Free Guide to Choosing, Designing, and Weaving with Yarn

Learn everything you need to know about choosing, designing, and weaving with yarn in this FREE eBook for beginner weavers.

Anita Osterhaug Jul 2, 2023 - 6 min read

Free Guide to Choosing, Designing, and Weaving with Yarn Primary Image

Knitting yarns with weaving potential? Photo by Sarah Vombrack on Unsplash

Yarn is the joy and sometimes the bane of handweavers. Choose the right yarns, and a project sings. Choose the wrong yarns and, instead of weaving a handsome pattern, you can spend a lot of time and money producing a nondescript mess.

To help you explore how to use yarns that you might have in your leftover knitting stash, yarns you see when you are out and about at your LYS, or even on-line we've put together a free guide on weaving with yarns, Free Guide to Choosing, Designing, and Weaving with Yarn with "handy" projects that can be done on any loom.

Just as a master chef knows how varied ingredients, preparation methods, and heat will work together to produce a succulent dish, knowing the relationship of yarns and weave structures enables you to create a sumptuous fabric. If you weave projects exactly as written, you will likely get good results. But what if you have to substitute yarns? Or what if you want to design a project around some particularly lovely yarn. There are so many things to consider: the grist (length/weight), elasticity, strength, shrinkage, even color. How will it work with other yarns in the project? Is there enough size difference to make an overshot pattern distinct? Is there enough color contrast to make a color-and-weave pattern pop?

When purchasing weaving supplies and selecting yarn for weaving, isn’t it true that one of the FIRST things you need to know is sometimes the LAST thing you find out. There’s nothing more frustrating than weaving happily along only to realize that you are about to run out of warp before you’ve woven the length you need! Or how about when you find an enticingly soft and lustrous skein at the yarn store, the label lists the knitting gauge, but how do you determine how that same yarn is going to respond to weaving and wet-finishing? Will it bloom, full, or shrink?


To avoid unnecessary guesswork and to help make the most of those beautiful yarns, we have put together this useful eBook to ensure your success in selecting the perfect weaving yarns. Start with an article providing valuable tips for determining the amount of yarn you need, including how to allow for loom waste and take-up. Then learn about designing with a new yarn for either a 2-shaft project or 4-shaft project, or start on the scarf pattern that we’ve included. Finally, take a look at our must-have guide to yarn for every weaver, including details on ends per inch, conversions, a reed chart, and more.

Sneak-Peek of the Hand Weaving Supplies You'll Learn About:

How Much Yarn Do You Need?

Learn how cloth contracts when it is released from being under tension on the loom, as shown in this photo.

The e-Book starts with a helpful article by Madelyn van der Hoogt, "How Much Yarn Do You Need?". Madelyn offers helpful strategies for determining loom waste, calculating warp length, and formulating the percentage of weft take-up to ensure you don't come up short in your endeavors.

A Guide to Designing for Weaving With a New Yarn by Marilyn Murphy

This beautiful scarf can be woven on 2 or 4 shafts and Marilyn gives you tips on adapting the pattern to your own yarn. Photo by Joe Coca

Next, Marilyn Murphy walks you through step-by-step methods for determining wraps per inch, weaving a sample, and wet-finishing a sample to assess fulling and to measure shrinkage. She's also included a beautiful scarf pattern to use on either a 2-shaft or 4-shaft loom.

A Weaver's Guide to Yarn

This two-page guide gives you tips and details about using some of our favorite yarns.

This free yarn guide is a must-have for every craft enthusiast! Besides listing yarn weight and ends-per-inch for a variety of fibers including wool, silk, linen, rayon, blends, and bamboo, you'll also find a "Reed Chart," a "Knitting-yarn directory," and a "Count System" for determining yardage. If you love weaving with yarn and enjoy experimenting with different fibers, then don't miss the opportunity to download this eBook.

Now is your chance to download these invaluable weaver’s yarn guides and tips for avoiding weaving mishaps. The yarn charts, tables, and measuring techniques included in these free guides will help ensure your weaving success.

The three helpful tutorials included in this Free Guide to Choosing, Designing, and Weaving with Yarn will appeal to both novice and experienced weavers alike! Whether you are new to weaving yarns or are a skilled weaver who has been looking for some great tips and helpful resources, you’ll appreciate the information (and the free scarf pattern) included in this free eBook.

Whether you want to weave from a recipe or whip up a frothy creation from your own imagination, knowing how to choose and design with yarn will make you a happier, more successful handweaver. When you choose the right hand-weaving supplies, you'll be well on your way to producing just the fabric you want.

Published 12/01/2017 Revised 08/04/2023