Next is to string it through all the heddles! This part is by far the most difficult for me. On my loom, it does not fold up in any way so there's no way for me to sit on either side and string the yarn through them, it's simply too far. Neither the front or back beam is removable, and since it's a 40" loom the castle is too far inside for me to sit on either side.
My last option is to get somewhere inside of the loom to string it. I tried standing in front, between the castle and the fabric beam, but it was a tight fit and I had to lean down every time to string a heddle and it was really hurting my back. Next I tried kneeling in the same spot, but after I rather embarrassingly got stuck (thank god I got out on my own, that would have been awful to call for help) it was clear that was not working either.
What I've been doing now is standing inside the back of the loom, between the warp beam and the castle. It's not ideal, since the beam has lots of wooden pegs poking out of it on all sides, so it's constantly poking me while I'm trying to do it, but at least it works!
Since there were only 52 ends this time it was super fast and easy, only took me about a half an hour to do. It gets difficult to do when there's more than 100, I have to take breaks.
After they're all strung through I tie them onto a beam in the back and tie that onto the warp beam. At this point I don't have to worry about the tension being even at all.
I'm never quite clear on how it happens since everything seems so even when I put everything on the warping board. But then it all gets so messy! I just comb it out with my fingers to try and keep it from getting tangled.
This is the warp once it's all wrapped onto the beam! The pegs make it so that I don't have to (can't?) put anything to keep the layers separate, but I don't have to worry too much about the tension anyways since I never make a warp too terribly long.
I do this on my own and don't have any help. Usually this is a two person job, but I got a book from the library and have been using the technique from that to wind the warp on. I don't put any pressure on the threads, and wrap it around once. Ever wrap I go around to the back and grab handfuls of yarn and pull as hard as I can on them. This doesn't do much the first turn, but after that it helps pull all of the yarns taut and even, and they usually stay fairly even. It's not perfectly ideal, but again I said my warps aren't usually very long anyways, not usually more than 200", and even then I can even everything out between projects.
This is the yarns tied to a beam in the front! This is the part where it's important for me to tie them all on with the same tension. My loom has a really nice length of fabric that reaches up and over the breast beam, so I don't have to worry about tying anything on!
Now it's ready for weaving! Unfortunately I am dumb. I love yarn so much, but I don't always choose it based on what would be good for weaving. My usual yarn selection process is "oh that's a pretty color, yeah I'm buying that!" followed by "Is it on sale (y/n)?". This yarn that I'm using is a single ply, which is very much not ideal for weaving.
Do not be fooled, it will cause me great distress to weave with, but I did it anyways. It will work, but not well. You can also see how fuzzy it is, which as you can imagine can cause even more problems when I have to repeatedly push and pull the beater back and forth over it, many, many times while weaving.