Yarn Swatching 3 Ways

Yarn Swatching 3 Ways

By Benjamin Krudwig

What will this yarn look like when I weave with it? As a weaving instructor, I get this question every time I teach. While it is a great question, it's one that's hard to answer because each yarn is so different.

A few years ago, we did a yarn study with the Zoom Loom, but with the rise in popularity of tapestry weaving, it was time to weave weft-faced swatches. For each yarn, I wove a sample on the Zoom Loom in a balanced plain-weave, a weft-faced weave on the Easel Weaver, and I also knit a swatch. The results were enlightening, and could be used in the planning phase of a project or when buying yarn to weave with!

Without further ado, here are the yarns and results!


Universal Yarns Angora Lace - Foghorn - For each of these samples, the yarn was used doubled.

tonal yarn

tonal swatches

As you can see, the differences in application are stunning. The knit swatch has a pooled look, the weft-faced swatch is almost a gradation, and the Zoom Loom swatch is almost speckled.

Multi-colored variegated

Hedgehog Fibers in Raku

multi-colored variegated

multi-colored variegated swatches

With the variegated yarn, the results couldn't have been more different. The knit swatch looks like an impressionistic painting, the weft-faced swatch looks like there were multiple yarns used to create a complicated color pattern, and the Zoom Loom swatch has a subtle plaid look to it.


Brooklyn Tweed Arbor (hand dyed on white)

speckle yarn

speckle swatches

The speckle yarn, due to the spacing between each stitch or row created striking results. In the knit swatch the speckles are further apart and has a confetti-like look. The weft-faced swatch reads very watery, and the Zoom Loom swatch looks very mottled.



barberpole marl yarn

barberpole swatches

Admittedly, this is my favorite grouping of swatches, and it all has to do with how the marl yarn works up. It can look very busy in the skein, but in each of the swatches, the subtle color texture is what reads. The Zoom Loom square nearly has a tweed-like effect, while the knit and weft-faced swatches have a far more subtle texture.


Round Mountain Fibers Gannet Pink

self-striping yarn

self-striping swatches

This is a yarn that everyone has in their stash, and not everyone loves how it knits up. The striping quality is totally dependent on the length of each color repeat, and will not always work out in your project. When woven on the Easel Weaver, the stripes are apparent and when woven in a diagonal method, you can really manipulate the look of the piece. This is a fun way to get a ton of pattern while using only 1 yarn. The Zoom Loom swatch was one of the more surprising swatches; it nearly became log cabin!

Have you had any interesting results weaving with uniquely dyed yarns? Lets us know on Instagram by using the hashtag #schachtspindle in your post!

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