Having been warned about the risk of the fly shuttle taking flight off the loom altogether, I was expecting to be picking it up off the floor (or out of the walls) quite often. However, that hasn’t happened at all – it seems to be very comfortable on the shuttle race and in no hurry to leave it. The problem I have actually encountered is one of coordination: my coordination, that is.

A mistiming of my hands and feet, so that I end up launching the shuttle into a not-fully-open shed, results in absolute carnage! I am sorry that I don’t have a picture of the outcome, though it would be nasty viewing for those of a sensitive disposition towards warp threads… I shredded quite a few in my sample warp, but have only had one calamitous collision so far in this ‘proper’ warp. It was quite early on and I fully expected a few more, so concentrated on fixing it rather than documenting it. Slow and steady is the key – treadle, shuttle, beat, treadle, shuttle, beat – and no showing off, even to myself.

More minor collisions occur from time to time when I don’t manage the tension on the cords very well, and end up with the shuttle travelling over its own cord. This, fortunately, is a much lighter offence than, say, running the lawnmower over its own cable, though it makes a surprisingly loud noise! And I get this…


…which has to be disentangled before I can continue. (Sorry that’s blurred – it’s not an action shot, just an unfocused one).

My cough has finally abated, I am relieved to report, but now the (new) PC has failed catastrophically. Just as we managed to get the new-and-failed printer replaced! Why is it that we can’t have a week when everything is working and everyone is well?? Tomorrow we are due to get our aged boiler replaced. It is a tedious but necessary process, and I would simply like it to go smoothly and easily… but I can’t say I am feeling entirely optimistic.

Collisions” was posted by Cally on 8 May 2014 at

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5 Responses

  1. janetdawson

    I used a fly shuttle for the first time in Yesilyurt and had far less success than you, it seems. I DID launch the shuttle across the room a few times, and once right into the thigh of the lovely, patient woman trying to teach me. For a while, there were three of us weaving together: me at the loom, and one woman to either side to pick up the shuttle when it launched.

    I chose to blame loom design, though in my heart of heart I know that most of the blame lies at my own feet (just like the shuttle), since my mother got along quite famously on the same loom, drat her.

    • Cally

      That’s what I was expecting! Although luckily there are nobody’s thighs to impale but my own…

  2. Vicki

    I’ve launched a shuttle or two myself! I finally gave up on the fly shuttle all together – found it to be too difficult for my arthritic wrists and hands (although it was supposed to be easier on those). I just could never get the throw right!

  3. Kerstin

    Get a piece of string (or any yarn), make a loop ’round the shuttle-cord and the top of the beater (don’t “affix” it in any end, at least not to begin with). You may have to experiment with the length, but in principle: end of shuttle jumping over cord! (Don’t ask me why I “invented” that… )

    • Cally

      This is me not asking…! I will definitely have to see if I can rig something up, thanks.