A yarn equivalents chart is important because it helps knitters find appropriate substitutes for specific yarn varieties. Knitters use the chart to find yarn equivalents for varieties that are out of production, not available in a local store or too expensive for a project.
Yarn manufacturers do not use a standardized classification system for yarn sizes and types. Yarn equivalents charts, also called yarn comparison charts, help knitters identify similar styles across brands. The comparison is essential for people using older knitting patterns that reference outdated or unavailable yarns. Knitters who do not live near craft stores use the charts to find and order appropriate yarn.
A number of yarn manufacturers and knitting organizations produce yarn equivalents charts. Lion Brand Yarns offers a chart that covers all of the brand's yarn categories. The chart provides the name of each yarn, describes its characteristics and provides a variety of equivalents from other major yarn brands. The Lion Brand Yarns chart includes both current and discontinued varieties.
Crafts Americana Group publishes a yarn equivalents chart on its Knit Picks website. The Knit Picks chart divides yarns into seven categories, including worsted and sport, and provides a list of substitution options within each category.