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48 Hours Later

It wasn’t quick and it wasn’t easy, but I got it done. I’m going to walk you through the steps, partly to help anyone else who might find themselves in a similar situation, and partly for me to refer to if I ever do something this foolish again. 😉

I started trying to unwind/unbeam the warp with the threads through both heddles and reed. This was quickly turning ugly, and threading the reed is a really quick process, so I unthreaded the reed.

Much better. I thought I could get through this task with the heddles remaining threaded. It wasn’t going very well, though. Snarls were happening frequently, especially in the green and magenta sections. I’d dyed both of these yarns years ago, and my math told me I didn’t have quite enough of either for a whole section of the warps. So I opted to use two of my hand-dyed threads and one commercially-dyed thread for a three-thread cross. The mix of these yarns just seemed to grab on to each other as I tried to unwind.

I didn’t really want to unthread the heddles if I didn’t have to, and knew that doing so wouldn’t solve my problem, so I just moved slowly, combing the warp frequently, although I knew there was the potential for this to cause me problems later (stretching yarns differently).

After a few frustrating minutes, I could hear Laura Fry repeating one of her lessons: “A thread under tension is a thread under control.” AHA! All I had to do was to get enough warp in front of the heddles so that I could hang some weights! I removed the beater and reed, went under the front beam and over my warping valet, and hung weights.

hanging weights on the warps to unwind

The milk jug is on two warp colors next to each other which are both behaving well. All the other colors had their own weights, ranging from 1.5-2 pounds each. I started with the weights as high as I could make them, and as I unwound they neared the floor. Back to that end and move the weights back to the top. This made the job INFINITELY easier! Thank you, Laura Fry!

When it was all unwound, I realized I’d done something a little foolish, but no big deal. I should have taken those to-be-removed blue-violet threads out of the heddles before I started unwinding. I had to remove them at the end, which meant I had to pull the entire 8-1/2 yards backwards through the heddles. Fortunately this didn’t cause a problem.

Then I removed the ‘bad’ warp section and replaced it with the new warp section on the lease sticks and the the apron rod.
replacement warp on the lease sticks and apron rod

I didn’t want to put the raddle back in, so I simply spread out the replacement warp threads to about the correct width as I wound. At the front of the loom, I now started with the weights near the floor and as I re-beamed the weights rose. When they were at the top I’d simply rehang them to be back at the bottom.

re-beaming the warp with the replacement section

This part went as beautifully as beaming almost always does for me (again, thanks to Laura Fry). Then I just had to thread heddles for the replacement section and re-thread the reed. Before I knew it I was back in business and weaving.

Back weaving on the fixed warp

YES!! Another problem solved. Whew!

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