How much yarn do you need to weave the pile for a rya rug? To answer this question, you will need to know:

1 – How long do you want the pile of the rya rug to be?

2 – How many rya threads are you going to tie per knot?

3 – How wide is your backing? How many knots are tied across each row?

4 – How long is the rya backing? How many rya rows are there?

5 – What is the yardage (or length) per skein or per kilo of the rya wool you will be using?

I will work through a couple of examples to give you an idea of how to calculate the amount of yarn required.

**1. Estimate the Length of the Rya Yarn**

To figure out how long the pile should be, do a sample test of stitching a few knots to determine what length of pile you would like to use and mearue the length with a ruler.

In this example, the pile length is approx. 1.4 inches or 3.5 cm in length. Double this figure as the pile will be folded as it forms the knot, so the length is double.

1.4 inches x 2 = 2.8 inches

3.5 cm x 2 =

**7 cm length**

I prefer to work in cm as the math is a bit easier to calculate, and the yarns that I use are calculated in meters rather than yards.

**2. Determine How Many Threads per Rya Knot**

While you are stitching the small sample, also try using 2, 3 and 4 threads per knot to see which you prefer.

The number of threads that you use will vary, depending on the type and thickness of the yarns you are using, and whether you like the pile to be packed closely together, or you prefer it to lie more flat once it is woven.

In this example, I am using **3 threads per knot**.

**Example No. 1**

16 inch x 30 inch Rya Rug *(40 cm x 75 cm)*

3 – Backing Width: 16 inches, *40 cm*

Warp Sett/EPI 8 warp threads

# Knots per Inch: 8/2 = 4

# Knots per Row: 4 x 16 = **64 Knots**

4 – Backing Length: 30 inches, *75 cm*

Spacing between rows of rya knots .5 inches, 1.25 cm

Total Rows: 30 inches / .5 = 60

or:* 75 cm / 1.25 cm = 60 Rows*

**Total # Knots**

64 knots x 60 rows = **3840 Knots**

To calculate the amount of Rya Yarn required:

Length of Cut Pile per knot

Length of Pile x # Threads per Knot

2.75 inches x 3 = 8.25 inches

*7 cm x 3 = 21 cm*

Total Length of Rya yarn = Length per knot x # Knots

8.25 Inches x 3840 Knots = 31680 Inches

**Total Yards: 31680 / 36 = 880 yards**

*21 cm x 3840 knots = 80640 cm*

*Total Meters = 80640 /100 = 807 Meters*

**Add Contingency**

Because you are working with short lengths of yarn that can be difficult to estimate accurately as you are working,

I suggest that you add an additional 20% – 25% Contingency to your total calculations.

Total Yards: 880 yards x 1.25 Contingency = **1100 yards**

*Total Meters: 807 meters x 1.25 Contingency = 1008 meters*

If you have extra yarn left over, it isn’t wasted. You can save it for your next project, use it for knitting or in a tapestry weaving project.

**Calculate the Total number of Skeins required for your Project.**

Now that you know the total length of yarn that you need, it is fairly simple to figure out how many skeins you need to purchase.

Most yarn skeins give a yardage of how much is in each skein, either in yards or meters

If the skein length is **300 meters** and you require **1008 meters**, simply

divide the total length / length per skein and round up to the next measure

1008 meters / 300 meters = 3.36 ~ **4 skeins**

If the skein length is 200 meters per skein

1008 meters / 200 meters = 5 skeins

If the skein length is **75 meters** per skein

1008 meters / 75 meters = 13.45 ~ **14 skeins**

**Example No. 2**

32 inch x 60 inch Rya Rug *(80 cm x 150 cm)*

3 – Backing Width: 32 inches, *80 cm*

Warp Sett/EPI warp threads

# Knots per Inch: 8/2 = 4

# Knots per Row: 4 x 32 = **128 Knots**

4 – Backing Length: 60 inches, *150 cm*

Spacing between rows of rya knots .5 inches, 1.25 cm

Total Rows: 60 inches / .5 = 120

or:* 150 cm / 1.25 cm = 120 Rows*

**Total # Knots**

128 knots x 120 rows = **15360 Knots**

To calculate the amount of Rya Yarn required:

Length of Cut Pile per knot

Length of Pile x # Threads per Knot

2.75 inches x 3 = 8.25 inches

*7 cm x 3 = 21 cm*

Total Length of Rya yarn = Length per knot x # Knots

8.25 Inches x 15360 Knots = 126720 Inches

**Total Yards: 126720 / 36 = 3520 yards**

*21 cm x 15360 knots = 322560 cm*

*Total Meters = 322560 /100 = 3225 Meters*

**Add Contingency**

Because you are working with short lengths of yarn that can be difficult to estimate accurately as you are working,

I suggest that you add an additional 20% – 25% Contingency to your total calculations.

Total Yards: 3520 yards x 1.25 Contingency = **4400 yards**

*Total Meters: 3225 meters x 1.25 Contingency = 4031 meters*

**Calculate # Skeins required**

Skein length = 300 meters

Total length required = 4031

4030 meters / 300 meters = 13.4 skeins ~ **14 skeins**

Skein length = 200 meters

4030 meters / 200 meters = 20 skeins

Skein length = 75 meters

4030 / 75 = 53.70 skeins ~ 54 skeins

The above calculations give you an estimate of the total amount of Rya yarn you will need to stitch your project.

Of course, this figure will also vary depending on the number of colours that you are using.

In a later article I will provide more information on how to estimate this.

*P.S. – If you happen to notice any errors in my calculations, could you please send me a message?
I normally do this using an excel spreadsheet. I have checked my figures, but I may have missed something.*

**Excel Rya Calculator**

I have added an Excel Spreadsheet that I use when calculating how much Rya wool is needed.

To use it enter your figures into the Red cells. The spreadsheet should do the rest.

At the bottom of the worksheet (in Blue) are estimates of standard yarn sizes.

Download the Rya Calculator here:

Rya Rug Calculator

Please Note:

*In the sample photos shown, I used a finer weight of linen yarn as I was out of the thicker weight of linen yarn. I used 2 ends of linen thread instead of one and threaded both ends through 1 heddle. Then threaded both ends though 1 dent, skip a dent etc. I find that making the backing cloth, you can have some flexibility in the yarns that you use. The important thing is the spacing of the warp/weft, so that there is space allowance for stitching the rya knots.*

**More about How to Weave a Rya Rug**

How to Stitch a Rya Rug

How to Weave Rya Rug Backing

**Rya Rugs**

History of the Rya Rug

Finnish Rya Rugs

Rya Rug Repair

Hemp Rya Tapestry

Rya Rug Video

How to Clean a Rya Rug – Craft Museum Finland

**Rya Rug Yarn Kits**

Although I am not currently able to weave the Rya rug backings, I am now able to supply some lovely quality rya rug backings that have been woven in Finland. I will be developing some traditional Finnish style Rya Kit designs and naturally plant dyed yarns, so that you can weave or stitch your own rya rug.

I will be selling these via my website at Paivatar Yarns or Contact me for more information.

**Rya Rug Tapestry Books**

The Ryijy-Rug Lives On Finnish Ryijy-Rugs 1778 – 2008. Book by Tuomas Sopanen, Leena Willberg

Hand-made C.U.M. Rya Rugs

Techniques of Rya Knotting

Hooked rugs & ryas;: Designing patterns and applying techniques

Handgenoopte C.U.M. Rya Tapijten

Rya Rugs – Design and Make Your Own by Melinda Byrd Byrdcall Studio