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Finally, for many of us headphones have become as much a fashion item as a piece of audio gear. That’s fine, but you don’t have to sacrifice decent sound for an eye-catching design, though you’re likely to pay.

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Photographer: Frank Behrens

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“Ping”

In some worlds “ping” might be a wonderful sound but when you are weaving “ping” becomes a crisis. I’m new to weaving and have successfully woven a few scarves with little trouble so I thought I would tackle something new – commercial wool yarn. I had been weaving with a commercial cotton warp and my handspun yarns but found an inexpensive wool “single” (which I really didn’t realize was a single until “ping”) and a thick and thin that coordinated. I knew enough not to use the thick and thin as the warp but commercial yarn should be strong enough for a warp – right?

Also I had not finished watching all the weaving lessons that I’m going through and I jumped right in and warped the loom and began to weave. I have an 8 dent rigid heddle. So off I go weaving and weaving and weaving. Now I did notice that I had a little trouble with the tension. It felt very (very) tight when I was raising and lowering the heddle but that’s normal – or so I thought.

As I was weaving I began to notice that the warp threads were getting fuzzy and sticking but I had read or seen or heard that this could happen???? About 8 inches in there was a “ping” but I didn’t pay that much attention and kept on weaving then something didn’t look right. There was an end sticking up where I didn’t put it. After some investigation I found a broken warp string. No problem. I had read that you could fix that so off the loom and back to the books, videos and Pintrest. Fixed the problem easy enough and back to weaving. I should mention that I did set the loom aside for several days while I thought about whether to take this project off and start over – I’m so glad I didn’t because restringing would not have helped me figure out how I caused this problem.

So back to my weaving on my incredibly tight warp – I was so proud of my tension. I just knew I had warped this one right!!!! About 3 inches later “ping”, “ping”, “ping”…….

Not a problem I know how to fix a broken warp string! Fixed and back to weaving…..”ping”. Now I was getting frustrated. I really didn’t want to spend all of my time fixing when I wanted to be weaving (but do you think I watched the rest of the video?)

Weaving a little…..”ping” a little.

So I finally watched the rest of the video about tying up your warp and creating your shed and the light bulb came on and I realized what I had done wrong….besides using the wrong size heddle and the wrong type of yarn for the warp. I didn’t raise the heddle when I was tying off and was putting undo stress on the yarn in the holes and abrading it with every beat!

Scarf is now finished and not too bad looking and I don’t panic when I break a warp thread. I also raise the heddle to create a nice shed. I’m sure I’ll hear “ping” in the future but I hope it means I have mail!

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