So, today I was weaving along on Lady Di, and out of nowhere my foot goes THUD. This is not a good noise. I get up to investigate, and it turns out that the cable attaching the knife to the treadle has snapped. I say a number of choice words, and head out to the hardware store for replacement cable.
At the hardware store, I manage to locate more cable, and ferrules to attach it. There I discover that while the cable is cheap, and the ferrules are cheap, the tool-doohickey that crimps the ferrules around the cables costs $75! After some more choice words and some heartfelt whining, one of the helpful hardware elves tells me that, if you’re not putting real weight on it, you can get the ferrule to grip reasonably well by using a pair of vise-grips to crimp it down. I thank the happy hardware elf, grab the vise-grips and the cable, and get out the door.
At home, I twiddle around with the cable for an hour or so and finally get the bleeding thing replaced. Somewhere in the process I stab my finger with a piece of pointy wire (fortunately, I have had my tetanus shots), and don’t realize how much I’m bleeding until far too late, so now there are bloody fingerprints in random places. I say a few more choice words while cleaning up the bloody fingerprints (and the bloody finger). Finally I have the thing fixed. Hooray.
In the process of fixing the cable, a small magnet came off the knife. I figured this is the magnet for the sensor that tells the loom when the treadle is pressed/released, and put it back in the appropriate place. I start up the loom and press the first treadle. It jams halfway. More choice words (I’m developing quite a vocabulary by now). I look around, poke at it, look around some more, and eventually realize that the solenoids are not releasing and the knife is jamming as a result. I spend the next hour troubleshooting the sensors and the magnets. Finally, I get the thing fixed and I sit down to weave.
Three picks later, I notice that shaft #8 is not firing. I run some tests on the loom, and it transpires that shafts 6 and 8 are not firing. More fiddling. Eventually I work out that the shafts are jammed, and Mike (who is a foot taller than me) comes by to help, takes off the cover, and looks down into the solenoid box (which I am too short to see into). He reports that the solenoid rods are visibly bent on those two shafts – probably happened the first time the loom jammed. Which almost certainly means I will have to replace the solenoids. Have I mentioned that the nearest dealer who is likely to have replacement solenoids is located somewhere in Vermont?
So, after yet more choice words (I am at this point rapidly running out of vocabulary), I email the fellow in Vermont, letting him know that I probably need to replace two solenoids. I’m hoping he can walk me through replacing it at home, so I won’t need to send the box back to the factory – that would just suck. I’ve just started a weaving study group for Bonnie’s book and really need a loom to weave on.
So, it’s been a frustrating end to the day. Lady Di will have to sit idle until I get those solenoids replaced, which is annoying since I was very close to finishing the yardage for my jacket. If I’d just gotten another hour of weaving done, I could have finished, cut the yardage off the loom, and done something productive, weaving-wise, until the parts were replaced. As it is, it’s just going to have to sit there.
At least the rest of the day went well. I spent part of the day studying CSS and the other part studying database design. (Annette, I sent you an email with some questions a couple days back – did you get it? I’m hoping it didn’t wind up in your spam filter.) I now have a decent understanding of the “mental map” of CSS, and a better understanding of information architecture/website design. I’m still feeling overwhelmed by this projects database project, but have decided to attack it by writing a disciplined set of requirements before worrying about how to build it. FIRST I need to figure out what I’m building.
I’m still cranky (very, very cranky) about this loom thing, but there’s nothing I can do about it right now. I guess I’ll have to focus on sewing and Web design for the next week or so – perhaps I can get the muslin for the jacket finished, and the wireframes for the projects database. I also plan to start winding the warp for my next project, a painted warp in purple with flecks of blue and orange, using 20/2 tencel.
Onward and upward!