Weaving Techniques

Weaving Techniques || Rya Knots

Rya Knot| The Weaving Loom

Rya Knots are what you most often find at the bottom of a weave to create a fringe. However, the rya knot can be placed where ever to create a more unique and interesting composition. These knots are also used when making a shaggy carpet texture, because the knot holds the thread ends in place.

I personally weave from the top down, so I will put my rya knots in upside down. However, there are a lot of weavers I know that work bottom up. I recommend that you always put a few plain weave rows in to give your rya knots stability. For this example I’m starting from the bottom up.

I wove three rows of plain weave as a support. Next I added my rya knots. In my example I used four strands of worsted weight thread to make a medium thickness (learn more about yarn weight here). To create the rya knot you will need to use at least two warp threads for each knot.

I used four warp (two on each side) threads since I’m making a more medium knot. The number of warp threads you go across will effect the width of your rya knot. If you are making a wider rya knot you will need a thicker thread weight or more numbers of strands, otherwise it can make your rya knot look limp.


Here are the steps to creating the rya knots:

Step 1 – I placed my four strands of yarn over my warp threads.

Step 2 – bring the right side of your yarn behind and around your warp threads (I’m going around two warps in my example. Next bring the left side of your yarn behind and around your other warp threads so that the ends meet up in the middle.

Rya Knot| The Weaving Loom

Step 3 – Since we are starting with the rya knots (bottom up weaving) we pull the end pieces below the top knot area. If you were ending with the rya knots (top down weaving) you would pull the end pieces above the top knot area.

Quick Tip: before I pull my ends down and tighten the top knot, I match up both sides of the end pieces and then pull evenly, so that my knot ties with all ends at about the same length. Trimming is usually required for a more uniform fringe, but this helps not waste as much thread.

After you added your row of rya knots, I recommend weaving at least two rows of plain weave to stabilize the knots. You can then create the rest of your piece as you like. It is also possible to add another row of rya knots above.

As always I recommend that when you’re starting out be open to experimenting until you find the amount of thread and size of rya knots you like. This can also change depending on the look of the piece you are working on.

Check out my time-saving tip on cutting strands for rya knots here.

In one of my earlier weavings I skipped the step of adding support rows under my rya knots and had to do a crazy tying of warp threads together (see picture below) in order to gain stability in my weave after cutting it off the loom. Trust me you do not want to do this, lessons were learned!

Rya Knot| The Weaving LoomDo you like how rya knots look in weaves? Have you tried making them before? I’d love to hear from you!

Happy Weaving!


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  • ashlynn
    November 16, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Hi Kate! Do you have any ideas on how to achieve the shorter shaggy look with rya knots? This look is more carpet like. Is it simply a matter of cutting the yarn length closer to the actual knot?

    • Kate
      November 16, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      Hi Ashlynn, Yes you’re absolutely correct, to get a shaggy carpet look you would just make your threads shorter and attach them as a rya knot. Once they were all attached, you then could cut them shorter if you like, but in order to waste less yarn, I would cut them short to begin with and then cut them afterwards just to clean up the look. I also recommend putting 2 or 3 plain weave rows in to support your shag after a few rows of rya knots. Depending on how large or small your rya knots are, maybe you could do two or three rya knot rows and then 2 or 3 plain weave rows, then rya again, etc. Also begin and end with plain weave rows to lock it all in. I hope this helps!

  • ashlynn
    November 16, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Extremely helpful – Can’t wait to give it a go. Thank you, Kate!

  • the day I learned to weave.
    December 13, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    […] I was so glad there was some pink yarn to work with. Favorite! I tried my hand at basic tabby, Rya knots (love) and loops. We also learned how to Soumak which I didn’t do during the class but I did […]

  • sofia
    February 11, 2016 at 6:27 am

    Hello Kate!!
    I{m Sofia from Argentina! I found your blog a few days ago and I can not stop reading it!
    I weave with a diferent type of loom, but I want to start right now to use this type!!!
    Congratulations for your blog! Its the best!!!!!! thank you for sharing all your knowledge!!!!

    • Kate
      February 11, 2016 at 2:13 pm

      Hi Sofia, welcome and thank you for your kind words 🙂

  • Eugenia mayorha
    June 7, 2016 at 8:05 am

    Hola. Estoy fascinada con tu blog. Me encanta como nos ayudas. Gracias. Y seguire leyendote.

  • Rachel
    December 23, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    this may seem like a silly question since I am having trouble finding the answer, but how do I avoid having holes in between the rya knots? After I am done if I continue weaving, it is left with holes on either side of the knot – how do I weave to fill the spaces without messing it up? Thanks!!

    • Kate
      December 27, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      That isn’t a silly question at all. There are a few options to lessening holes, depending on the look you’re going for:
      1) use really thick yarn to make rya knots with, or use multiple yarns in one knot. The bulk will help cover gaps
      2) loosen your rya knots a bit, so that they have more volume on the sides and hide the gaps better.
      3) plain weave rows above and below the rya knots to help lock the warp threads in place.
      4) rya knot a second row, where you knot the opposite warp threads together, so in-between the gaps will be other rya knots.

      Hopefully one or more of these options will give you what you’re looking for 🙂

  • Keisha Guzik
    January 19, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Hi, Kate:

    First off, I’m so glad I tried Maysville cotton warp for my weaves per one of your posts. It’s perfect. 🙂

    Secondly, I was wondering what the trick is to getting rya fringe to hang from the very bottom of a weave. I only know about creating the kind of fringe that blossoms out a bit, like a full skirt, and I assume it has to do with the support tabby underneath. Thanks!

    • Kate
      January 22, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      Well the thickness and amount of yarn is what causes the fringe to be bushier. If you want a thinner rya knot, try using thin yarns. You can also just tie off your warp threads and use them as a fringe. I kind of did that here, except that I was only left with short warp threads, so I made a faux warp thread fringe http://www.theweavingloom.com/weaving-techniques-weaving-plaid/

      Let me know if you have anymore questions on this.

      • Keisha Guzik
        February 5, 2017 at 3:27 pm

        Thanks! I’ve tried using less yarn, but my fringe ends up still poofing out but just looking more wispy. I think I need to work on not pulling my rya knots so tight maybe. I’ll try thinner yarns too.