Having Fun with Rya Knots

What is your operating system? I am not referring your computer or mobile device. I am talking about the mindset behind your weaving endeavors. Quality, quantity, visual appeal? Decide what kind of weaver you intend to be, and you will operate out of that.

Tying rya knots is new for me. Each 4 1/2″ / 12 cm cut piece of wool yarn (I have an assortment of Åsborya, Tuna, Jason Collingwood rug wool, Mattgarn, and some novelty knitting yarn) is tied around two pairs of warp ends, producing a shaggy pile. Threaded for rosepath, two pattern repeats are to be woven as background between each row of rya knots, using doubled fine wool as weft.

Tying rya knots. Fine wool for rosepath background.
Fine Borgs Mora wool, doubled, on the shuttle forms the background rosepath cloth for rya knots. The knots stay on the front of the cloth, leaving the back of the cloth flat.

Certainly, we do aim for quality in our woven creations. Being intentional, that mindset works like an operating system. Everything from choosing materials to practicing for improvement reflects that foundational mindset. We can decide on an operating system for our lives, too.

You are gifted. Maybe your talent is design, or efficiency of motion, or color expression. You have other gifts, too, that spill into your relationships, such as problem solving, leading, or serving. Choose love as your operating system. When your gifts operate out of love, your gifts are not wasted. The fabric of relationships in your life will reflect the strength and grace of your operating system.

May your fabric quality be stunning!

With love,

8 thoughts on “Having Fun with Rya Knots

  1. This is so beautiful. I have the yarns and knotting pattern for a Finnish Ryijy kit from SO-VE-LA that would have come with a pre-woven backing. I want to weave a prettier backing than plain white cotton so finding this post was Heaven sent! Thanks for putting it up. Jo

    1. Hi Jo,

      How fun to have a Finnish Ryijy kit! I’m thrilled to hear that this post fit into your plans. I know your project will be lovely!

      Happy weaving,

  2. Karen, please could I ask what warp you’ve used and the sett? I’ve been browsing through your posts and not only admire your weaving expertise but also the calm and well-stated theological observations. Jo

    1. Jo,
      The warp is 20/2 Borgs cotton, bleached. The Bora wool weft is used doubled.

      The sett is 14 ends, doubled, per centimeter (28 epc). I am using a metric reed that is 70/10 cm, with 2 ends per heddle, and 4 ends per dent. Warp width is 29 cm.

      The imperial equivalent to a 70/10 cm reed would be about 17 1/2 dents per inch, which doesn’t exist, of course. I would go up to a 20 dent, rather than down to a 15 dent reed. The sett would be approximately 70 epi (If I’m doing the math correctly).

      You can find the draft for this rya piece in “The Big Book of Weaving,” by Laila Lundell, p. 124, called “A Boa with Rya Knots.” (I don’t have a use for such a boa, especially in Houston, so I’m making decorative pillows instead.)

      Thank you for your kind words. I’m always happy when someone gains more than weaving insights when they visit my “virtual” studio.

      Hope that helps!

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