I finally figured out a good way to wrap the yarn on the loom. I wrap it on as gently as a feather. It isn’t loose but it doesn’t get taut like it was getting before, and I am able to knit without the difficulty and tightness I was experiencing.
Today I knitted the rest of the second flower leaf and completed another one. So now half of the flower is complete! Just 3 more red flower leaves to complete and I can start on the green leaves. I can tell it is going to look really nice when it is done. I'm excited!