How to Substitute Red Heart Crocheting Yarn

Updated July 19, 2017

Substituting affordable Red Heart yarn for another brand is common in knitting and crocheting. Sometimes the yarn called for in a pattern is difficult to find. Or perhaps you want to use yarn from your stash. Colour preferences may also inspire you to switch yarns. The standard yarn weights, as set by the Craft Yarn Council of America, and the yarn's fibre content will aid you in determining which Red Heart yarn will provide the best substitution in the pattern you want to use.

Review the yarn recommended in the pattern materials list. Note the yarn weight and fibre content.

Check the label on the Red Heart yarn you want to use instead. The yarn weight must be the same. For example, if a pattern calls for a worsted weight (#4) yarn, the substitute yarn must also be worsted weight (#4).

Check the fibre content of the yarn you wish to substitute and compare it to the yarn listed on the pattern. If you want the project to drape the same way and feel the same way, your yarn must be made from the same fibres.

Consider the colour of the yarn recommended in the pattern, especially if the yarn is multicoloured and the project takes advantage of the natural colour patterning in that yarn. You will not be able to duplicate the colour patterning of the original yarn when you substitute Red Heart yarn because each manufacture's colouring process is unique. What you can do is choose a yarn that has its own colour patterning and take advantage of that.

Read the pattern to see how many yards of the recommended yarn are needed to complete the pattern. Be sure to buy the same amount in the substitute Red Heart yarn. Go by the yardage or the weight in grams or ounces, not the number of balls. A ball of the recommended yarn may have more or less yardage than a ball of similar Red Heart yarn.

Following the pattern directions, crochet a test swatch in the substitute Red Heart yarn and make sure the gauge is correct. This is the most important step to successfully substituting Red Heart yarn. You may need to switch to a different size crochet hook to get the correct gauge.


If you want to substitute Red Heart acrylic yarn for a 100% wool or other type of yarn, focus on the weight of the substitute yarn to make sure it matches that of the recommended yarn, and do a test swatch to check the gauge.


Always make a test swatch in the new yarn to check the gauge. This is the only way to tell if your project will turn out the same as the pattern.

Things You'll Need

  • Crochet pattern
  • Red Heart Yarn with label
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About the Author

Katelyn Kelley worked in information technology as a computing and communications consultant and web manager for 15 years before becoming a freelance writer in 2003. She specializes in instructional and technical writing in the areas of computers, gaming and crafts. Kelley holds a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and computer science from Boston College.