Hi Sierra, it makes no difference which way you thread it, it just changes the direction of the diagonal. I you think back to 4 shaft twills, we thread 1,2,3,4 and the twill goes one way and then we reverse and go 4,3,2,1....all that does is change the direction of the diagonal. So you don't have to thread from the back to the front, you can thread in any direction you like. Check to see if your beater is caught on something, check to see how it is once your apron road has gone over the breast beam. If you can't figure it out you will have to send a picture.