Yarn Sub Needed for Old Pattern


I’m new to the community and thinking about trying a sleeveless sweater as a first major shaped project. I’ve been knitting off and on for just under 10 years and mostly worked on hats, scarves, slippers, fingerless mitts, and flat lace.

I was searching for a fitted sleeveless sweater and found Country Club Pullover Pattern #1152 on Free Vintage Knitting. I really like the style and the size is even pretty close, but none of the recommended yarns: Clark’s O.N.T. Mercerized Crochet, J. & P. Coats Mercerized Crochet, J. & P. Coats Big Ball Best Six Cord Mercerized Crochet, are available any more. It looks like they’re mostly #10 crochet thread and while I could easily enough find another cotton #10 crochet thread, I’ve been drooling over some silk-blend 20/2 yarn/thread.

Can anyone help me understand the difference between #10 crochet thread and 20/2 weaving yarn/thread? I read the articles here on grist and I tried searching for a conversion formula between crochet thread weights and 20/2 threads to no avail.

I hope someone can either help me figure out if this is a reasonable substitution or help me find another another similar pattern using modern yarns.


A search of 20/2 silk yielded cones of weaving yarn, I saw 100% silk, linen, and cotton (no blends) on Webs. I would think that a specialty weaving company might offer this weight in other varieties.
Good luck!

Thank you for taking the time to look around. I goofed a little in my original post- I mentioned 20/2 thread and silk blend. I had just been looking at 20/2 silk thread and Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca/Silk and got them confused. I also just found this master yarn chart Master Yarn Chart | Handwoven

From the chart:
Does 3-ply #10 crochet cotton; 3,050 yd/lb;
20/2 spun silk; 5,000 yd/lb;
20/2 silk; 4,900 yd/lb
14/2 alpaca/silk (80% alpaca, 20% silk) 3,472 yd/lb, make sense?

I think it’s saying that all of the yarns I had been considering are thinner than the #10 crochet thread the pattern calls for. Is this correct?

That is a question that I cannot answer, I’m sorry to say.
This link might be helpful to you:
yarn sub

In the knitting world, #10 crochet thread is I think equivalent to a lace weight yarn. What size needles does the pattern suggest? That might offer a guide. You might try calling WEBS customer service, they are very knowledgeable, and sometimes nothing beats talking to a real human being.

1 Like

Yes, the #10 is thicker than the yarns you mentioned. Check the knowledge pages on woolery.com, a trusted weaving/knitting/felting supplier. Interwoven Magazine has info on their site. The 20/2 is a 20-weight thread with 2 plies in it. Thread weight numbers get larger as the thread gets thinner, as it’s really a count of how many threads have to be laid side by side to cover a certain distance (inch, centimeter, etc.). Think about high thread count sheets, versus cheaper, lower thread count ones…

The #3, #10, etc, cited as crochet cotton sizes do the same thing, getting thinner as numbers go up, but aren’t exactly wraps per inch. I don’t know how they convert. The international textile standards are shifting to Tex numbers, which you will see on some spools of thread and yarns from elsewhere than US.

For less brain work, just compare gauge/needle sizes of the various yarns, to see what probably knits up similarly. And remember that a yarn with more give/stretch will knit up a touch tighter than one that has less, like all cotton.