Ask Madelyn

Have a question, just ask Madelyn! Each week Madelyn van der Hoogt answers your questions on weaving, looms, and handwoven cloth. Want to learn how to weave a tabby border around twill? Ever wondered what, exactly, tabby is? Madelyn has the answers to these questions and much, much more. Explore the archives or ask your own question by emailing Madelyn at Madelyn.vanderHoogt@fwcommunity.com.

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Tips for Beating the Weft

Hi Madelyn! I am having a lot of trouble knowing how to beat in the weft the right amount. My pieces don’t always look like the photos (if I’m weaving from project directions in a kit or in Handwoven magazine), and I’m never sure what “firm” beat or “gentle” beat really means. If I weave…

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How to Handle Unused Shafts

Hi Madelyn, What do I do if I want to weave a 4-shaft pattern on my new 8-shaft loom (Mighty Wolf)? I thought that I would just ignore four of the shafts. However, some of the weaving websites indicate that there can be an issue (although they did not elaborate what the issue was) if…

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Designing with Warp Rep

Dear Madelyn, I have been asked to make a cotton rug that is warp dominant with a handpainted warp. I have been researching warp rep, and I am wondering if it would work well to simply have two handpainted warps and weave with the usual thick/thin wefts so that one warp shows on one side…

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Weaving to Square

Hi Madelyn! I keep seeing the instructions “weave to square” in Handwoven projects and I’m not sure exactly what that means or how to weave to square. Can you help? —Mary Ann Hi Mary Ann! I think I might have addressed this before, but it is worth a bit more attention. “Weaving to square” usually means…

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Winding a Warp with Complex Color Order

Hello Madelyn, In the March/April 2016 issue of Handwoven, pages 30-32 (Ozark Quilter Towels), there is a Warp Color Order for Towel #1 and a Draft. I don’t understand what colors correspond to the numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4 in the Draft. Also, if there are two threads per dent in the reed, does…

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How to Modify Weaving Drafts for Yarn Substitutions

Hi Madelyn! I want to use the Rose and Compass draft in the November/December 2014 issue of Handwoven to weave napkins using Maurice Brassard’s 8/2 Cottolin (the article calls for 10/2 unmercerized cotton). I want to end up with napkins about the same size as in the article (20-1/2″) when they are finished and hemmed.…

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Ask Madelyn: Weaving with Two Shuttles

Dear Madelyn, I am weaving a rug with two shuttles. My problem is I cannot figure out how to weave so that I always catch the end warp thread on both sides. Is this even possible? Thank you for your help, —Judy Hi Judy! It frequently happens when you are alternating two shuttles that the edge…

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How to Deal with Very Short Warps

Hi Madelyn, I would love to see an article in Handwoven about how to warp a loom with very short warps. I have one on the loom right now that is 75 inches long. My loom is 60 inches deep. The distance the warp has to travel from the back beam to the shafts is quite long. Short…

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How to Re-Sley a Mis-Sleyed Reed

Hi Madelyn, I just set up a project on a Glimåkra floor loom and realized my warp sett is wrong. I have sleyed 1/dent in a 12-dent reed and I want to sley 1/dent in an 8-dent reed. What is the easiest way to do this? —Christy Hi Christy! You can, of course, remove all…

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How to Warp a Loom for an Overshot Rug

Hi Madelyn! I am planning to weave Tom Knisely’s Overshot Rug (March/April 2007, pages 32–34). His warping instructions are for front-to-back warping, but I usually warp back to front (I’m a new weaver, though, so would be willing to learn other methods for how to warp a loom). There is a reference in the article…