Thanks to Bonnie’s suggestion (thanks Bonnie!), I figured out how to make the eternity knot into a turned double-two-tie unit weave! Here’s the profile draft:
And here’s the fiddled-with, turned, etc. version:
And, finally, the .wif file, in case anyone’s interested in a closer look. I’m not 100% sure I have it right, but it looks fairly good to me. (I can’t figure out how to get Firefox to treat it as a file and not as a text document, so you might have to “save as” from the browser to retrieve the .wif file – if anyone knows how to manage it, please let me know in the comments!)
I still have some questions about the technique, starting with what sett to use, but I think I got the draft turned correctly. I’m pleased! I’ve never tried a tied weave before, but it was much easier to work with than I expected.
My other major success for this weekend was entirely Mike’s idea: he was watching me weave, and said, “Do you really have to move the beater all the way back when you beat to clear the shed?” Of course not! but that hadn’t occurred to me before. As soon as I adjusted my rhythm, my speed went down from 2.5 seconds per pick to 2 seconds per pick. A 20% increase in speed, so simply!
Of course, at 60 picks per inch, this means about 2 minutes per inch or 72 minutes per yard, just of throwing the shuttle. Once you factor in advancing the fabric, fixing broken threads, etc. it’s probably closer to 2 hours/yard, so still not super-fast. But! this one small change will save me 4.5 hours (!) over the course of 15 yards. Just by taking a mere half-second off each throw of the shuttle.
It all adds up, doesn’t it?
I’m almost at the halfway point for this warp, having crossed the 7-yard mark today. I’ve revised my goals to a still-challenging target of 1/2 yard per day during the workweek, and 1 yard/day on the weekends. If I can manage that, I’ll be able to finish weaving this piece by mid-October. I really want to get it done by the end of this month because, as you all know, November 1 kicks off chocolate season, and it would be nice to get it done before I go whole hog into chocolatiering for a month.
I had some other minor successes over the weekend, the most interesting of which is a mountain bike! I had been looking for a cheap bike to ride to the gym – my road bike is too expensive to risk getting stolen – but since I’m a nonstandard size, I expected to have to wait awhile for something to come up. But I found one on Craigslist almost right away – a nice little mountain bike for only $60 (!). I took it to the bike shop and ordered a new stem and a bike rack for it, which will make riding more comfortable. I also need to swap out the tires, adjust the brakes, clean and oil the chain, etc. before it’s really usable. Once I’ve finished tinkering with it, though, it should be quite serviceable, and if it gets ripped off by a bike thief while I’m working out, it won’t be a financial disaster. I’m only planning to ride it short distances, anyway – for longer rides, I’ll use my more ergonomic and efficient road bike.