By working diligently (okay, obsessively) after Mike got up, and a little bit at lunchtime, I got the warp set up and this sample woven:
Aside from a few skips where shaft #24 was acting up, it looks GREAT! and I think I will most likely use it for my bathrobe. I still need to weave a couple more samples, both to test how it looks after dyeing and to see how well rayon and cotton chenille stand up to multiple machine washes (on delicate) and tumble drying. This sample has a rayon chenille weft (two strands of 3000 ypp rayon chenille), I want to do another sample with 1450 ypp cotton chenille weft, and see how they differ once wet-finished and washed/dried a couple times.
I want to use rayon chenille for the weft if possible, because I think the luster of the rayon chenille will really “pop” the cherry blossoms once dyed in bright gold/red/oranges. But I want to try cotton chenille as well.
And I am pleased to say that the trapeze method for the second warp works perfectly:
The black (cotton chenille) warp passes through the heddles and through a raddle clamped onto the back beam of the loom (with wooden spacers under the raddle to keep it from interfering with the 1st warp). From the raddle, it goes up and over my free-standing trapeze, which is made with two sawhorse brackets and 5 pieces of 2×4 – quick, easy, and cheap. I used two chains for a 12″ warp and weighted each chain with a 2.5-lb weight that I had sitting around.
And it works great! I can hardly wait to get the cotton chenille sample woven, so I can cut off and dye the samples.