This summer I've had the treat of having several students come for weaving coaching. All of them have been interested in improving their physical skills, with the aim of increasing their productivity.
Sharon has a busy life and a satisfying but demanding job and therefore her time to weave is limited. She was interested in using that time wisely and well and had a feeling that she could not only weave more efficiently but also more ergonmically.
She had not woven on my type of small loom before, so I set the loom up with a tea towel warp and let her get used to the loom. And then, without her being aware of when I was doing it, I video taped her to get a benchmark of where she was with her current weaving skills.
After watching her weave for a while, I stopped her and made some suggestions. We discussed holding and throwing the shuttle, and how to treadle - what muscles were being used, how to track your place in a treadling sequence and so on.
And then I let her weave some more. The next day I video taped her again.
Sharon had worked hard on changing her method of throwing the shuttle, and worked on her treadling. We also talked some more about rhythm and the over all motions involved in weaving. We discussed ways that she could break out of her 'default' motions, even though that meant slowing down even more in order that she could isolate the motions and concentrate on the new movements.
And then she wove some more.
At the end of Day 3, Sharon had a breakthrough and hit her stride. She had designed, wound, beamed, threaded/sleyed and woven off an entire 5 meter long warp before dinner at 5:30 pm.
Video 3 was done about half way through the shawl Sharon beamed the morning of Day 4.
Sometimes what we think we are doing and what we are actually doing are two different things. Having someone take a video tape while you are weaving can be tremendously helpful in order to discover where you might make some small but significant changes. Discussing your technique with an experienced weaver can also help, and having a video clip or letting them watch while you weave might help sort out where you need to adjust in order to improve.