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About Me

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Francestown, New Hampshire, United States
I am the owner of Mirrix Tapestry & Bead Looms (www.mirrixlooms.com) and an avid tapestry and bead weaver, among other things. Needless to say, I love my job!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

No Warp Ends Kit


No Warp Ends Kit Instructions

Contents of kit:

4 yards of texslov cord
2 thin metal bars
100 paperclips

The concept is very simple.  We’ve provided a lot of cord to allow for a bunch of different options for the length of your piece.  First, cut the cord in two identical length pieces (two yards each).  The holes in the cord are large enough to fit the metal bars.

The following photo illustrates how you want your loom to look once it is warped.






How to put the cord and bars on your loom.

1) Slide the required number of paper clips on each bar.  If you don’t put enough on, don’t worry because you can always add more while the bars are on the loom.  If you put on too many, you can slide the clips to the side.  In this example, we used five clips on the top and five on the bottom for a piece that will be nine beads wide.

2) Loop the two pieces of cord over the top of the loom.  Stick the ends of the top bar through the loops near the end of the cords.  Take the other two tales of the cord underneath the loom and up to the top bar.  You will be attaching the cord to that same top bar (the bottom bar gets inserted later).  Make sure each cord is the same length.  It does not have to be tight.  The tension will be adjusted later. 





3) To attach the bottom bar, first measure down from the bottom of the paper clips of the top bar to the place on the cord that is the length of the piece you want to weave PLUS the length of the paperclips on the bottom bar.  So if your piece is going to be six inches long, you will measure down six inches plus the length of the paperclips.  Simple stick the bottom bar into the two cords at this place.  It will easily slide into the holes of the cord. 

4) Refer to first photograph.  In order to warp the loom, simply tie to either a top or bottom paper clip and then in a zigzag pattern slip your warp through the top and bottom paper clips until you have as many warps as you need.  Tie off on final paper clip. 

5) Slide the cord that is on the outside of the top bar (the cord that runs the same path as your warp) off the top bar.  Now you just have warp between the bars on the front of the loom.

6) Evenly space the paperclips.  Apply tension on the loom.  Begin weaving as you normally would.  The beads will space the warps as necessary and the paper clips will make sure warps do not tangle or cross.

7) Weave until you have a space one bead wide on top to allow for shrinkage once piece is removed from the loom.

8) If you plan to weave another piece of the same length, replace the cords on the top bar so that when you remove your piece the bars remain attached to the loom.  Reduce the tension on the loom and slip your piece out of the paper clips.

9) The only remaining finishing will be to weave in the two warp ends.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Delivering Mirrix Looms to WEBS

Today my friend Lisa and I drove to Northampton, MA to deliver looms to WEBS.  Here is proof (that I have a friend and that we did deliver looms there):


And there are more pictures!
That's Barbara:  she and her husband started WEBS

That's where the Mirrix Zach Loom with tapestry will be hanging out for a while, right by the front door and the check out counter.  You should come visit him!

That's Karen.  We will be working  with her a lot.

And that's me, Claudia, in front of a sea of goodies (yarn, yarn and more yarn!)




Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Softflex wire bracelet with No Warps to Sew in method

The next step in the exploration of this new method of weaving on the Mirrix Loom where are no warps to sew back in was to try it with wire.  I dug into my wire drawer and came out with a spool of soft TOUCH size .010 in. diameter wire.  Warped my loom in about ten seconds with eight warps.  The advantage to using this method with wire is two-fold. Wire loom work is hard to finish and wire is expensive and it's wasteful to have a lot of long warp ends.  Both issues were immediately solved with this method.  I love my new bracelet!







www.mirrixlooms.com

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Free Form Bead Weaving on the Mirrix Loom

I was in one of those moods today.  Just didn't feel like doing anything I had ever done before.  I decided to use the new "New Warps to Sew in" kit to weave wire.  Unfortunately, I failed because I don't have the right wire on hand.  That experiment will have to wait until I can gather the right materials.  I am still contemplating what they are.

Frustrated because I hadn't broken any new ground (at least new ground for me) I randomly decided to put a warp of magenta hand-dyed silk on an eight inch loom using the new kit.  Wasn't really sure where I was going to go with that until I dug into a basket of beads and came up with some magatamas (4 x 7 mm), some size 8/0s and some triangle beads.  I also dug out some gold thread.  This thread is flat and gold plated on both sides.  It fit inside the eye of my tulip beading needles so it was a go.

My goal was to let the beautiful silk thread show.  This thread would have been impossible to weave in after the weaving was done hence the use of the kit.  Another goal was to let the beads speak for themselves and not try to speak for them.  What I mean by that:  I wanted the piece to be playful and somewhat random.  But not bead soup.  And as I wove it I realized it was actually free form bead weaving.  I don't know if that is a term already in use, but if it isn't, it should be, and this is what it is!

The piece took me all of thirty minutes to weave (about five minutes to warp) and when it was done, it was done.  If it is to become a bracelet I need to think about a clasp.  I am leaning toward threading beads on one of the two silk ends to make the circle of a clasp and creating a peyote tube to be attached to the other silk end.  This takes care of the ends and the clasp but I suppose one could just add a standard clasp by using the silk ends.

Seems to me that the possibilities are endless for this concept.  I think I got outside my box today!

The piece in progress on the Mirrix Loom

Close up of that gold thread

Finished Piece
www.mirrixlooms.com


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tapestry for WEBS

WEBS is going to be the latest dealer for Mirrix Looms.  We are thrilled to have our looms in their store and available through their web site.  They asked me to pick out some colors of their Berkshire Valley Yarns and weave a sample tapestry on a 22 inch loom.  I used their Linen Valley yarns 8/2 for warp. Using linen warp on the Mirrix Loom is a pleasure because the tension is so even and strong.  It's difficult to warp looms with linen when you have to tie on the threads.  A continuous warp makes warping with linen so much easier.

This is where I am at.  I have an inch or two to go before weaving the final linen hem.  And then off it goes to WEBS in North Hampton, MA to go on display.  We hope you have a chance to visit this wonderful store.  It's huge and filled with all sorts of wonderful stuff . . . and now the Mirrix Loom and warp and weft yarn to make your Mirrix sing.



www.mirrixlooms.com

Friday, September 16, 2011

Someone else has another way of weaving with paper clips

Check this out:  http://warpsbead.blogspot.com/

I vaguely remember seeing this before.  It's also a great idea.

www.mirrixlooms.com

No Warps to finish part two

The sun is here this morning.  I finished the piece yesterday but it was dull and rainy and I knew I would not get a good photo.  So here it is finished on the loom.  Notice that I had removed the two cords in front because they were not allowing me to get the tension I wanted and they were getting n the way.  I would suggest replacing the two cords when you take off the piece because then you can start another piece right away without having to set up the cord and paper clips again (which actually is not such a big deal).  On a larger loom you can do several pieces at the same time.  I know one person asked yesterday if you can do little squares with this method and the answer is a resounding YES.  What a great idea too to be able to weave a series of little squares without any finishing.  It makes the concept viable finally because otherwise for such a small piece you would be doing so much finish work.  With this method you have to weave in four ends:  the weft tails (unless you've dealt with them while piece is not the loom) and the two warp ends that were tied to the paperclips.

The piece is completely flat.  There is a tiny loop of extra thread where the paperclip was inserted.  This turns out to be a gift since that thread is taken up by the slight shrinkage once the piece is removed from the loom.  So the whole concept is perfect, works, is amazing and I am wondering why we didn't do this ages ago!

Finished piece on loom with front cords removed.

Close up of end of piece.

Ditto


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

No Warps to Finish Bead Weaving

I have had this idea in my head for a very long time and a bunch of you have been patiently waiting for me to finally give it up, figure it out, take pictures, post it and finally make the kit to make it happen.  Today, after Elena asked me for about the 30th time to do this, I finally went down to the tool room, cut up some metal bars, dashed upstairs, found some other stuff I needed (including paper clips) and warped up an eight inch loom.  Now why didn't I just do this weeks (months?) ago?  It was so easy I almost cried.  I guess it was the lack of the correct size bars that was stopping me, but there is nothing a hacksaw can't do to correct reality.

It works!  I mean it really works!  And once you've set up your loom for, let's say, a certain size bracelet, you can leave everything in place and just start mass producing them.  I am serious.  But why believe my words when I've got photographs to prove it.


This is how it works.  The kit will include two thin stainless steel metal bars the weaving width of the loom.  That fun texslov cord will be provided.  You attach this very much the way you attach the extra warping bar kit.  I wanted to make a short piece so the bars are in the front of the loom.  By the way, you do not put in a spring.  It will have no function.  The bars are so thin that they slip into the ladder like holes of the thin metal bars.  But before you slip the bars inside the cords and wrap around the loom, you might want to slip some small paperclips onto the bars.  That's right, small paperclips (we will include them with the kit as well).


Put on as many as you need or more than you'll need in case you want to weave a second wider piece.  In any case, it's easy to slip on the clips even after you've put the bars on the loom.  I know because I forgot to put them on first!

To warp all you do is tie to the bottom of one clips, slip the warp through a clip on the opposite bar (by just sliding through the clip opening), then back through a clip on the other bar.  Go back and forth until you have as many warps as you need.  Tie off on the bottom of the last clips.


Start weaving at the top of the bottom clips.  Weave until the very bottom of the top clips.  Untie the warp from the two side clips.  Release the tension on the loom.  Remove the the piece from the clips.  Sew the two warp ends into your piece.  You are done!  That's it.  Just as easy to finish as peyote or any other off loom stitch.  

Wow!



Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Beaded Smart phone case done!

I finished it.  What a great project and what a great product.  I find myself taking it out of my purse just to touch it and admire it. I love the silk lining (future kits will have a solid green or salmon . . . very thick, beautiful silk).