). Where King Cole would cost me $78.12 USD, the Sweet Delight will only cost me $74.06, and if I watch Hobby Lobby for their every other week 30% off yarn sale, I can get it for $51.84 USD!! The downside to this yarn (for my non-US friends) is that Hobby Lobby only ships in the US.

3- Let's talk quick about my second choice for my sweater, even though is a slightly thinner, more delicate acrylic DK weight yarn than the Sweet Delight...Hobby Lobby's Soft & Sleek DK. I am currently using this yarn to knit the Gansey Stole (another gorgeous Annie's pattern) and it is fantastically soft. It is another one that would be a bigger bang for your buck, although I do worry that it is not a yarn that would stand up well to being sat on. This one might be better for the scarf you're going to want to make to go along with it! Annie's also has a crocheted Gansey Stole. This yarn is $4.99 USD ($1.25/oz) and is generously sized at 4oz. Trust me, this stuff is so soft you just want to snuggle the skeins. You'll get no judgment from me if you do!

Knit Gansey Stole
pattern link above

Crocheted Gansey Stole
pattern link above

4- Another DK yarn that will hold up like gangbusters and won't break the bank is Stylecraft Special DK. It is acrylic, they have an amazing color range, and their skeins are 3.5oz/100 gms for 1.95 Pounds or $2.52 USD. The same price as the King Cole, but twice the size. I have not used this yarn, but I know lots of people who have and they swear by its durability and quality. Once again, Wool Warehouse UK had the best selection and the best price that I could find. Don't let the whole UK thing scare you, though. They have really reasonable shipping prices and they have a long track record of fairly quick shipping, even if you don't expedite it!

5- If you're looking for a non-acrylic, non-wool alternative, I have two cotton yarns that should work well for you. I would love to say Hobby Lobby again, but I can't. While I really do Love their Cotton yarn, it is too big for this pattern. So, instead, I am going to recommend two other brands. Both can be purchased through Wool Warehouse for very reasonable prices.
The first is Drops Cotton Light. It is a 1.75oz/50g skein of 50%poly/50%cotton blend. So, your shrinkage will be minimal. Best of all, it is a 1 Pound or $1.29 USD per skein. You can get a 2XL sweater for $40! That's not bad at all. I love Drops yarns. They are all beautiful and make lovely garments.
Second is Stylecraft Classique Cotton. This is a 1.75oz/50g skein of 100% cotton. They have a lovely selection of colors available. This is 1.79 Pounds or $2.31 USD/skein.

If you've made it this far into my yarn chatter, then I hope that you will have found something you can use. I didn't want to give you cheap choices that weren't going to hold up in the end. I also didn't want to just point you toward all the really expensive yarns. I wanted to give you some options that included some of my favorites and some unknowns with good reputations.

Good Luck! If you are joining the CAL, make sure you let me know on my Bizzy Crochet Facebook page! And make sure to tell me what yarn you end up choosing!


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