Yarn Substitution: Flaxen Silk for Wool

two skeins of purple for yarn substitution options: superwash DK and flaxen silk DK

Warm weather is just around the corner, which means it’s time for Flaxen Silk Fine and Flaxen Silk DK to shine! Plant fibers are often overlooked, especially since many popular patterns are designed for wool. Whether you’re allergic to wool, or are a wool lover planning your summer projects, here are some yarn substitution tips for using Flaxen Silk yarns in place of wool yarns! In this article, I’ll be comparing Flaxen Silk DK and Superwash DK.

General Considerations For Yarn Substitution

Before launching into specifics on subbing Flaxen Silk yarns for wool in different fabrics, here are some general things to keep in mind:

  • Wool is elastic; plant fibers are not. As a result, Flaxen Silk yarns do not substitute easily for wool in projects that require stretch, such as socks. Conversely, this means that they hold blocking beautifully!
  • The Flaxen Silk line takes dye differently than SweetGeorgia’s wool yarn lines. Colors will usually be lighter and softer on Flaxen Silk Fine than Tough Love Sock, for instance.

With that, let’s get specific! (Superwash DK swatches are on the left, Flaxen Silk DK swatches are on the right.)

yarn substitution knit cable comparisons in a purple shade

Solid/Textured Fabrics

Flaxen Silk yarns are easy to substitute for wool in simple, solid fabrics such as stockinette, garter, and double crochet (shown). These yarns will yield a comparable gauge to their wool counterparts. That said, gauge isn’t the only consideration.

yarn substitution crochet comparisons in a purple shade

When washed, wool blooms into a cohesive, melded fabric. (This is particularly true of non-superwash wool.) However, linen and silk do not. So while Flaxen Silk DK and Superwash DK can be worked at the same gauge, the Flaxen Silk fabric will be less structured/looser and have more drape, but no elasticity. This is not ideal for fitted pieces or pieces that rely heavily on the bounce of ribbing, but is fantastic for loose-fitting garments and accessories.

Flaxen Silk yarns have great stitch definition, perfect for showing off textures! And the extra drape means that the finished piece will flow beautifully when worn.

Some textured patterns that would work well in Flaxen Silk yarn include Faline by Emily Wood and Ponderosa by Tabetha Hedrick.


Lace projects might be the ideal context to substitute Flaxen Silk yarns for wool! The linen/silk blend holds lace patterns open and gives crisp definition to decreases.

yarn substitution knit lace comparisons in a purple shade

Some great lace patterns for Flaxen Silk yarn are Follow the Tide by Tabetha Hedrick and After Midnight by Charlotte Lee.


Substituting Flaxen Silk yarns for wool in cabled patterns can be tricky since cables often rely on the lush bounce of wool to give them definition. However, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done!

yarn substitution knit cable comparisons in a purple shade

Cables in Flaxen Silk yarn will show up in lower relief than in wool. They will also block out farther than wool cables, since wool cables will spring inwards and draw the fabric in smaller. Careful swatching is key to make sure you achieve the correct gauge, and that the resulting fabric is not too loose/holey. When substituted thoughtfully, Flaxen Silk yarns yield uniquely soft, slinky cabled projects—great for tops, loose-fitting sweaters, and shawls. As with other textured fabrics, avoid pieces with lots of negative ease, since cables won’t stretch as desired.

If you’re interested in using Flaxen Silk yarn in cabled projects, try Hazel River by Fiona Ellis or Decadent Garden by Emily Wood.

Go Forth and Use Flaxen Silk Yarn!

Substituting Flaxen Silk Fine and Flaxen Silk DK requires a little smart thinking (and maybe a bit of swatching), but it’s totally doable! Not only that, but the results are special and rewarding; this article just scratches the surface. To take your yarn substation research a little deeper, be sure to check out the incredibly helpful resource: yarnsub.com. There, you’ll be able to enter a specific yarn, and get a whole list of alternatives and what makes them work/not work.

Have fun with your linen/silk projects!

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2 thoughts on “Yarn Substitution: Flaxen Silk for Wool

  1. JOAN MORGAN says:

    Thank you! Just for acknowledging those of us who cannot wear sheep’s wool. So many kits are wool only. I thank you for explaining the substitution considerations and showing how the plant fibers work up as opposed to wool. Thank you Sweet Georgia, I love your yarn.

    1. I’m so glad this helps!

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