Treadle Foot, Shuttle Finger, and Breast Beam Elbow

August 6, 2008


Monday I got back to the loom after about a month away from it.  After two “full days,” weaving (four hours is a full day of weaving for me; more than that and my brain is jelly) I am wondering whether I will look like the weaver’s version of these ladies if I keep it up a few more years.

What do you get when you combine large spatulate feet with skinny treadles for a day? Treadle Foot.  I think I need to try some leather ballet slippers.

Shuttle Finger is a more complicated problem.  A few months ago I injured the base knuckle of my right index finger.  While I was sleeping.  So, I don’t know exactly what I did to it or how, except that it ached badly for two days days, then got (mostly) better.  It hurts with protracted activity.  Like, typing.  Or worse, putting the final controlling flick on a thrown shuttle.  I should probably give it a break.  I’m hoping it’s tendonitis. When I had that in my heel it took about a year to get better, but at least it did.

Breast Beam Elbow is what you get from keeping your arms constantly crooked, managing your second shuttle.

Interestingly, I also seem to have textile brain.  After walking der Mann to work, limping home on my treadle foot, I took a short cut through the baseball fields and saw a long folding table with a plastic container on top.  There was a hand lettered sign taped to the side of the table:


It took me a good 10 seconds.  Enough time to go through the whole process of visualizing who would be be using the smocking area during little league games and what might be in the plastic container.

Oh.  Sand and butts.  No it wasn’t a misspelt sign, it was just me and something about how the letters were spaced.


9 Responses to “Treadle Foot, Shuttle Finger, and Breast Beam Elbow”

  1. How funny. I have been thinking about this exact same thing for the past few weeks, but not remembering what fairy tale it came from. In my case, I was thinking of the foot being a spinning wheel treadling foot, the finger from drafting wool, and the lip from moistening the fingers to wet-spin flax! Since it also applies to weaving, I guess I won’t be able to escape it in any case.

  2. Stef Says:

    How funny!

    I’m suffering from a bad case of texture brain right now. I can’t seem to stop pulling out my camera at inappropriate times when I see an interesting patina on a brick wall, or rust, or whatever else that strikes me as interesting texture.

    I like to weave in bare feet, though I’m sure this doesn’t appeal to many people. In the winter, I really like the wool Acorn slippers with the rubber bottoms.

  3. Jane Says:

    Another fan of Acorn slippers, here too. And a pair of soft, leather ballet slippers would do the trick no doubt, too.

    Thank your stars that you don’t yet have “breast beam breasts” – mine are headed in that direction. . . *sigh* . . .

    Weave on!

  4. this is just too funny!

  5. Alison Says:

    Haha! Cheers for the reference to one of my favorite stories from the Brothers Grimm!

  6. Allison, which story is that? I’ve been thinking about this for close to a month, and can’t remember anything more, except that the 3 women asked a young girl to be invited to her wedding and turned out to be good fairies with gifts.

  7. trapunto Says:

    It’s the story of the The Three Spinning Fairies. A topsy-turvy version of Rumplestiltskin. (Instead of the greedy miller bragging about his daughter to the king, it’s the chagrinned mother trying too sweep her lazy daughter’s hatred of spinning under the rug by bragging to the queen.) I read it aloud to my husband last night, and he laughed. Kind of a jolly proto-feminist tone, actually.

  8. Suzan Says:

    Ah, the occupational hazards of weaving. I always think how absolutely wonderful it would be to have all day to weave (or do any other textile related activity) – and then I am made aware of how hard it can be on the body! But, it’s so fun and gratifying, isn’t it? (Unlike what I do all day to make $$$ – which allows me to weave so I mustn’t get all sad).

  9. […] bunches of fringe (not twisting, just tying!) on two scarves resulted in not being able to use my gimpy right index finger for nearly two weeks.  I need that finger for my […]

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