My experience with winding the blue cloth back in March had me questioning my winding procedure. Then I finished weaving the sandstone beam and saw that the problem really was just with that one batch of cloth. The previous beam had been wound perfectly.
Every section ran out at exactly the same time, meaning that every section had been turned exactly the same number of times. My process was more perfect than I expected. This helped to set my mind at ease. If I just fix the loose mechanism that allowed the counter to flop around, then the next batches of cloth might be just as perfect. That's good. It's a cheap and easy fix that will get tested and refined again and again.
You'll notice in these photos that I don't weave all the way up to the heddles like most people. That's because I need a 1-yard "tail" so that I have something to tie the next batch of cloth onto. And, besides, after I pull these tails through the heddles and reed and cut them off, I bundle them up for a friend who does embroidery with them.
UPDATE: I can't believe it took me so long to get these photos off the camera and onto the iPod for blogging. Since then I've wound two more beams with the same old counting mechanism taped like a mummy. It seems to have worked like a charm since the tension on both beams is fantastic.