I tied the warp on the front. It looked tidy and evenly tensioned. I was looking forward to weaving a little bit before going to bed, but I could not get a shed. The cotton threads stuck to each other. When I tried to separate them to manually make a shed, the lower threads were flaccid. Because I had some difficulties beaming the warp, I unwound it a bit in the back to adjust the paper better and get a tighter wind-on. It helped a little bit, but not enough to get a proper shed. The lower threads were still either sticking to other threads or flaccid.
I've had a lot of problems with the two warp braids. I realized that I had the braids in the wrong order and needed to switch them. The were already on the warp rod with the lease sticks inserted and secured to the loom a la Season 1 Episode 2. I carefully opened the lease sticks on the right; removed a braid (the cross ties were still in place, luckily); retied the lease sticks onto back of the loom; untied the lease sticks on the other side; slide the braid onto the warp rod and lease sticks on the left side; retied the lease sticks; and put rubber bands back on the warp rod and apron rod to hold them together. Then I spread the warp in the raddle. Then, I started winding on the back beam. I still had the books on the braids. I ended up holding the two braids in my hand for the last half of the winding because they were pretty much undone by then from all the fussing around.
I've had problems consistently when I try to weave 8/2 cotton, even on a rigid heddle loom. It's very disheartening. I'm not sure what the problem is: maybe the beaming issues last night, maybe the thread sticking to itself. I need to understand what the problem is and if it can be fixed. I know I can warp the loom because the three boucle' warps in Season 1 went on so nicely that I was starting to build some confidence about porting those skills to 8/2 cotton.
I'm open to suggestions as to what went wrong - was it the beaming? If so, would winding it onto the cloth bar (?) and then rewinding on the back be a place to start? I have no idea about the sticking to itself problem. If I can't solve that, I'll have to go back to cotolin instead of cotton.
Thanks for any help. It's really frustrating.