Learning from the Best

  Deflected Doubleweave Scarves
  Madelyn's deflected doubleweave
silk scarves 
  Light and Lacy
  Light and lacy scarf in huck lace

Around the same time I started my job at Handwoven I heard from a former professor who wanted me to send a survey to my supervisor (in this case, Madelyn van der Hoogt) so they could rank how prepared I was to work in the “real world” and to make sure my college had trained me right. When the professor, who I should note is also a weaver, found out she would be contacting Madelyn her response was, “You mean THE Madelyn van der Hoogt?”

Of course, as a beginning weaver just diving into the world of looms I had no idea about Madelyn’s history and that I was working for a genuine, bona fide weaving celebrity. After working with Madelyn for three issues of Handwoven and especially after helping to put together the Handwoven Master Weaver Collection: Favorite Projects and Lessons from Madelyn van der Hoogt, I completely understand why weavers everywhere look up to the Divine Miss M.

First off, Madelyn is an exceptional weaver. One only needs to look at the projects in her eBook from the elegant black and white deflected doubleweave silk scarves on the cover to the luxurious light and lacy scarves—each piece is well thought out, well woven, and beautiful.

Second, when Madelyn writes about weaving or weave structures, she does so in a way that makes it all seem so simple. While I’ve not had the privilege of attending one of her classes at the Weavers’ School, I have learned a great deal from her projects, articles, and (of course) her Ask Madelyn answers.

Third, Madelyn remembers what it’s like to be a beginning weaver and is not afraid to admit past or recent mistakes. She was not born weaving, angels did not pop out of the warp the first time she opened a shed; rather, as she put it if anyone saw her first weaving, 'You might ask: “Should this person be a weaver?'” Her skill comes from years of practice and learning from mistakes. Madelyn makes you feel that if she could do it then anybody can learn to weave—and personally I believe her. 

Madelyn’s Master Weaver Collection eBook is the best of all these worlds. It includes instructions for weaving nine beautiful projects as well as three meaty weave structure articles on twill, lace, and deflected doubleweave. I hope others find it as inspiring and educational as I have.


Christina Garton

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