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 madelynv@interweave.com.

AskMadelyn

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…

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Ladder Hemstitching Handwovens

Hi Madelyn! I am working a ladder hemstitching between the hem and body of a towel. I am weaving with 8/2 cotton at 20 ppi. For the spacer in my ladder hemstitching, I used one ply of a 3-ply mop cotton. I want a small space between the two rows of hemstitching. My process is…

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Calculating Take-Up and Predicting Final Size

Hi Madelyn, I seem to struggle with calculating the proper warp width in order to wind up with the width I want after weaving and finishing and how to weave under tension on the loom to achieve the finished length I want. Even when I think I’ve allowed enough width and length, the piece always…

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Seamless Doublewide Blankets with a Smooth Fold

Hi Madelyn, I am planning to weave a double-wide baby blanket. I’m using Cascade Superwash Sport in plain weave with stripes of color in the warp. The Master Yarn Chart suggests 15 ends per inch for plain weave. I’m planning to use a 10-dent reed (I don’t have a 15-dent reed). I’m wondering about the…

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Pearl vs. Unmercerized Cotton: What’s the Difference?

Hello Madelyn, Can you please explain why so many weaving patterns for towels call for unmercerized cotton, whereas other items like mats and runners usually call for mercerized? I have woven with mercerized cotton and enjoy it (for towels and other items), but haven’t found a clear explanation why one would choose one of these…

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Too-Tight Floating Selvedge Threads

Hi Madelyn, I’m weaving two 78″ (on the loom) scarves with Cascade 220 fingering-weight wool in a 2/2 twill weave, one scarf right after the other. I’m noticing the floating selvedge threads, one on each side, are getting progressively tighter. I’m almost finished and think I’ll make it but would like to avoid this in…

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Ask Madelyn: Plague of the Opposites

Madelyn is very short on weaving questions (click here to submit one!), so today she answered a more general question that a lot of people have about weaving. ~Andrea Recent Ask Madelyn questions have reminded me of an aspect of learning to weave that I think of as The Plague of the Opposites. The people…