Newer weavers often ask weaving teachers or more experienced weavers what yarn would make a good scarf, towels, blanket, or rug. They also often ask whether a yarn they already have would work well as warp and/or weft. Those are both really hard questions for anyone to answer without a caveat. I tend to answer with my opinion but then add, “It would be a good idea to sample.” Mostly that last part is self-preservation. If I didn’t do that, I’d find myself staring at the ceiling at 2 a.m. wondering whether I had led someone down a path that wasn’t going to be fun or successful.
Those exchanges are part of the reason I love Yarn Labs so much. Yarn Labs take some of the stress out of trying a new-to-you yarn. They have been a regular feature of Handwoven for quite some time. Here are some of the different yarns that were showcased in 2021. (You can find out about the Yarn Labs in other years by looking through our indices.):