Wintober 2011

Autumn leaves bright on the branches of the trees surrounding the pasture.  Sunlight bouncing off everything . . . ah, but something is wrong  What is that white stuff?  What is that 28 inch pile of white stuff?

From my studio window.  That fence is two feet under!

That fence is still two feet under!

Yes, the birds are gone but who is going to shovel their roof?

Pepper and tomato plants on the porch are still bearing fruit.  Go figure.  

Those are flowerpots underneath those lumps.

McKinley Loom Baby Pictures and Autumn bracelet in winter

The photographer came yesterday to photograph the new McKinley loom but since he left his camera here I won’t have the pictures today.  I took my own unprofessional shots so you can at least get an idea of how beautiful he is.

He’s long and sleek and perfect for table runners.  He measures in at 28 inches wide giving you a 25 inch weaving width and a 44 inch weaving length.

So yesterday I took a picture of autumn not really believing today would be winter.  But as you see, it kind of is.
From my studio window.

I hope the birds have flown south!
I am going to break up winter with my autumn weaving I finished today.  It’s done with soft flex wire and the No warps to weave in kit.  Fast and fun.  I am thinking of making kits with soft flex wire so you can weave this too!

Shasta, my horse, sunbathing.

www.mirrixlooms.com

Softflex weavings and autumn

I am finishing up the fourth bracelet for my guest Soft flex blog.  These bracelets use soft flex wire and the no warps to finish kit. Really fun and fast.  For this one I am using autumn colors. It’s a random pattern I am making up as I go along.

Soft flex wire and delica beads necklace with no warps to weave in kit.  Can’t see it, but it’s being done on a 16 inch loom.

Ah those closeups that aren’t really close!

A wet pumpkin I just photographed in the garden.  Maybe I should pick it?
I walked by and she growled at me.  Chloe loves to growl.  She is so amusing.  
The woods beyond are really very dense but it’s hard to tell.  The leaves are going, going, almost gone.  I will miss them.

Where I am supposed to be weaving that bracelet.  Back to it.

www.mirrixlooms.com

Thoughts from this morning

I woke up this morning (several times) with thoughts about what I was going to make, how I was going to design certain projects, colors floating through my head.  I do this a lot.  I wake up with a certain problem in mind that I need to solve and then I float images of it in my head.  Sometimes I fall asleep again and just sort of dream about it and then that dream moves into another dream.  But all of it is magical and I love it.  I get to see things in my mind before the day has worn away at my creative side.  It’s easy to get sucked into the days work and problems and tasks and to let go of that space in your head that wants to dream about color and form.

I did finish the elegant cuff last night.

With the flash, really captures that gold.

Inside the cuff!

In all her glory.  I love those 24 gold plated beads.

I have been so busy getting together kits, thinking about kits, thinking about new kits, ordering the materials, etc.  It’s really fun but kind of stressful.  I am coming up with formulas for writing instructions and trying to get everything organized and systematic. I look forward to the system being in place so I can dream up new projects.

So I got it in my head that it would be fun to weave a thinner tapestry cuff and just sew ultra-suede to the back.  I am going to try that tomorrow.  I think I will even leave a button hole in the cuff so it can completely close.  I think it will feel really great on one’s wrist and it might be something a man would wear.  I know I make endless gold and silk braids for my husband to wear around his wrist.  The pile keeps growing because he never takes the off.  It’s kind of sweet.

So tomorrow I finish making a bunch of kits for the next weave along and weave a thin tapestry/bead cuff and also work on the guest blog which softflex is waiting for their blog about using their wire with the No Warps to sew in kit.  I have three pieces I’ve woven but want to do one more before I write the blog.

www.mirrixlooms.com

Elegant/Wedding Cuff Final Weave-Along. So now what?

Elegant/Wedding Cuff Final Weave-Along. So now what?
The final week of the elegant/wedding cuff bracelet weave-along is upon us.  Whip out your patience and your scissors and your glue and your beads and your needle and let’s put this all together. First you are going to need to weave a footer with the warp thread.  Mine was about ten passes (five to one side and five back).  After that, it’s time to chop, chop.  Don’t be afraid.  Just make sure you leave at least four inches of warp so you can easily tie it off in overhand knots.  If you can, leave more than four inches.

Waiting to be set free.



Close up of the footer.





Taking a little rest before we continue with surgery.
At last, she has been set free.  Look at all those messy ends!  Thank goodness all the yucky stuff is going to be glued to the brass cuff so you’ll never see it.  Trim the back ends to about half an inch in length.  You basically want them to get out of your way.



To tie warp pairs, start with a the kind of knot you use to start tying your  shoes before the cute little bow.



Tighten that knot so it’s tight against the weavings edge.



Then tie an overhand knot.



Stick a needle into the knot so that you can push it close to the edge of the weaving.



Once you’ve got the knot in place, you can remove that needle and to to the next pair of warp threads.













Warp ends all tied!



Trim ends to about a quarter of an inch.





Hair cut finished.







That’s the glue I use.  You can use anything that works on fabric.  I like this stuff because it’s fairly slow drying and allows me to adjust the piece on the brass cuff before being permanently stuck to it.  Yes, it’s smelly.  The odor goes away in about 24 hours.



Glue dabbed on back of piece.  I’ve try to push all the ends into the center where the glue keeps them in place.  This keeps them out of the way when you attach the piece to the brass cuff.



Put tapestry on cuff folding over the ends as much as you need to.  You want them to reach just slightly past the cuff so you have ample material to sew into.  Too short is not good and will make you want to tear your hair out.



Attach the ultra suede to the back of your piece.  Again, you want the ends to be long enough that you can easily sew them to the tapestry.





Sew to the tapestry and ultra-suded together all around the cuff.



Now the fun part . . . adding beads.  Pick up one 15/0, one 11/0, one 15/0.  Whip stitch between the tapestry and the ultra suede doing your best to make sure you’ve covered any sewing thread that might be showing on the tapestry.  Don’t worry so much about how the back looks.  Your goal is make sure the front is beautiful.



See how pretty!



Almost done.



One more picture of it.

We will post our finished cuff on Facebook later today!  We are hoping you will do the same.  And then we will throw all your names in a hat (we will give you a few days to post) and randomly pick the winner of the OTT light.  What lucky person that will be.


Claudia Chase & Elena Zuyok
Mirrix Tapestry & Bead Looms

Elegant/Wedding Cuff Final Weave-along

The final week of the elegant/wedding cuff bracelet weave-along is upon us.  Whip out your patience and your scissors and your glue and your beads and your needle and let’s put this all together. First you are going to need to weave a footer with the warp thread.  Mine was about ten passes (five to one side and five back).  After that, it’s time to chop, chop.  Don’t be afraid.  Just make sure you leave at least four inches of warp so you can easily tie it off in overhand knots.  If you can, leave more than four inches.
Waiting to be set free.

Close up of the footer.
Taking a little rest before we continue with surgery.
At last, she has been set free.  Look at all those messy ends!  Thank goodness all the yucky stuff is going to be glued to the brass cuff so you’ll never see it.  Trim the back ends to about half an inch in length.  You basically want them to get out of your way.

To tie warp pairs, start with a the kind of knot you use to start tying your  shoes before the cute little bow.

Tighten that knot so it’s tight against the weavings edge.

Then tie an overhand knot.

Stick a needle into the knot so that you can push it close to the edge of the weaving.

Once you’ve got the knot in place, you can remove that needle and to to the next pair of warp threads.
Warp ends all tied!

Trim ends to about a quarter of an inch.

Hair cut finished.

That’s the glue I use.  You can use anything that works on fabric.  I like this stuff because it’s fairly slow drying and allows me to adjust the piece on the brass cuff before being permanently stuck to it.  Yes, it’s smelly.  The odor goes away in about 24 hours.

Glue dabbed on back of piece.  I’ve try to push all the ends into the center where the glue keeps them in place.  This keeps them out of the way when you attach the piece to the brass cuff.

Put tapestry on cuff folding over the ends as much as you need to.  You want them to reach just slightly past the cuff so you have ample material to sew into.  Too short is not good and will make you want to tear your hair out.

Attach the ultra suede to the back of your piece.  Again, you want the ends to be long enough that you can easily sew them to the tapestry.
Sew to the tapestry and ultra-suded together all around the cuff.

Now the fun part . . . adding beads.  Pick up one 15/0, one 11/0, one 15/0.  Whip stitch between the tapestry and the ultra suede doing your best to make sure you’ve covered any sewing thread that might be showing on the tapestry.  Don’t worry so much about how the back looks.  Your goal is make sure the front is beautiful.

See how pretty!

Almost done.

One more picture of it.

We will post our finished cuff on Facebook later today!  We are hoping you will do the same.  And then we will throw all your names in a hat (we will give you a few days to post) and randomly pick the winner of the OTT light.  What lucky person that will be.

www.mirrixlooms.com

Last Day of Current weave-along but new great ones to follow

This is the last day of the elegant/wedding cuff weave-along but we have another two great ones to follow.  The new one starts November 15th and includes two projects.  One is the beaded iPod kit and the other is the small purse tapestry kit:

http://www.mirrixlooms.com/beadedpursekit.html

and http://www.mirrixlooms.com/wovenpursekit.html

You can weave them at the same time on one loom.  There will be a slight modification since the beaded kit requires the 12 dent coil using every dent and the purse uses the 14 dent coil using every other dent.  You can use the 12 dent coil for the purse using every other dent.  Just modify it slight by putting on six fewer warps.  Or simply, make sure you put on enough warps so that the width measures six inches. 
Or do just one or do both but on different looms.  In any case, you are going to want to participate in this weave-along because it will serve as a great learning experience for using the Mirrix Loom and shedding device.
And remember we do now have a shedding device for the eight inch loom:  http://www.mirrixlooms.com/sheddingdevice.html  allowing you to weave the beaded purse on the eight inch loom.  The wool purse is one inch too wide for the LaniLoom.
And yes, an active participant will be eligible to win a fabulous floor OTT light!  
Order your kits soon because we are having a hard time making them fast enough to keep in stock.

www.mirrixlooms.com

Kumihimo Disk

I own two Marudais (braiding stands) but portable they are not.  And I always need a portable version of whatever I am doing.  For example, you can’t just have a Mirrix Loom that lives in your house.  You need once to take on the road or literally in the car.  (side note:  my husband and I always fight over who gets to drive . . . actually, more like who doesn’t have to drive . . . I usually win.)  Same goes for braiding, which I like to do because I can produce lovely straps for my handwoven purses.  I can also make some fun stand along pieces like my version of the friendship bracelet (lots and lots of gold thread and with a little bit of silk thread thrown in).

The reason I love the Kumihimo braiding disk so much is that I can easily throw it in my purse (and with those wonderful bobbins nothing comes undone) and whip it out anywhere at any time for some instant gratification.  I try to become invisible because the reality is I don’t want to have to explain myself.  I just want to braid (or weave or whatever I am doing in public!).  I can also transport it easily from room to room.  Not so much for the wooden stands because the bobbins jump all over the place and it can be a mess.  So I am very excited that we are now able to offer these fun tools for your braiding pleasure.

Let me show you some recent braids I’ve been working on:

This will be the strap for the weave-along tapestry purse.

Multi-colored silk braid waiting to become a strap for something.

Black silk and gold thread braid.

There is a gold plated wire in here as well as tons of gold thread and three colors of silk yarn done in a flat braid.  It wants to be a bracelet.

www.mirrixlooms.com

Small Tapestry Purse

Done.  Finally.  Made some changes along the way and added some things to the kit today.  I added some additional threads for the strap.  I didn’t like the way the wool looked in a rope.  You are welcome to add some wool to your rope, but it’s best not to make it all out of wool.  The extra threads are novelty threads and rayon.  It took me three tries to get them the right length.  In other words, I made two ropes that were too short.  The kit contains enough thread to make the correct length rope.  I also had to think about a clasp.  What I did was added a loop of beads on the flap (actually, I’ve added three rows of beads to the loop so it’s very attractive and sturdy.)  Then I had to come up with a button.  I settled on a semi-precious stone.  Worked great.

The beads are permanent finish galvanized and pick up the rich colors of the purse because they are so rich.  I loved the effect.  And the lining is to die for.  Nice weighty duponi silk with a lovely texture.  Heaven!

I am very pleased with the final product.  It took a while to get it just right, but I am glad I ripped out and redid a bunch of times until it was right.

Okay, here is the picture of the finished purse:

Color Block Tapestry Purse

The pieces of the kit

www.mirrixlooms.com

New Small Tapestry Purse

I keep getting torn in a million directions so actually finishing anything seems impossible these last couple of weeks.  In the middle of it I managed to rescue another cat, of course.  She was abandoned and living in my friend’s wood pile.  She’s about three and a complete love.  I can’t imagine anyone wanting to give this sweetie up.  We did check everywhere and she was not reported missing.  She’s got four double paws so they almost look like snow shoes!

Chloe

The purse is coming along very well.  I now have most of the silk lining on it (oh did I pick some gorgeous silk for the lining!).  Since the piece incorporates slit tapestry, I did sew up all of the longer slits. I timed myself.  It only took a half an hour.  I had thought about using beads to sew up some of the slits.  I even tried it.  But because the pattern is so intense the beads looked really bad.  I will use beads (and include them in the kit) to sew on the strap.

The strap can be made two ways.  You can use a braiding disc and material other than the wool included with the kit to make a strap.  I am making one from rayon floss and novelty yarn.  But that will be for the weave-along piece because this strap is going to take a while to finish.  Fortunately, I can just throw the disc in my purse so while I was at the dentist today waiting to get my teeth cleaned I whipped out that disc and got at least two inches done.  For this purse, which I will finally be able to post tomorrow, I will use whatever yarn is left over from the kit (we are including one extra skein so don’t fear that you will come up short) to make a rope and turn that into a strap.  Ropes are easy to make.  You just twist a bunch of yarn together and then fold it in half back onto itself and let it twist.  It’s just like plying while spinning.

Okay, now for the one picture of the piece close to completion:

Right before I cut it off the loom.

Taking a lithe rest before being tied and sewn and all that stuff.

www.mirrixlooms.com