Travel project & other advice for beginner

I’d like to take a project with me on a trip to Utah I have planned and I’d like some advice on choosing one so that I can order the supplies now rather than wait until I learn more. I am a very patient beginner - and I really mean beginner, as in I can cast on, knit, and purl, but so far have only read about casting off. I have been going very slowly and have been focusing on trying various techniques with good mechanics. The guides that I have used or have queued up so far are: MDK of course!, Lorilee Beltman, Susan B. Anderson, Arne & Carlos, Andrea Wong (my Portuguese knitting pin just arrived), Patty Lyons, the MDK SkillSet app, and Carson Demers. Currently, I am using Lorilee Beltman’s technique to make a fingerless practice mitt pattern (using garter stitch, stockinette, and ribbing) by Susan B. Anderson. I will be casting off soon!

For my trip, I’d like to do a small project like a scarf, or a pet (cat) blanket, or washcloth, but I keep knocking my head against the wall with broken links and unavailable yarns (or limited colors and life is too short to knit in colors I don’t love!). For scarves, I want to avoid yarns that would be uncomfortable for me wear next to my body (wow, am I the only one?, there are an awful lot of animal fiber scarves and tee shirts out there!). I am not yet confident on substituting yarns. Is there a tidy guide somewhere to yarn substitutions for Field Guide patterns?

A bit about me:
Fibers: I haven’t found an animal fiber that doesn’t make me itch so, I’d love them for a cardigan but not for a scarf. I’ve enjoyed knitting with Quince & Co. Sparrow linen yarn in fingering weight but haven’t found many other linen yarns. Creative Linen yarn sounds intriguing for worsted weight projects but will it stretch or fade due to the cotton? Is there such a thing as DK or worsted weight linen?
Sustainability: I’ve spent most of my adult life working with endangered species and environmental causes, so sustainability is important to me. I prefer to avoid synthetics unless there is something that is sustainable. Most rayons are problematic.
Affordability: I’m not too concerned about this but I’d be very disappointed to knit something that behaved in a way I didn’t know enough to expect, for example, stretching or shrinking or fading or felting.
Learning style: I learn slowly and appreciate going at my own pace rather than taking an in-person class. I learn well from books and videos and apps.

Some thoughts regarding projects: I could use a thin cowl or scarf or something else made with plant fibers to protect my neck from the animal fibers of outerwear. I could use a hat that could be thrown in my day bag for drizzly days. It just needs to be functional enough to keep the drizzle off for a bit and it would be great if it could double as a sun hat. (I’ve crocheted in the round and am willing to learn to knit in the round.) I am also attracted to the Log Cabin patterns in Field Guide #4.

I thought the Albers shawl in Field Guide #6 Transparency might be a good place to start but the suggested yarns are discontinued and the curling at the edges is a bit more casual than my usual style. Could I make that shawl with Quince & Company’s linen yarns? Would it curl less? Could the two yarns be different colors of the same yarn instead of two different yarns as in the pattern?

Thank you for any advice!

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I cannot answer your last question on Albers, but you can make any project in any yarn that you like, just know that it may look different. If you like the idea of a scarf and want to learn new stitches, I would recommend using a stitch dictionary—you can find patterns with the right number of repeats.

Curling is a different issue. If you want a scarf that won’t curl you need to have limited stockinette bits. Mosaic could be interesting in garter. So many possibilities. Also look at Sequence knitting. Many of Cecelia’s patterns won’t curl.

You can do pretty much whatever you like, but as @sabograd says, it might look a little different. For something like a scarf or a pet blanket, where a precise fit isn’t crucial, that’s probably not a big deal.

For substitutions, i think as long as you’re working with the same yarn weight (fingering, DK, worsted, etc), you can pretty much do a 1:1 swap. There may be some differences in drape and stitch definition, but again, if you’re not trying for a precise fit, that might be okay. Maybe you get some different varieties of the same weight, crank out a couple swatches, and see how you feel about the way it looks.

Also, for another fiber, I might ask at your local LYS if they have any bamboo yarn. I know about 15 years ago, one of my LYSes just went gaga over the stuff. It’s fairly light and smooth against the skin, and i think the ball i bought was a DK weight. I have no memory of what I did with it, which means it’s probably lurking in my stash waiting to strike.

And definitely go at your own pace. Took my 20 years of knitting to get bold enough to cast on my first sweater. It’s still on the needles, but as soon as I finish the mitts I’m currently working on, I’ll go back to it.