My mom used Coco Loco, or at least I think that's what it was, as a substitute for coconut milk in a curry recipe once. If you don't know what Coco Loco is, it's that sweetened and canned coconut stuff for Pina Colada's, Chi chi's, or your general coconut flavored dacquiri or margarita.
If I hadn't known she did that, I would have probably liked the curry well enough. Plus, I'm not much of a fan of sweetened coconut drinks with umbrellas or floating seared pineapple.
I'm sure my general dislike for fluffy drinks of any type--especially those that are handed to you by a barista--might be because I used to date a guy whose penchant was for anything sweetened and fluffy: Hot chocolate with extra whipped cream, your assorted swirly strawberry drink at the local chain drink's joint, or the dreaded Pink Monkey. Worse, whenever we went out, after a bit of an argument, he'd order a double gin and tonic and I'd order the frilly drink and when the waiter brought the drinks over, he'd pretend to sip the gin and tonic, look this way and that, and when the timing was perfect, he'd kick me under the table so I knew it was okay to switch drinks.
But the whole substituting thing. I often think about these things when it comes to knitting and designing. Because, let's face it, there aren't too many knitters out there who are purists when it comes to substituting or selecting yarns for a given project. Many of us (not me) will be militant about certain cast on techniques or choosy about needle choice--someone even asked me the other day about what type needles I use when working with a certain fiber and I said: "The right size"--but I tell you what: there are even fewer of us who will actually use whatever yarn that is specified in the pattern.
Not that substituting isn't a good thing. There are all sorts of reasons to sub; for example, you might want to use something already in your stash (that's a good one), or maybe you are allergic to a particular fiber (another good reason) or you don't have the funds (yup). But some days, I see projects with subbed yarns that literally curl my toe(s).
Good news is, many knitters know a bad sub when they see it, and generally fess up. And I'll be the first one to say that the Lion Brand Cotton-Ease was about the worst choice for a skirt, ever. And I'll never ever knit a scarf with anything resembling mohair or angora again. I still have stuff stuck in my eyelashes after three long years of picking at them. And if it weren't for that new-ish Max Factor mascara and some heavy plastic eyeglass frames, you'd all swear I was Marilyn Manson in disguise.
On other news: I'm having a GREAT subbing experience with the Track Stitch Tunic from the Loop-d-Loop Crochet book. It calls for the Summer Tweed by Rowan, but I'm using the new O-Wool. I am LOVING it, and as I crochet, I dream of knitting with it. I have the back of the tunic nearly completed, and I'm finding that it isn't difficult at all to crochet, even the shaping part, which is minimal--only the armholes and shoulders really have shaping. I cannot wait to complete it. (And I still haven't started new socks, so I'm in a quandary, here.)