Friday, September 10, 2010

Mirrix Tapestry/Bead Cuff

Mirrix Tapestry/Bead Cuff

This kit contains the following:

Brass cuff one inch wide
C-Lon Cord
Various yarns
8/0 and 11/0 seed beads

Necessary tools not included in the kit:

A Mirrix Loom with shedding device and a ten dent warp coil.
A piece of cloth for holding beads; a beading needle, a blunt edge needle;
glue that will bond metal to fiber; scissor

Warping your Mirrix Loom:

Warping method:  for tapestry, one thread of C-Lon cord per dent
Warp Coil size:  10 dents
Number of warps:  15
Finished length of piece:  7 inches

You can use any of the Mirrix Looms with shedding devices to create this lovely bracelet.

Reduce your loom’s height to minimize the amount of warp you will use.  If you have a larger Mirrix Loom, this can be accomplished by using the extra warping bar.   I like to weave a piece on both the left and right side of the loom at the same time.


Weave a header about a quarter inch long using the C-Lon cord.

You will be weaving straight lines of thread and beads.  You decide the order.  The threads in this kit all look beautiful together.  In the below piece I am using two threads at a time for a more interesting color effect. Make sure that you do not pull too tight when you wrap around the edges so that your edges remain straight.

(Note:  it is helpful to buy one of the tapestry books on our site if you are not familiar with weaving yarn or want to learn a variety of tapestry techniques.)

To weave the beads, thread a ten inch length of beading thread into a beading needle.  Tie an overhand knot.  You will be using this needle with a loop of beading thread to thread the 8/0 beads onto your yarn.  Loop the end of the last piece of yarn you’ve woven through thread on the needle.  Pick up 14 beads with your needle and slide those beads down the beading thread and onto one of the yarns. (Remember, I was using two pieces of yarn for the tapestry part but only threaded the beads onto one of the threads.)

Weave the yarn with the beads, placing one bead between each thread.

Weave the empty thread above the beads.  In this case I then join that thread with the second and thread and continue weaving.

When you’ve almost reached seven inches, weave about a quarter inch of  the C-Lon bead cord. To remove the weaving from the loom, loosen the tension on the loom and remove the warp bar. Lay your piece flat and trim the ends so that you have at least four inches left to work with (the longer the better).  Tie overhand knots with warp pairs.  When you’ve tied all the knots, trim the warp to about an inch in length.


Ultrasuede:  Lay the beadwork on the Ultrasuede and trace the outline of the tapestry onto the Ultrasuede.  Trim the Ultrasuede to match the size of the beadwork. 


Use a toothpick to spread a thin, even layer of adhesive over the back of the tapestry and to one side of the Ultrasuede.  Place the brass cuff blank between the two and sandwich them together.  Smooth both pieces to remove any gaps and make sure they two pieces are aligned.

Edging:  Cut a yard length of C-Lon thread.  Bury the end between a corner of the beadwork and the Ultrasuede.  You will begin a pico stitch by entering the back of the tapestry, picking up three 11/0 beads and sewing through the ultrasuede.
Continue sewing the back and front together with three beads per stitch. 

Wear and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A new way to warp!

A New Way To Warp? (For bead weaving.)

On Sunday we visited Caravan Beads and while Claudia taught, Barry (the lovely owner of Caravan) and I sat down and tried to figure out an easier way to warp. (All his idea.) We expanded a bit on a fairly new method that was developed at our last workshop and although this has not been sufficiently tested I thought I'd share our ideas with you blog-readers out there and perhaps I could get some input.

This new warping method has two parts. Those of you who are already pros at putting heddles on might not need the second part (the comb). It was developed with beginners in mind and just helps to separate the warp threads and allows you to see what you're doing much more clearly. (Note: This blog post is meant to be understood by those who have warped the loom before. Once tested more thoroughly, we will post more detailed instructions.

Here we go:

The first step is to make a small, cardboard comb from anything you have lying around. Cut slits in it (as shown) on both sides. You should have as many slits on one side as warp threads you plan to have. On the other side, cut the same amount plus one extra. We will assume that you will be working on the left side of your loom, and putting your heddles on right to left. In this case, the extra notch should be on the front right. (see picture.) If you were warping in the other direction, the extra notch would be on the front left.

Tie onto the warping bar like you would when you are warping the loom normally. 
Loop the warp over the loom and through one dent in the coil. Then put the warp in the first RIGHT BACK slit of the cardboard comb. 
Bring your thread around the bottom of the loom and back to the warping bar. Instead of doing a U-turn at this point, simply WRAP YOUR WARP THREAD AROUND THE BAR and CONTINUE BACK TO THE TOP. (This is the new, easier way to warp and can be done without the comb.)
When you bring your warp thread back to the top, put it through the same dent in the spring as your last warp. (Note: This is only done when bead weaving with the shedding device.)
Bring this warp thread down and into the front notch of the comb. Make sure you put it in the notch that is on the exact opposite side of the one your last warp thread was put in. Leave the extra notch empty. 
Bring your warp thread under the loom, around the warping bar and back up to the spring as you did before. This time, bring your warp thread to the next dent over. 
Continue to do this. (This is the sequence: Up over the loom, into one dent of the spring, into a back notch of the comb, under the loom, around the warping bar, over the top, back into the same dent as the last warp thread, into a front notch of the comb (make sure this is done sequentially), under the loom, around the warping bar, into another dent of the spring... etc. etc. etc.....) This should create a scenario where you have two warp threads per dent in the top spring of your loom and each of those is separated in the comb, front and back. 
Two warps in each dent: 
Tie off on the warping bar when finished. Remove clips. 
Move warping bar down, and then move comb down to just above where shedding device will be. 
Place shedding device on loom. Unscrew bar. Take one heddle at a time and loop it around the FRONT warp threads, one at a time, right to left. Because of the comb, they will be well separated and easier to see. 
Next, flip the warping bar around so the bottom small bar is on the top. 
Move the front right warp over from the current notch it is in to the "extra notch"This will leave room for you to grab the warp thread behind and make it easier to see. It will also insure that you bring the back warp thread to the RIGHT of the one in front (If you were doing this in the opposite direction, to the LEFT.) At this point you may want to loosen your tension slightly to make it easier to grab the back warp threads. 
Loop your heddle around the first back warp thread and onto the bar. Easy to see, isn't it?
Now, move the front warp thread that is second to the right over one notch to the right. This opens up a space for you to see the next thread you will be looping your heddle around. 
Continue to do this in sequential order, remembering to move each front warp thread over to the right before you grab the next back warp thread. It isn't hard to remember to do this since the comb sets everything up very clearly. 
Remove the comb.
And you're done! Ta da!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Putting on heddles made easy

New discovery:  putting on heddles not only made easy, but also to avoid making any mistakes.  I discovered this just before teaching the two women you will meet on the main blog.  One woman wanted to warp her loom for a nine inch wide piece.  She had never warped a Mirrix Loom for bead weaving before.  We also had a major time constraint.  Using this method she did not make one error.

For the purpose of being able to clearly see the illustrations, I have used thick warp in every other dent of the eight inch coil.  This method is for bead weaving using the shedding device.  There are two warps in every dent.

This is how you do it.

Insert the thin metal bar that is later inserted in the spring to prevent the warps from jumping out when you advance your weaving.

Tie the rod to the top beam so that it stays balanced while you put on the heddles.

Wrap a heddle around the first warp that is above the bar.

Hook heddles onto top bar on shedding device.  Continue doing this with all the warps that are above the inserted metal bar.

Once you have put heddles on every warp that is on top of the inserted bar, rotate the shedding device away from you so that the heddles are now on the bottom (the old method had you attach a heddle to the top bar and then one to the bottom bar).  You will then be attaching heddles to the warps that are behind the inserted metal bar.  It might be helpful to use a crochet hook to grab the warp.  Make sure it is to the right of the warp which already has a heddle around it.  Place a heddle around this warp and hook onto shedding device bar.

Voila. Franc is very pleased with himself.