So Ruth threaded up for a one needle exercise in the right colours and it all looked okay, only the machine ground to a noisy halt. One of the threads had snapped. So we started again and checked it carefully and it ran for an inch or two and it stopped again. This happened a third time. So we had a think and decided we ought to remove the unwanted needle and tried again. Failure. At which point we realised that the remaining needle was seriously bent. And it did not want to leave its nice safe home. In wrestling with it with a pair of pliers, I managed to break the needle, leaving very little to get hold of. So we called in Robin who got it out. We replaced the needle, rethreaded and it worked at which point, Ruth and I hugged each other. This had taken an hour and a half! 15 minutes later, Ruth had zoomed her way round all her skirt pieces and was a happy bunny.
Actually we stopped for lunch at this point. After lunch we set the whole thing up for my velvet and tried it out. All okay. The rest of the family was highly amused. We were very relieved.