A couple days ago, I was weaving merrily along, pounding through yardage at a rapid clip, when suddenly shaft #17 started floating. It would work correctly for an inch or so, then float again, requiring laborious unweaving. I struggled with it for several hours and then gave up in disgust. I’d had this problem before, but none of the usual tricks – cleaning the dust out of the dobby box, removing and replacing the dobby box, etc. – worked.
So last night, Mike was kind enough to (with a little help from me) replace the solenoid. I had purchased two new solenoids from AVL previously, so we had enough to replace it + keep a spare on hand in case of future recurrence. It took about an hour, mostly because we weren’t sure precisely how the pins were removed, but we got it in and working. I’ve only woven about 1″ so far so I don’t know if it’s permanently fixed, but I’m sincerely hoping this fixes the problem.
At this point, of course, there is essentially no chance of my finishing all the yardage before heading up to Laura’s. This doesn’t bother me too much, though, as I’ve realized I would have to cut the yardage off anyway within a couple of yards. I’m running out of yarn on the cone I’ve been working from! I have enough to do about another 2.5 yards and that’s it. And since I bought the yarn remaindered and it has no dyelot marked on it, there’s no guarantee that the next cone will match. They look like the exact same color when comparing the cones, but, well, you know how that goes.
So, just to be safe, I will weave off the rest of the cone, then cut off what I’ve got and begin weaving again with the new cone. This way, I won’t be changing colors in the middle of a piece. I will cut the front of the dress from one piece and the back from another, putting any color change in the side seams where they’ll be least visible.
I have now sewn up the muslin for the “cradle”. I still need to put a zipper and boning into it, though, so I’m not quite done yet. On this muslin, I painstakingly marked the seamlines, then basted along the seamlines before sewing through them. Mily can match edges and sew at lightning speed, but I can’t. Just as well I did, though, as I discovered that the seamlines were slightly “off” in some areas – by as much as 1/16″. Which, across 8 pattern pieces, could make 1/2″ difference around the waist – quite a lot in Mily’s scheme of things.
For this muslin, I also experimented with scissors and a rotary cutter to see which produced better results. (Mily had never seen a rotary cutter before! so I’m bringing one for my next session with her.) Both worked fine as long as I worked slowly, but I felt the rotary cutter produced more accurate results providing the pattern was pinned to the fabric. Weights allowed shifting, which produced inaccuracies. So I will be using rotary cutter + pins in the future.
I am so glad I listened to you and kept away from a dobby WS loom. I think I will stay away from dobby looms altogether. I love your work but I do not have the time to fiddle with technical difficulties. I will just treadle my way.