Thank you everyone for the positive thoughts you have directed towards my neck muscles… we are definitely feeling the benefit. I saw the physiotherapist yesterday and I must admit that she has helped quite a bit too. I have the oddest-looking stretching exercise to do (10 times every 1-2 hours throughout the day) but it is very effective at loosening up the tension on my left side.
So my neck has been slowly improving and the weaving has slowly been growing. Extremely slowly on Monday, very slowly on Tuesday but only moderately slowly on Wednesday. (Today was a teaching-in-Glasgow today so I have spent the day talking rather than weaving.)
Unusually for me, I have been using a temple on this warp. It is quite dense so it doesn’t have a huge amount of draw-in without one, but as my shuttle throwing is still a bit wayward I definitely feel better for having the extra help at the edges. I find that the trickiest part is knowing where I am, when I advance the temple and most of the pattern near the fell is obscured. I should just do a repeat (or half a repeat) consistently, but my preferred amount is about 2/3 of a repeat so I have only my own contrariness to blame.
And in any case, after considering the options and doing a bit more experimentation to scale the pattern up, we’ve actually settled on a design where the treadling is very simple. But now I am accustomed to weaving advancing twills on the dobby I have become spoiled and lazy! I actually have to remember where I am in the sequence… what a shocker. I originally tied up all 14 treadles when I was trying out different options, but in the end only needed 8 so I have untied the others to reduce confusion.
The threading is what I think of as a ‘medium-slow’ advance. So, for instance, the first little group is 1-2-3-4 then 1-2-3-4 again and then 1-2-3-4-5 to advance one step. The parallel line is offset by 3 shafts, so 1 is followed by 4, 2 by 5 and so on.
In fact the edge of the cloth isn’t quite at the edge of the draft. I have been somewhat awed by the shrinking powers of the Venne cotton, and I wanted to be on the safe side when I scaled the draft up to full width. I sampled with 1508 ends, then dropped a dozen ends off each side — see the raggedy sample below — and the narrower warp actually came out almost perfectly on target (well, 1 cm over) so I decided to keep it.
The colours aren’t coming out very accurately in any of these pictures but the overall shot below is probably the least accurate… I include it anyway, because it shows that actual weaving really has been accomplished! In fact, there are a couple of turns around the cloth beam now.