Now that all of the warp is physically ON the front of the loom - the REAL work begins!
Step Three - Sleying the Reed
Getting yarn the proper length and _to_ the loom is really only the beginning of the process. There are many parts of a loom that each thread needs to go through or be tied onto before weaving can begin.
Since the rug project was going to be a double-wide piece of fabric it was only going to use 2/3 of the loom's width, but each dent (slot) in the reed would need 2 threads placed in it instead of one. This actually saves some time because I can usually grab two strands at one time with the threading hook - so instead of 576 pulls, I only needed to do it 288 times.
Step Four - Threading the Heddles
My loom has four shafts. Each shaft holds quite a few heddles - with more I can add as needed. The pattern I will be using for a particular project determines the order in which the heddles are threaded. Some patterns are simple - 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4......others make me sound like a crazy person who can't count - 1, 2, 3, 2, 3, 3, 4, 3, 3, 2.... A single mistake can cause serious headaches as you progress. I always calculate out how many heddles I am going to need on each shaft BEFORE I start threading. I try to double-check myself as I move across the loom (better to catch a problem early on than to have to pull everything off later to fix one little mistake). But as you get into a rythm with threading the heddles you sometimes forget to back-track and check yourself.
For double-wide material my counting sounds a bit strange - 4, 2, 3, 1, 4, 2, 3, 1....but it is fairly easy to check on my progress because there are no repeats in the cycle.
Of course - even with all these checks and double-checks, mistakes still happen. When I had finished threading I realized I was ending on the wrong numbers.
Thankfully my mistake was only about 4.5 inches in so I didn't have to take out and redo TOO much. Even the smallest mistake in threading will show up throughout an entire project - so every little error must be corrected, no matter how long it takes.