With the yarn dyed and fully dry, everything was ready for us to start putting it on a loom. In order to prepare the warp, we needed to first wind the yarn onto a warping frame (also known as a warping board), to measure out consistent lengths in yarn to be tied later onto the loom. As we took our dyed skeins of yarn out to be wound, it became apparent that this was not going to be easy.
I had mistakenly tied the figure eight loops meant to hold the separate skeins together at the wrong places, which means there were yarns from one skein crossing over into another, and when they had been dipped into a dye bath, they had become a whole tangled mess. We tried to salvage it by putting it on a swift. But first we needed to find the ends of the yarn to prevent further entanglement. I had further neglected to tie a different yarn at the ends so that they would be recognizable from a mile away, so needless to say we were looking for a tiny double knot that was dyed, like everything else, blue. Miraculously, after a thirty minute needle-in-haystack search, we managed to find the ends and snipped them open to begin unwinding.
But it was of no use. The yarn had become so tangled upon itself that every pull of the end caused some other part of the hank to tighten, and the only option we were left with was to painstakingly untangle each yarn until we reached what we guessed to be four yards, and then to cut it off and tie it to the warping board. After two hours, I had tied on five warp yarns.
Tomorrow I will try and see if the other hanks are any less tangled than this. If not, we may have no choice but to start over from the beginning.