Reading 200 Ask Madelyns

Reading 200 Ask Madelyns may make you a better weaver.

Susan E. Horton Aug 22, 2019 - 3 min read

Reading 200 Ask Madelyns Primary Image

Madelyn's Black and White Silk Scarves from Handwoven January/February 2007 remain popular today. Photo by Joe Coca.

For the past two weeks or so, I’ve been reading our collection of Ask Madelyn blogs. I was working on the new Long Thread Media website, and it turns out that there were many, many Ask Madelyns—maybe as many as 300. I’m afraid to find out, but I feel like I may have reviewed 200. Ostensibly, my job was to take out extra returns and weird formatting, but I kept getting caught up in the subject matter, which slowed my productivity to a virtual standstill. “She does what with her lease sticks? Huh? Maybe I’ll just read a bit more to see how she does that. Oh look, there’s one on how to determine reed setts, I’ll clean that one up next.”

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Madelyn doesn't advocate spreading your warp with toilet paper or old nylons! Photo by George Boe.

Madelyn van der Hoogt knows more about selvedges and how to get tidy ones than the rest of us put together. Lucky for me, I too may now know more about selvedges than many of you. Based on the number of Ask Madelyns on the subject, selvedges continue to be the bane of many weavers, beginning and otherwise. Other hot topics were warping, temples, reed setts, weft angles, and reading drafts. Marguerite Porter Davison’s upside-down tie-ups in A Handweaver’s Pattern Book also came up frequently.

Other possible cover boy mvdh

Huck lace came up a few times and I even saw a post with this little guy in it, Madelyn's dog, Huck. Sadly, Huck has since passed away. Photo courtesy of Madelyn van der Hoogt.

Halfway through my reviews, I decided I needed to re-watch her warping video Warping Your Loom, because I had learned that Madelyn is a far better weaver than I am. After twenty-five years of weaving, my techniques haven’t improved or changed much, and they could use a refresher. I’m also going to use a temple on the baby blanket I’m currently threading, something I probably wouldn’t have done prior to reading about how she uses them.

Check out some of the Ask Madelyn’s on the new website. You may think you know everything there is to know about selvedges, but I bet you don’t. And please excuse the weird formatting in a few of them. Those might be the ones where I got distracted.

Weave well, Susan