The incredible Merin (see previous blog for link to her shop, buy her stuff, seriously) finished the ratchet piece for the loom! It's a thousand times lighter and stronger than the original one, which she helpfully soldered and gave back to me for use as a mold if another one is ever needed, which is doubtful since she made me two. That lady is getting more yarn, because I am OVER THE MOON at finally starting work on my weaving project!
As soon as I had the new part last night I dropped my homework, supervised the attaching of the piece to the loom, and sat down to work. I quickly realized two things:
1) I think the tie-ups for future projects might bear examination, because it feels like the lams where the pedals tie on were hitting one another. One treadle in particular felt like the shed wasn't opening widely enough, probably because lams were blocking other lams. I will need to fiddle with things a bit to see what I can figure out.
2) inserting a bit of paper/cardboard at the beginning of a piece to make space for later fringe makes those first few throws kind of hard to do because it messes up that pretty spacing from the scrap yarn section I wove first. I really wanted fringe, but I decided for my first project, meant to help me learn, I would admit defeat and just hem the ends.
Other than that, it was an absolute joy to finally get weaving. I did three or four pattern repeats, and though it's hard to see in the photo, I can totally see the twill pattern emerging when I look closely at the piece. My edges are atrocious at this point, I am still figuring out the easiest way to negotiate the floating warps at each side, I am already dreaming of new shuttles and perns that actually unwind by themselves without tangling, and there are some tension issues in a few warp threads that are glaringly obvious to me, but I know that finishing the cloth will hide a myriad of sins, and if I decide to trim off a particularly ugly section and make the table runner slightly shorter, I can do that. For now, though, here's a photo with the new piece and a bit of work on the cloth. Happy Ursula is happy!