Treadlefoot Revisited

September 4, 2008

There’s not much point in posting to say, “Gee, I’ve been doing other stuff, so I haven’t been writing blog entries.”  It’s kind of a given, and I notice I’m not the only one this time of year.

Nevertheless, that’s what I’m doing.  Lots has been going on, but not much weaving.  I scared myself with an episode of SI joint pain, the which (although I have a lifetime of Back Issues due to a slight difference in leg length due to a childhood accident) I had never experienced.  I’m so attuned to the things my back does, a New Kind of Pain is a big deal for me.  This electric stabbing simply appeared out of nowhere while I was standing at the sink washing the dishes.  I wracked my brains for what might have caused it.  Yoga?  But I am e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y careful at yoga, because of said Back Issues, and always very clear about when I have overstepped.  Anyway, when the pain started, I hadn’t been to yoga for nearly a week.

“Yesterday I wove for quite a while. . .” said I.   “No!  Surely not that!”

The pain is subtle in its comings and goings since the SI (sacroiliac) joint is a big, mostly static joint in the back of the pelvis.  One of the signs can be pain while climbing stairs, and I had that.  My chiropractor diagnosed it.  The SI pain is better, but overall I am not feeling that great because the three visits to the chiropractor it took for a SI-relieving adjustment to “take” telescoped a lot of muscle tension to the parts of my back that are prone to trouble me.  I’m still not totally convinced it was the weaving, although yes, the motions of treadling (and the the kind of tension you keep in your leg and hip while you’re doing it) much resemble the motions of climbing stairs.  At any rate, I thought it was better to give my loom a rest while I was getting the SI thing taken care of.

Has anyone else had SI joint pain that was either caused or exacerbated by weaving?  If so, I’d really like to hear how that went for you, and what helped!

I am so close to being finished with the last scarf, it’s ridiculous.  All three scarves are still on the cloth beam, which is why I haven’t showed any of the others yet.  I meant to wet finish the first for a sample, and re-tie for the others, but then I rethought my warp calculations and decided I couldn’t spare the thread to tie-on and weave another header.  I feel that strongly about generous scarves.  I did slack the web all the way and scrunch it around to get a feel for it, and I think it is what it ought to be, pre finishing; and I did sample my wefts at the end of my previous warp, which had the same sett and tie-up, so I am not entirely reckless.

I also cut out An Apron I Invented and bought the bias tape to finish it.  Which I now must do because I’ve told you about it.  It’s been ages since I finished something with double fold bias tape, and I don’t remember it being a barrel of laughs.  (I was probably fifteen, and come to think of it, it was probably an apron.)  Thank you in advance for the accountability.

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10 Responses to “Treadlefoot Revisited”


  1. I am so sorry about the pain. I know absolutely nothing about it. Have you talked to your doctor or physical therapist? Actually a physical therapist would probably be of more practical help to you in dealing with weaving.

  2. Barb Fessler Says:

    Yes, I’m dealing with the same issues. Mine is actually arthritis of the lower back which acts like SI. I have lower back pain along with discomfort in my legs, ankles and feet. I’ve been doing PT three times a week. It has helped but sure hasn’t gone away completely and probably never will. I do some stretching exercises before and after weaving it that’s help too. At this point in time I’m only weaving 15 minutes at a time. When you think about it weaving sure can be hard on your body. Pressing down on a treadle that can be lifting (eight harness jack for me) up to seven harness, throwing the shuttle and bringing the beater towards you all in a matter of seconds. I have cotton towels on one loom and a scarves on the other. Much easier on my body when I’m weaving the scarves I think because I don’t have to beat the warp in like I do the towels.

    I’ve never been to a chiropratctor but maybe you could ask his opinion on the stretching exercise.

    Good Luck!!!! Hope you’re feeling better soon!!!!

  3. deborahbee Says:

    I really sympathise with your pain. I am 3 weeks into recovery from my hip replacement and getting around on two crutches but quite sore and a good few weeks from being mobile enough to weave. I have often experienced back pain after using my knitting machine. Like working at a computer it uses arms as long levers which puts strain on the spine. Weaving must be similar.I don’t know what the answer is…possibly correct seating and giving oneself frequent breaks and change of position.Good luck and I hope youre back to the loom soon

  4. trapunto Says:

    Thank you all for stopping by. I am chagrinned! My problems pale next to these. I’ve been thinking of you, Deborah, and hope your recovery goes swiftly and you immediately feel the benefits of your new hip as soon as you’re back in action.


  5. Please go to my blog to find a little “gift.”

  6. Jane Says:

    Good morning T,

    My back is horrid from an old accident where I broke it. You have my utmost empathy. SIs can be so sharp and painful, and not fun at all.

    Fortunately, my loom has back-hinged treadles so that takes some of the pressure off of treadling. Nevertheless, I have many days where my looms are off limits (hence my being ensconced in bed with laptop and seeking dead people in the 1600s).

    Glad you have a good Chiro — mine keeps me mobile. Watch how you sit at you loom, and see if you list to one side more than the other, that can really aggravate things for me. Also, you might find it helpful to ask your Chiro about an LS (lumbar spine) support for when you’re sitting at the loom (sort of like a girdle, but easy to put on and off — like a big eleastic band really).

    OUCH! It can sure put a crimp in weaving, but is a fabulous excuse for a long, hot bubble bath, a glass of wine, and a great book . . .

    Digital hugs,
    Jane

  7. Taueret Says:

    hello! Thanks so much for the suggestion you left on my blog re tie-up cords. I have been wracking my brain trying to think of a cord with the right properties and you hit the nail on the head. Glad to find your blog too!

  8. trapunto Says:

    Thank you for the ideas, Jane. I think you’re onto something. The current placement of my tabby treadles and the way I’m using them with this weave could have caused some asymmetricality, the more I think about it.


  9. I’ve had other injuries for which I used to seek chiropractic, but now see an osteopath with a specialty in cranial-sacral. But I never experienced back pain until recently — and found it negatively skewed my outlook on everything. Luckily, 3 weeks of treatment fixed the problem. I’m a lot more sympathetic now to those who experience it chronically. I haven’t had a chance to sit at a loom bench to weave yet, but would having one of those U- or O-shaped pillows? (I think they were designed to alleviate pains while sitting during pregnancy; I’ve seen people at desk jobs using them.)


  10. […] to be bearing a grudge, no matter how sweetly I remonstrate with them.  I know I mentioned the treadling problem, but I failed to mention that tying off the bunches of fringe (not twisting, just tying!) on two […]


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