For years I have avoided floating selvedges whenever possible. Too fiddly, I thought. In fact, I have taught workshops to introduce threadings that produce good selvedges automatically! But the more I work with granites, the more I realize I have to rethink my bias against floating selvedges. Today's baby blanket is an example. The floating selvedge, for those who don't already know, is a couple of warp ends that go through the reed but not through any heddle. They literally float in the middle of the shed, and the weaver passes the shuttle into the shed over a floating selvedge on one side and exits the shuttle under the floating selvedge on the other side. The weft then automatically catches on the edges with every pick.
I am discovering that after a couple of hours the motions become automatic, and one doesn't even have to look at the shuttles; the fingers can feel exactly where the shuttle needs to go. Floating selvedges, my new best friends. The only downside is that you can't use them with fly shuttles.
I am so grateful that the 8-shaft loom is working dependably. Things are not as rosy in the 40-shaft department. Maybe this week a solution will be found.