The Collar Project: Finished

I admit it, the dog collar I was weaving didn’t get finished as fast as I wanted to. It wasn’t the weaving- that was easy- I just wasn’t sure how I was going to finish it (and, let’s be honest, the weaving is the fun part… the finishing…  not so much). I was thinking about lining it, but in the end decided it wasn’t necessary and what I will do for my next collar is weave in my ends Navajo-style so the tapestry is double sides.

See my new collar? 

After finishing, I’ve decided on the changes I will make for my next collar. First, I would make it a little thicker, 8 dents across with a 10 dent coil. Second, I would use more beads. I was worried that Sam would try to eat them or something, but now that I see them on the collar they look really nice. Third, I would have made the collar a little longer for. I want it to be very adjustable, especially because he’s a puppy.

I apologize in advance for the terrible iPhone photography!

Finishing weaving. Next time I will weave slightly more for the footer. 

The piece off the loom. After cutting it off I tied the ends and then trimmed them very short. Next time, I will weave in my ends to make the piece double sided.

Because I cut the ends so short, I made sure to dab glue on all the ends so they don’t unravel. I also folded over the edges and glued them down (easier than sewing!). 

Terrible picture… But: To attach the clasp and the piece that will help you resize the collar, weave your collar through the metal piece (so on the underside of the piece there is one metal bar and on the top there are two) and then through one of the sides of the clasps. Then loop the end of the collar back through the one metal bar on the underside and sew the end of the collar that you just looped through onto itself. This will allow you to resize the collar by moving this metal piece. In the kit instructions we will go through this step-by-step and in much greater detail. 

The finished collar! To finisht the other end, simply loop that end through the other side of the clasp and sew the end to itself. I didn’t sew on the D ring, but I might do so with the next one. 

And there we are! Sam is eating breakfast with his brand-new collar on!

“Look at me!” 
Now I am going to weave a perfected version of this and make it into a fun and easy kit. I think it’s going to be a multicolored collar this time, and with silk instead of cotton. Fancy puppy!

This and that

AS some of you might recall, last November I traveled to Cincinnati to appear in the 1400 series of Beads, Baubles and Jewels:  It was a lot of fun and I met some great folks there.  I was told it would air in May and I promptly forgot to check if it did.  This series does not air on all public television stations.  If you go to their website you can find listings for your area.  So I went there:  And to my surprise, it is airing this month.  I don’t think it aired anywhere in May or June or July!  So check it out and see if it’s coming to a television station near you.  Our episode is 1410 Texture and it shows me making a tapestry/bead cuff.  See it there on the cover of the DVD!
You asked for, and now we are making it.  A shedding device for our eight inch loom:
Yes, we ran out of that gorgeous gold thread.  But after weeks of waiting for a shipment from Japan, the good news is we found some more.  It will arrive in the next few days.  Get your orders in early before this stuff is all gone:
Up and coming . . . a new Mirrix Loom.  This one will be perfect for weaving table runners.  She will be 28 inches wide and will weave a piece up to 44 inches tall (weaving width will be 25 inches).  We are so excited about this new loom!  I personally cannot wait to use it!

Weave-Along 2: Finishing Weaving

Finishing Weaving
Today we will finish weaving our cuffs.  I will weave and photograph a couple of inches of the elegant cuff.  The simple cuff is just more of the same of what has been done.  You will weave sections of silk and gold combined that are just shy of an inch divided by a single row of beads.  Once you have woven seven sections of fiber and six rows of beads you can weave a footer (just like the header . . . a few passes of warp thread) and then wait for next week for complete finishing of the piece.

Now for some pictures of the more complicated cuff.

The second row of gold beads

Adding silk thread after the row of gold beads

Adding a row of silk for pick and pick

Alternating the black for pick and pick

After some pick and pick combining the gold and silk

A few rows of combined gold and silk

Ending the silk thread

Just a few rows of gold.  Ah, how we love that gold thread!

Silk thread added.  Notice how the left (the end) is behind the side the warp.

It’s hard to tell, but we’ve added some gold thread for pick and pick.

Pick and pick.

Gold and silk thread combined for a few rows.

Beads added.

 Continue weaving until you’ve achieved seven close to one inch sections of fiber (the section should measure one inch when you’ve added the row of beads) and six rows of beads.  Weave a footer as  mentioned at the beginning of this blog.

See you next week for our final blog on this piece!

Claudia Chase & Elena Zuyok
Mirrix Tapestry & Bead Looms

LaniLoom now has a Shedding Device!

She still doesn’t come standard with a shedding device, but now you can buy one for your LaniLoom.  The cuff bracelets became so popular that folks who had never dreamed of weaving fiber, were suddenly weaving fiber.  Lots of people wanted to know if you could weave the cuff on the eight inch loom.  Well, you can, but you also have to needle weave in the fiber which takes a lot more time than letting a shedding device do the work for you.

But to say that is the reason we finally designed and made available the shedding device would be patently untrue.  We blame the LaniLoom shedding device on two wonderful people:  Mac and Sue Murry.  They very sweetly asked us if we could produce a shedding device for the LaniLoom.  Maybe it was the way they asked:  in a long and beautiful email stating the reasons why such a device would greatly improve the quality of their lives and their weaving.  Or maybe just because they are such great people and although my first instinct was to say:  No, No the LaniLoom is supposed to be like every other bead weaving loom (in a way) and besides because it has just one leg it couldn’t possibly work with a shedding device.  Or could it?

By the time I had formed my answer in an email I had already written to manufacturing and asked if they could make me a prototype.  Sure, they could.  A few days later I had it.  And now you can have it too.

I didn’t think the LaniLoom would look cool with a shedding device but boy does she look cool!

Moral of the story:  always listen to those brilliant customers because often they know better than I do.  Mac and Sue were also wondering if we could make a loom between the sizes of the 22 and the 32 inch loom. We are thinking about that now too:  a 28 inch loom anyone?  Maybe a limited run of 20?

Now for the glorious pictures of the LaniLoom and her new get-up.

All About Tapestry/Bead Cuff Bracelets

Interested in weaving beads or tapestry and not quite sure where to begin? 

Mirrix Looms’ tapestry/bead cuff bracelet kits are the perfect projects to begin weaving on your Mirrix Loom. They teach the skills you need to do more complex projects, but they’re easy and fast to make. Plus, they’re gorgeous and make great gifts.

Choose from three kits: The Original Tapestry/Bead Cuff Bracelet Kit, The Elegant Tapestry/Bead Cuff Bracelet kit and The Wedding Tapestry/Bead Cuff Bracelet Kit.

Kits can be purchased here

The Weave-Along 2: Beginning to Weave (& technique)

Mirrix Tapestry Elegant or Wedding Tapestry/Bead Cuff
Let’s Weave!
We are ready to weave!  So get out your specs, your warped loom, silk, gold thread, sumptuous gold beads (how we love the gold!), needle and your imagination and maybe a wee bit of patience and let’s weave.  
We will be weaving two tapestry/bead cuffs at the same time to provide you with different styles.  Here are some example photos:  In this first one  we have the simplest design represented by the Wedding Cuff (which simply means it’s white, not black, so don’t let the color confuse you).  For this simple, yet elegant, piece we’ve woven one inch sections of a combination of three gold threads (in your kit the gold thread is actually three gold threads) and one silk thread.  We then wove a line of size 10/0 24 karat gold plated Delica beads followed by an inch of weaving, followed by a row of beads until there are seven sections of woven area and six rows of Delica beads.  
The second and third examples (one is done in black silk and the other in white silk),  incorporate the same basic design as the first but throw in a couple of other techniques such as “pick and pick” and pure gold lines of thread.  

Simple Cuff

Cuff with more techniques

Another Cuff with more techniques
So choose whether you are going for simple or slightly more complex.  But even if you start with one concept, you can easily pick up the other since both styles incorporate seven one inch woven sections divided by six rows of beads.  This formula guarantees your piece will be the correct length plus the kit includes enough beads to weave six rows.  Now you could stagger the rows differently if you’d like, but remember that you are only going to get six rows of beads out of the kit.
We will begin with the simple version:

Starting that first weft thread:
Prepare your weft by combining a yard length of the three strand gold thread (you will always use the gold thread in three strands so it is thick enough) and one strand of silk. 

End the header thread by inserting it through two center warps.  Begin a strand of silk where you’ve ended the header thread as if you were continuing with the same thread.  You will begin and end all thread in this manner making sure that no thread is ever pushing through to the front of your weaving.  Remember, you do not care what the back looks like!

Weave a little shy of one inch of the gold and silk combined threads.  Do not pull in too tightly at the edges so that your piece remains a consistent width.  Don’t weave so loosely that you have large loops at the edges.

The next step is to add a row of beads.  Thread beading thread onto a needle and tie an overhand knot.

Loop the silk and gold thread through the loop of thread on your needle.

Pick up eleven needles with your needle.  Slide the beads onto the gold and silk thread.

Loop the silk and god around the side warp once (this will serve to anchor the beads, which although you cannot see are on the thread).

Weave the beads into the piece.  There will be two beads between the raised warp threads except for the last one.

Push the beads into place with your fingers and pull tightly enough n the thread so that it is completely buried in the beads.  Neatness counts!

 Make two loops around the end warp thread both to anchor the beads but also to fill up the space on the side of the beads.

Continue weaving the gold and silk thread until you reach close to an inch.

Continue in this manner until you’ve reached seven white almost one inch long sections divided by six rows of beads.

Now let’s move onto the more complicated Cuff.  This one is woven in black silk but can also be woven in white silk.

 Cut a length of silk about a yard long.

Stick the end of the header thread between two warps in the center of the weaving and begin the silk where the header thread ends.  Not a great picture, but I can’t go back and take another one now.

Weave the silk thread for about six passes.  This is not set in stone.

Now you get to add the gold!  End the silk thread in the middle of the weaving and start the three stranded gold where the silk thread ended.

Weave some of that gorgeous gold.

Add the black thread back in but this time at the edge because you are not ending the gold thread.  I know this is not a clear picture.  It looked fine on the camera!  What I’ve done is wrap the black thread around the side warp so that it doesn’t stick out the side.  Take the end under the side warp and then wrap it to the right over the warp sticking it in between the two side warps.  Then weave it to meet the end of the gold.

 Wrap the gold around the end warp twice.  Then weave it back to the right.

Weave the black thread to the right.  You are doing pick and pick, which is essentially a way to make vertical stripes.  It’s a blast once you get the hang of it.

Weave the gold back.  It will naturally go around the black thread making a neat edge.

Weave the black thread.  See the design emerge!

Do the same trick with the gold thread, wrapping around the edge thread twice before you weave it.

Weave just gold for a bit and then end it and add the silk thread.

 Weave just the silk thread for a bit.

End the gold thread and start the silk thread.

Weave a few rows of the silk thread.

Add the gold thread while NOT ending the black thread.  See the way you wrap the thread around the end warp backwards so that the end sticks out behind the weaving.

Weave the gold thread for two passes.  This will not be pick and pick.  Rather it is called wavy lines.  You will weave two passes of each color instead of one.

Weave the silk thread for two passes.

Weave the gold thread for two passes.

Weave the gold thread for two passes.

Then the black.  Congratulations!  You’ve woven an inch and are ready to add beads.

Thread bead thread in to a needle and tie an overhand knot.

  Loop the silk thread that is being woven on the loom around the bead thread attached to the needle.

 Pick up eleven gorgeous 24 karat plated size 10/0 delicas and slide onto your silk thread.

Warp that silk thread around the edge warp before weaving your beads.

Then weave those sweet beads!  Still gives me chills to see how beautiful that looks.

Push the beads down and pull on the silk thread so that it is even with the edge warp thread.  Good job.  Keep smiling.

Wrap silk thread around edge thread before you weave it back.

Weave the silk thread .

Weave some more silk thread.  How ever much you want.

Add some gold thread to the silk thread and weave them together for a bit.

 Now we are going to turn it back into pick and pick. Wrap the silk thread around the outside warp and weave it back once.

Now weave just the gold thread.

One pass of silk thread.

Now you’ve got those wonderful vertical stripes again!

Combine the silk and gold thread and weave with that for a bit.

Look how sweet that looks!

Weave on!!!  This is my loom at this point.  I will be weaving the rest of the piece this week.  How about you?

Happy weaving! Remember to post pictures of your progress on Facebook and Ravelry!

Claudia Chase & Elena Zuyok
Mirrix Tapestry & Bead Looms

Dyeing! And the newly invented small purse kit

What can I say.  I have spent the last two days dyeing.  At first my husband was concerned when I said “I think I am going to dye today.”  He couldn’t see the “e”.  When he came home, there it was:  spread all over the kitchen.  Not soup in those pots.  No way.  Color.  Lots and lots of bubbling color.  Should be ready for tapestry/bead cuff kits in a day or so.  We will also be creating silk color refill kits.  See some of the results:

Hand-dyed mulbury silk ready to be put into cuff kits as well as refill cuff kits.

As I was weaving the new small purse kit for the next weave-along it struck that the purse was anything but small and it could take a really long time to weave it.  So I cut off and started a new one, as is my way.  This one is a couple inches less in width and hence will be less in height and we may all complete it in time for the holidays, which was one of the points.  I am having as much fun weaving this one as the first one, maybe more because I worked out a couple of glitches. It’s interesting that the colors in the purse (it’s wool, not silk) look surprisingly like the silk colors above.  I did not intend that.  So here is a sneak preview:

The small purse kit in the making.  Loving making this!!!

The Mirrix Weave-Along: Balancing the warping bar

One weave-along participant, Susan Murry (thank you, Susan), brought to our attention that some people might not know how to balance the warping bar. I took a few pictures of one of my looms as an example. Basically, if you are warping a relatively thin piece on one side of the loom, the warping bar will not be supported on the other side. To fix this, you need to tie a piece of string, ribbon (Susan says: “Ribbon makes a Mirrix even prettier with a nice big bow at the top!” So true!) or cord to balance the warping bar. Loop your string (ribbon, cord) over the top of the loom, wind it once around the warping bar, bring it back under the loom and tie. Make sure the warping bar is stable and your string is in the correct place. Following are some pictures of the warping bar being balanced on one of my looms.

Please, follow Susan’s lead and let us know if you think there’s anything we can expand upon!

The Collar Project: Day Three

Sam’s new collalr is coming along and we can’t wait! Sam’s neck is 9 1/2 inches around. I need to leave about 1/3 extra space to allow for adjustments (especially since he’s still a puppy) so I’m going to weave 12 1/2 inches plus a header and footer. 

My collar hardware arrived yesterday. It included a clasp, D ring and triglides (for changing the size of the collar). Now to finish the weaving and begin putting everything together!

Weave-Along 2: Warping

We’re ready to warp!

We’re ready to warp and weave a header! If you didn’t read last week’s set-up post, please read it  here before going on.

If you have warped your loom before, this step should be easy. If you have not, please refer to our  online warping instructions  and go through the process step by step.

Two things to remember: This project requires a 12 dent spring with 12 warps across. 

*Note, the pictures under this section are of a loom being warped for only one bracelet because, most likely, you will be weaving just one piece on one side of the loom. The loom has a bottom spring kit. After the warping section, the pictures we will be showing will be of a loom warped for two pieces: the Elegant Cuff Bracelet and the Wedding Cuff Bracelet. 

Loom with warping bar between two clips.
(Black plastic clips shown, newer looms will have wooden clips)
Loom with the warp on.

The top bar of the loom, fifteen warps across.

After the loom is warped, loosen the tension enough to move the warping bar down towards the bottom of the loom. Then tighten your tension again.

Loom with warp on it, balanced on the right side with a piece of cord. 
If you are doing only one bracelet, and because this is a relatively thin project, it is best to warp a piece on one side of the loom instead of in the middle. After warping, tie a piece of cord or string on the other side of the loom to balance the warping bar. You can also warp another piece on the other side to weave later.

The bottom of the loom

The clips are next turned around so they stick forward and the shedding device is places in the clips. 

Putting heddles on

Heddles attach the warp threads to the shedding device, allowing you to change sheds when you change the position of the shedding device handle. 

After putting heddles on every other warp, you rotate the warping bar to put heddles on the warps that did not already have heddles on them.
The shedding device, rotated and ready for more heddles on the other side.

The loom, warped and with heddles on both sides of the shedding device. Almost done!
Close-up of the heddles on the loom.
The loom, ready to be woven on with the shedding device handle attached.

Weaving a Header:

A header is woven before you start your piece to provide a strong base that will eventually be folded over during the finishing process. We used the C-Lon cord that we warped the loom with to weave this header. It should be about a third of an nch of weaving. 

We are warped.  Remember 12 ends per inch using the 12 dent coil.  Warp for tapestry.  If you don’t have a bottom spring kit, remember to weave in those bottom two strings so that your piece does not keep beating down.  This will give it a base.  If you have a bottom spring, this is not necessary.
We will be weaving both the wedding cuff and the elegant cuff.  For the wedding cuff, we will be weaving a very simple pattern of rows of beads divided by one inch of silk and gold thread combined.  For the elegant cuff, we will be weaving a more complicated design.  It doesn’t matter which kit you have, you can weave either technique.  The only difference between the kits is the color of the silk.  In both cases, you will be weaving six rows of size 10 delica beads with one inch sections of tapestry in between, whether that is simple weaving back and forth or a pattern.
Please remember, only participating members will be eligible to win an OttLite at the end of the weave-along. This means: Ask questions, answer questions and post pictures. Even if you’re just asking a question by email or sending us a picture of your progress… or even just commenting on the blog… we want this to be a community event and that means talking with your fellow weave-along members! Post, post, post and you might just go home with anOttLite!

Here are the places you can participate:

“A Word From Elena” blogMirrix Facebook PageMirrix Facebook Group (please ask to join), Mirrix Ravelry Page.

Until next week!

Claudia & Elena
Mirrix Tapestry and Bead Looms