This is a question I get a lot. And it’s a good one. Unfortunately I don’t really have a good answer. I have what’s called a “stash”. Lots of yarn of various weights, materials and colors. I have them separated by size or thickness as well as type of material. It is the easiest way to find something quickly but I must also admit that creatively is also the least satisfactory I used to have them all group by colour which I loved but I was starting to have trouble remembering which was Mercerized Cotton and which Tencel. They look very much alike on their cones. Mercerized cotton has been through a chemical process in which the fibre goes through a sodium hydroxide solution which causes the fibres to become stronger, to take dye more readily and becomes shinier. Tencel is the brand name of a rayon product called Lyocell. Tencel is a very strong and soft yarn created from wood fibres.
But how do I choose? I start with a color. Almost always! And then I choose something that looks nice with it. I can’t explain that part- it just happens. Like knowing which top to wear with those pants. It just feels right. Sometimes I start with a pattern and choose colours to go with it. But usually that is only if I have woven that pattern before and I want to repeat it in a different colour scheme . As for the final product, I usually make scarves, towels or yardage so it’s pretty easy to figure out. Let the next project’s planning begin!