Continuing to Weave

We hope you got some time out this Thanksgiving weekend to do some weaving between cooking and eating, but if not, you won’t be falling too far behind in the weave-along. This week, we’re continuing to weave and have explored (below) another option for finishing your tapestry purse. Take your time and enjoy it! Remember to post pictures of your progress. Our Facebook group is a great place to do that.

Happy beginning of the holiday season!

Claudia & Elena

PS: We’ll have some fantastic deals for Cyber Monday tomorrow! Remember to check back!

The Beaded Purse

We will post pictures of the beaded purse with a little more progress later in the week, but basically for this week, you’ll just keep on weaving! Please let us know if you have any problems or questions. If you’re still stuck on warping or putting heddles on, check out the little videos we made to help guide you!

The Tapestry Purse

For those of you who are weaving the original design for the small tapestry purse, keep on weaving until it is at least thirteen or fourteen inches long or even longer.  It’s your choice.  Decide what will live inside it and how long it needs to be to have enough depth to fit those items.  I felt  at thirteen inches mine was a tad too short because my cellphone only fits in it sideways.  It’s too long to fit in it vertically.

For those of you who have decided to weave using the second method (weaving your wefts in one direction and then ending them all and starting a new set) I have completed that piece.  But just to give you more food for thought or food for weaving, I made this one shorter so that it will be an eyeglass case. That was six inches and a half long.  If I had gone for maybe seven and a half inches it would have worked as a cellphone case.  But it’s just shy in width to fit my cellphone.  I wanted to show you all the possibilities of weaving with this yarn on this warp.  Plus, since I started the second piece on the same warp as the first I did not have enough warp length to weave another full tapestry piece.  Another reason was:  this is a great gift for a guy and I do plan to give this eyeglass case to a male for the holidays.  I really am making as many gifts as I can, all of them based on our current kits.

Ready for some pictures!

Not quite done!

Getting there!  Note the straight edges.  Very important.

Adding the header.

Header done.

That is a measuring stick.  But you can’t really see the numbers.

PIece with all her hair before tying off the ends in overhand knots.  Weight the piece with a brick or book or whatever and then tie overhand knots.  Stick a needle into the knot before it is closed and push it toward the piece.  That way the knot will land where you need it to land.

I’ve trimmed the ends to about a half an inch.  I also trimmed the weft ends to about two thirds of an inch.

Next steps:

1) Fold header and footer over and sew to back of tapestry.
2) Sew up slits.
3) Line back of tapestry with silk fabric.
4) Sew together (fringed edges and bottom) to form an eyeglass case/cellphone case.
5) Bead around sewn up edge and around top of case to decorate/disguise sloppy sewing job (in my case) although since this is being given to a man I might step up my sewing skills and skip the beads.

Next week:  Finishing this piece and cutting the other tapestry piece off the loom.

Weave on!

The Beaded Purse: Beginning to Weave

Once you get going weaving this purse you won’t want to stop.  I hope you have survived the warping of this piece whether using or not using the shedding device.  For me, it’s easy, but I’ve done it more than once!  You will find that it will also become easy for you.  It’s like any learning curve of any importance in life:  you don’t really learn until you’ve experienced at least some failure.  Which means I must have learned a lot in my life!

Okay, so you are beyond warping the loom.  Congratulations to you.  Give yourself a huge pat on your back and get ready for the fun stuff.

We now have two starting points.

Starting point one is what follows for those of you who are using the shedding device but are not using a bottom spring kit.  You folks have to weave in two threads to isolate your warp pairs before weaving in (actually, sewing in) your first row.  The rest of you can skip this point.  Who are the rest of you?  Those of you who are weaving not using the shedding device or have a bottom spring kit.  If you have a bottom spring kit you don’t have to weave in these two threads because the kit will separate your threads for you.

See this cute little diagram.

It is a diagram of the two rows of thread you need to weave around your pairs of warp threads.  Cut a thread from your spool of warp that is twice the width of your loom plus six inches or so.  Thread the thread into a needle.  Use the needle to weave over and above warp  pairs until you reach the other side of the weaving.  Wrap around the side bar of your loom and weave under the warps you wove over and over the warps you’ve woven under.  Again, you are isolating warp pairs.  You  need to check to the spring above to make sure you are actually isolating the warp pairs because the warps can get crossed at the bottom of your loom and look like a pair when in fact it’s stolen a thread from its neighbor and given up its mate.  Once you’ve woven the second thread, tie it to the other end around the other loom side bar.  You are now ready to join the rest of us in sewing in our first row.

Cut a piece of warp thread (which you will use for your thread for stringing your beads from now on) about four feet long, or whatever length of thread you are comfortable using.  I like to make it as long as I can because then I don’t have to replace it as frequently.  But too long can tangle.

String up 42 black beads.  Place the strung beads behind and in between either the single warp threads if you are not using your shedding device and the paired warp threads if you are.  Sew through the from to the beads.  You will continue using this method of attaching your beads if you are NOT using the shedding device.  I guess you can call this the traditional method of weaving beads.  If you are using the shedding device, this first row was woven in this manner in order to form a base for your weaving (the shedding device will not work without this base and also, when you take the piece off the loom, without this base your piece will fall apart).

Again, if you aren’t using the shedding device, continue attaching subsequent rows of beads in the manner of this first row.  You have been provided a large bead pattern with your kit.  Just follow the pattern.  You can also follow here as we weave along, but we will be using the shedding device.

Make a “shed” by turning your shedding device in either direction with the handle and hooking the handle behind the side bar of the loom.  String 42 black beads and insert your needle in between the raised and lowered threads.  Do this a couple inches above the place where the two sets of threads connect.  This is called the fell line.  Make sure your beads are in-between the raised set of threads.  Use your fingers to manipulate your beads so that they fall into place.  Then pull down so that the beads get caught in the V that is created where the two sets of warp threads intersect.  Again, this is called the fell line.

Row three of all black beads follows.

We are starting the checkerboard pattern.

Ending a old thread and starting a new one.  Once your thread has gotten too short, sew it back through  subsequent row.  Pull to front of weaving, wrap around a warp thread, pull needle through loop and make a knot.  Continue sewing through the row of beads.  You can do another knot if you feel your first one has not secured it enough.  Cut end after you’ve sewn through a final section of beads.  

Begin a new thread in the same manner but backwards.  Sew through a few of the beads in the last row of beads you have woven. Pull thread to front, make a loop around a warp thread (or pair of warp threads if using shedding device), sew through loop to make a knot and continue sewing through beads until you get to the starting point of the next row.  

I like to weave sections of beads at a time when I get to the pattern part when using the shedding device.  (You cannot do this when not using the shedding device).This is because I tend to make mistakes and it’s easier if I only weave half of the beads at a time to identify and fix those mistakes.  Also, it’s easier to set in a shorter length of beads.  To do this, string up, let’s say, about half the beads required for a row.  Pull your needle all the way to the other side of the weaving.  Push the beads down.  Make a loop where the beads end.

String up the rest of the beads.  Use the loop as if it were the end of the thread to jiggle your beads into place.  Slide the beads down.  Pull on end of thread to get rid of loop.

There you go.  Perfect!

More . . .

You are welcome to weave as much as you want.  I know  won’t be able to resist weaving more this week.  I will try not to finish the whole thing.

Chloe was very interested in what I was doing but refuses to learn to do anything but eat the bead thread.

The Woven Purse: Beginning to Weave

Quite a few years ago when Elena was a “wee babe” and I was determined to learn how to weave tapestry, there was no internet.  I had briefly taken a tapestry class while living in San Francisco when pregnant with Elena.  We were given rigid heddle looms and not a whole lot of guidance.  They were also doing “natural” dyeing.  Which sounds good.  But even though the color producing material was “natural” the chemicals they were using to make those colors stick (mordants) weren’t so great, I thought, for that little fetus.  So I quit.  By then I had bought my own rigid heddle loom but rather than weave tapestry, I wove about ten alpaca scarves which I gave away to family and friends.  It wasn’t until after Elena was born and we were living on the East Coast in Northern New Hampshire that I decided to learn tapestry.  I had no books (they weren’t in my local bookstore or library) and only a vague notion of what I was meant do do.  I knew that the warp needed to be covered.  I knew that I was intended to weave shapes of some sort.  But I didn’t know much more.  OH my gosh. I made every mistake possible about a thousand times over.  I have this very stubborn personality that doesn’t let me give up.  So I plowed through my self instruction in tapestry for several years.  I came to realize a couple of things within the first year:  rigid heddle looms are really bad for weaving tapestry, tension is the single most important things when weaving tapestry and it was time to buy a tapestry book.

A wooden tapestry floor loom was just waiting in someone’s barn for me to buy.  I hauled it home an set it up and learned that tension is indeed the most important thing.  Weaving on this loom was a dream.  Now it was time to really understand and learn tapestry.

It took me a few years to get good at tapestry.  I created a bunch of really grand failures.  I saved some of them just to remind me of my roots.  Certain concepts seemed so hard to get inside my head even with a couple of decent tapestry books (although some of the really great ones to be found today were then just a gleam in someone’s eye).  What shed?  What weft?  Who can cross over whom and why and when?  Weaving in opposite directions?  Are you kidding me?  Why???  But as these concepts settled in tapestry became easier and easier and I tore out less and less.  I am pretty comfortable with most tapestry techniques now (not all, though) but I still make mistakes.  You just can’t take this medium for granted.  It always wants to test you.  Ah, but worth learning it is!

So get ready for a fun, frustrating, time-consuming ride.  This is not going to come to you over night (or maybe it will and aren’t you the lucky one!) and this purse may not be perfect.  But it will be a great beginning to, I hope, a life time of tapestry weaving.

We suggest you get a good book on tapestry.  We sell them on our site but you can also get them elsewhere including the library.  It’s like having a dictionary when you write.  It’s a good place to look up things when yo aren’t sure or need reminding.

I realize that not everyone will want to jump into this piece for their first foray into tapestry:

Thinking about it, I realized that although in some ways it is the perfect first piece because it teaches you two very valuable techniques:  weaving in opposite directions and slit tapestry.  However, as I wove and photographed the details of this technique I realized that for those of you who have never woven tapestry before this might turn out to be very frustrating.  So last night I sat in bed in the dark for hours and hours thinking about what I could do to make sure everyone has a great experience weaving this small purse.  I had already created the beginning weaving of the above purse for this blog and was planning to just add a little more before posting.  But last night I realized I would have to create a secondary piece for those who want to experience a somewhat simpler piece and yet still experience tapestry.  Maybe the above piece should be a second project, not a first, for some.  Or maybe some of you will want to combine the techniques.  Start off with the “easier” one and end with the more difficult one.  In any case, no matter what path you choose, you are going to have fun.

That being said, I am going to post first the above purse and then below I am going to post and entirely different approach.  So PLEASE read or at least look through this entire blog before deciding which path you want to take.  And remember, you can start with one, decide it’s not your journey, unweave and begin a different journey.  The goal is to learn, to have fun and to create something you are proud of.  Let’s begin.

The Tapestry Purse employing the techniques of weaving in opposite directions and slit tapestry

A few words about this piece before we begin.  I am going to show you a picture of the finished piece before it was sewn into a purse.  This design is not set in stone.  In fact this piece is not the piece I am weaving for this weave-along.  I am weaving a different piece and I can promise you it will not be identical to the first piece.  It will have the same feel, the same pattern idea, and the same colors, but it won’t be identical.  I don’t want you to copy me exactly.  I want you to get a feel for the techniques and then make your own color combinations, your own shapes.  Yes, this is sort of a sampler, but not really because the same technique  keeps getting repeated which gives you room to fly.

There she is:  my first tapestry made from this kit.  

Let’s begin . . .

To begin with, you are going to start four weft yarns, all traveling in opposite directions.  By doing this, wefts can travel into each other’s areas and be in the correct shed.  That most likely will make no sense to you.  It might take this whole weave-along for that to make sense to you.  It might take a year to make sense as it did with me.  But someday it will become second nature.  Don’t get frustrated, just try.
Your first weft thread will start where your warp thread ended. See how the tails meet behind the warp threads?

To start your second weft, push it’s tail in between warps 20 and 21 or thereabouts.  Don’t start getting to specific about where you begin or end these wefts.  If your square is a little smaller than mine, so be it.  We aren’t going for a carbon copy of my piece.  I want you to start off sort of copying me to get the  hang of it.  For example, you do need to start with four wefts.

The orange weft tail starts where the green tail ends.  It travels away from the green weft (whereas the blue and green wefts travel toward each other).

And lastly, the orange weft heads toward the yellow weft.  Because the end warp is raised, the orange tail is in fact in back of the weaving.

From a little distance you can see what we’ve done.

Change sheds and weave every thread once.  The blue will be woven to the left to the edge of the weaving.  The green will be woven right until it reaches the yellow thread.  The yellow thread will be woven left until it meets the green thread and the orange thread will be woven all the way to the right edge of the weaving.

How it looks thus far.

Change the shed and weave back from whence you came with each thread.  I want you to just build up color areas with slits in between.

I don’t seem to have a photo of this but please weave one more time after the above photo so that your blue thread ends to the right of the blue square, the green thread ends to the left of the green square, your yellow thread ends to the right of the yellow square and your orange thread ends to the left of the orange square.
Now we are going to throw in a new element.  We are going to make a pink square in the middle of the blue area.  The nature of tapestry being what it is, you can’t add or take away just one weft unless it is at the very edge of the weaving.  Otherwise, you’ve got to add two wefts.  Stick the tail of the blue weft in between warps 5 and 6 and weave to the left.  Stick the end of the pink weft between warps 6 and 7 and weave under one warp thread. Weave the existing blue weft to meet the pink weft.

Weave the rest of the squares.  Then weave the left blue toward the pink, the pink toward the blue and the blue to the green.

Weave the green four warps into the yellow area (this is what I mean about being able to weave into another color area when your wefts are traveling in opposite directions).  Weave the yellow to meet the green.

Continue weaving these color areas.

And look what you get!

Weave the pink and right blue weft toward each other and bury ends behind tapestry.

Change shed and weave the left blue weft over the pink and the right blue weft.

Weave the green weft for a couple of warps and then bury tail behind weaving.  Begin a pink weft where it ends and weave as far as the blue weft.

Weave the yellow weft a couple of warps and then bury end behind weaving.  Start a purple weft where the yellow weft ends and weave into the orange territory a couple of warps.  Weave the orange weft to meet the purple weft. We’ve started some new shapes!

Weave everything back.

And one more time.

Stick the end of the orange weft behind the tapestry and start rose/purple weft.

Keep weaving these new colors.

Remember how  I said you can begin just one weft at the edge of the weaving?  Here we want to add a yellow weft. Because the warp thread is up, if we just inserted the weft, the tail would essentially be in front of the weaving.  So wrap that tail around that warp and stick it into the weaving between warps 1 and 2.  It will then be behind the weaving.

 Weave everything back once.  You now have a yellow square starting on the left.

Keep weaving all these color areas.

This is how it looks!

Continue with this concept.  You pick where the colors change and the width of your shapes.  That’s a tall order but it makes this your piece.  Trust me, when I tried to copy exactly the finish purse I was not having a lot of fun.  This piece is all about trying to master the two techniques of weaving in opposite directions and being able to add and take away wefts as well as slit tapestry.  
More photos of weaving with this method:

What you should have finished by next weekend (or more if you’d like!):

The Tapestry Purse employing the techniques of weaving in the same direction and slit tapestry (easier, but just as pretty!)

After weaving your header, stick four pieces of yarn between warp threads to determine the width of each of the squares you will be weaving.  Make each space a slightly different size.  Don’t stress.  Whatever you do will be fine.

Insert your first piece of weft yarn where your header yarn ended.  Weave to the first marker yarn.

Insert the next color where in the space occupied by the next marker yarn. Weave in the SAME direction as the last weft.  Do this for all five weft yarns, weaving them all in the same direction and sticking their ends where the marker yarns are.

Weave each weft back not going past the marker yarn.

Keep weaving these weft yarns back and forth until you build up rectangular shapes.

Remove the marker yarns.

End each weft end by sticking it in between the warp yarns where they end.

 Weave the yarn at the each of the piece in a few warps.  You will start a new weft where this ends.

Start a new weft yarn where the edge weft yarn ended.

Place a new set of markers.  Make sure they occupy a different place from where the old markers were.
Start new weft yarns at the markers and weave to next marker where you will start a new yarn.  Remember, these weft yarns all travel in the same direction.

Remove the markers when you can clearly see where your new shapes should be placed.  Weave these shapes until they are approximately as tall as the previous shapes.  Use your eye to gauge what you feel looks best.

Once again, end your weft yarns at the edge of your shape with the exception of the side weft, which will get woven back a few warps.

Place new markers.  This time I’ve used only four.

Begin new wefts.

Remove markers and continue weaving new wefts.  The following records my progress using this method.

Continue with this method.  Have fun.  See you next week!

Soft Flex Again and and another no warps bracelet

I can’t stop experimenting with my Soft Flex wire with the No warps to weave in kit.  It’s not only fun and quite fast but the final product is amazing.  I think these bracelets will last forever.  So whether you are making them for yourself, your friends or to sell, I think you will be thrilled with the results.

This piece was made from rhodium and 24 karat gold plated size 11/0 delica beads on a Very Fine soft touch warp.  I used C-Lon beading thread for the weft.

New No Warps Bracelet one and two

Daggers and size 8/0 seed beads on a Soft Flex copper wire warp

This was fun and easy and we now have it in kit form:  http://www.mirrixlooms.com/nowarpstoweaveinbraceletkit.html

I also am weaving another bracelet with a slightly thinner Soft Flex Warp and size 11/0 Delica beads in a rhodium and 24 karat gold finish.  This one is still on the loom.

I will get back to you tomorrow with a better picture and final results of this bracelet.

Welcome to the 3rd Mirrix Weave-Along

Welcome to the 3rd Mirrix Weave-Along 

We are very happy to be starting our third weave-along today. This is a very exciting event not only because we’re doing two different projects, but because we are taking on more advanced projects than we did in our previous two weave-alongs. As participants, we hope that you will learn new skills through the process. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions, that’s what we’re here for. 

Remember to share for a chance to win! 

Our weave-alongs are not meant to be experienced alone! Participants are encouraged to ask questions and engage with other members of the weave-along via email and social media sites. 
Post pictures of your progress, ask questions, answer questions and discuss your projects via our Mirrix Facebook PageMirrix Facebook Group and our Mirrix Ravelry Page. You can also check out our new Google+ page!

Remember, one active participant (this is key, you must be actively posting your progress to be eligible) will win an OttLite at the end of the weave-along. It could be you! Check out OttLite’s website here.

Following are the two blog posts with warping instructions for the woven and beaded purses. 

Thank you and good luck! 

Claudia Chase & Elena Zuyok
Mirrix Tapestry & Bead Looms

Mirrix’s Weave-Along 3: The Beaded Purse


We are ready to Begin!

Pull out your patience and your love of beads and weaving, and let’s embark  on an adventure in bead weaving that is sure to be the first of many.

Tools needed to weave this piece:
A Mirrix Loom 8 inches wide or wider
A twelve dent warp coil
A beading needle
scissors
Materials need to weave this piece:  

Myuki Size 10 Delica Beads:
50 grams of black
10 grams of Met Patina Iris
15 grams Met Gold Iris
2 bobbins black C-Lon beading thread
Duponi silk for lining
Pattern:

If you do not own the Mirrix kit and pattern, please email claudia@mirrixlooms.com and I will send you a PDF of the full printable pattern.


Setting up your Mirrix Loom:
The minimum warp length is 22 inches.  This can be accomplished using a Mirrix Laniloom or 12 inch loom.  Larger looms, because of their added height, require an extra warping bar kit to put on a 22 inch warp or simply make the loom as short as possible (leaving two inches of threaded rod showing for adjustment purposes) if you do not have the kit.
Warp the loom for use with or without the shedding device using the 12 dent warp coil. Use whichever method with which you feel the most comfortable.  You will need 43 rows of warp.  The final piece will be 3 inches wide and 13 inches tall.

Please click on one of the two links below to refresh yourself about warping with or without the shedding device for bead weaving.  

Please note:  We have used the bottom spring kit for this piece.  If you use kit you will not have to weave in the two threads to help isolate your pairs of threads before weaving your first row.


Below are some photos from my warping moment.

I ran out of warp at the very end.  All I had to do was tie off the old thread and tie on a new one and continue in the correct direction.
You see I was almost done!

A big nod and thanks to the McKinley family who both pointed out that one can balance the warping bar with something pretty.  They sent me a lovely collection of ribbons for this purpose.  I did not center my piece to avoid the the center screw in the shedding device.

Ready for heddles!

A ribbon holding in place the bar that has been woven underneath one warp in each dent to more easily identify which warp to put the heddle around.

Heddles on and ready to go.  Just have to remove the bar and stick it in the  top spring.

I am ready to weave this purse!


Mirrix’s Weave-Along 3: The Woven Purse


This kit contains the following: 
-Ten 20 yard skeins of wool/mohair yarn
-A 100 gram tube of Navajo wool warp
-12 yards of five different novelty yarns for the strap
-7 ½ grams of 11/0 seed beads
-7 ½ grams of 8/0 seed beads
-One bobbin of C-Lon beading thread
-A semi-precious stone for a clasp
-Silk fabric for lining
If you have not purchased the kit, gather similar materials to weave this purse.
Other items you will need to weave this purse:
A tapestry loom
A 12 or 14 dent coil (or reed)
A pair of scissors
A beater or fork
A measuring tape
Some definitions:
Warp:  the threads that are on the loom which act as your canvas
Weft:  the threads that are woven into the warp
Selvedge:  the sides of the weaving
Discontinuous weft: when the weft does not travel from selvedge to selvedge
Weft faced:  the warp is completely covered by the weft
Slit tapestry:  where the join between the discontinuous wefts is a slit
Fell line:  the last completed row of weaving
Shed:  space between lowered and raised threads
Header:  the beginning rows of weft using the warp thread
Footer:  the ending rows of weft using the warp thread
Warping:
Our example was woven using every other dent of the 14 dent coil.  You can also use every other dent of the 12 dent coil.  
14 dent coil:  39 warps
12 dent coil:  33 warps
The tapestry will be 6 inches wide and 13 inches long.  Make sure your warp is long enough to accommodate this length.  You can make your pure a little longer if you’d like depending on what it will be used for.  For example, my cellphone is a little longer than most so I will probably make my purse 14 inches long.  The example above is probably a tad shy of 13 inches because I was too excited and wanted to finish it.  


If you need a reminder of how to warp the Mirrix Loom for tapestry, please go to our instructions link:  


http://www.mirrixlooms.com/warpinginstructions/warpingtapestry.pdf

Note:  if you are weaving on the eight inch loom using the shedding device you will not be able to make your purse the full six inches wide.  You will get five inches wide using that loom with is perfectly fine.  In fact, the original design for this purse was only five inches wide.  
Weaving:
We are going to be incorporating two main techniques:
-Weaving wefts in opposite directions
-Slit tapestry

from Basic Tribal and Village Weaves (http://www.marlamallett.com/techniques.htm) I found this definition of slit tapestry:

In tapestry weaving, weft yarns are discontinuous; the artisan interlaces each colored weft back and forth in its own small pattern area.  With slit tapestry, at each point where colors meet, a small slit occurs if the pattern boundary is vertical.  Other tapestry techniques, in which wefts are dovetailed or interlocked, overcome this potential problem but have their own disadvantages.  Slit tapestry produces the sharpest pattern delineation and the smoothest weave.  It also permits the most freedom and spontaneity; thus it is a favorite technique among  weavers worldwide.  Slit tapestry is fun to weave.

You can see in the loom photo that slit-tapestry kilims are woven in separate sections, in a very free-form sort of way.  Rarely are pattern parts woven with single wefts, one and then another, right across the loom.  Usually tapestry designs are bolder and more dramatic than those produced with other nomadic weaving techniques.  
Since the weaver avoids long vertical lines in her pattern (to avoid long slits), designs are composed primarily of diagonal and horizontal elements.  To construct a strong piece, intersecting diagonal pattern lines are also avoided.  Because most kilim designs have been shaped significantly by structural considerations, most tapestry motifs have developed directly on the loom; they have not been copied from other sources.  This is why we find designs similar in character wherever slit tapestry is produced around the world–whether by Anatolian, Navajo, Pre-Columbian Peruvian, or other weavers. 



This is exactly what we will be doing in this piece.  I love it because we will be using the most ancient tapestry technique which is a great place to start or continue your adventure into tapestry.  I often use this technique combined with other techniques.  When completed you will need to sew up some of the longer slits, but that is not very time consuming.  



Warped Mirrix Loom ready for weaving.



Let’s Begin!
Before you start weaving, cut a piece of warp thread two times the width of your loom plus a foot.  Weave the thread twice, wrapping around one side bar and tying at the other.  Tie it tightly.  This will be your starting base and will keep your tapestry in place when you beat the wefts.  When you need to rotate your tapestry toward the back of the loom, you will need to cut this thread.  Once you’ve woven this thread, make sure your warps are all evenly spaced. 
Please note:  We used a loom with a bottom spring kit.  This is not necessary.  We wanted to show both ways.  If you use the bottom spring kit you do not have to weave in the two rows of warp before weaving your header.  The spring will prevent your piece from beating down below the bottom beam.  So, in summary:  if you do use a bottom spring kit, you can begin right away weaving your header.  If you don’t use this kit, which again is not necessary, you must weave in the below thread and tie it to the side bar of your loom to prevent your weaving from migrating down as you beat it.  This thread, as we mentioned, will be removed when you advance your weaving.

Thread woven and attached to side bars.

Thread tied to side bar.

Weaving the header:

If your side warp is raised, you can just insert your yarn (we are using warp yarn to weave the header) and weave across.  If that thread is lowered start weaving one warp in so that your weft yarn does not come to the from of the weaving.  You want all your weft yarns to be in the back of the weaving and never coming to the front.

Bubbling:  Weave about a half an inch of warp thread going from selvedge.  Place the thread in the shed in the shape of a hill.  Take your finger and push down the thread in a couple of different places.  Weave a few more threads using this technique.  Then beat the several rows of yarn.  You want to make sure you do not pull in at the selvedges and also that you don’t have loops at the selvedges.  End this thread by sticking the end between two warp threads so that the end is at the back of the tapestry.

Several rows of header yarn not yet beaten.

Beat the threads so that they form straight lines.

After you’ve woven about three-quarters of an inch of this thread you will be ready to start weaving your weft thread.

Tomorrow’s Weave-along

Getting ready for the beginning of our two weave-alongs due to start tomorrow.  Have no fear, if you haven’t ordered your kit(s) yet you still have time.  Tomorrow will be set up day and the results will be posted at http://awordfromelena.blogspot.com/ and will remain there for as long as Mirrix exists.  Both these pieces will take quite a while to complete.  Whether you give them away as a gift or keep them for you own personal use, you will be thrilled with the results.

I have NOT given mine away.  I use the bead pouch all the time to hold my cell phone  I find myself constantly touching it because the texture is so smooth and amazing.  I also find other people wanting to touch it and keep it.  I take it almost everywhere my cell phone goes whether it gets shoved in my purse or my pocket or my backpack.  It is my cellphone home and I adore it.  I am looking forward to weaving my third beaded cell phone pouch (the first is owned by Elena).  I know I will give it to someone, but I don’t yet know who.  A lot of love and time is going to go into that piece so it surely will be someone very special.  
And then we’ve got the wool purse/pouch.  Call it what you want, but I call it just perfect for carrying around a few things like a credit card, some cash, and even my cellphone if I dare to remove it from the beaded pouch.  I did do that while away for the last few days.  I used it for those three things and it worked great.  The only thing I will change on my next purse is to make it one inch taller.  That’s all, just one inch.  In fact, I think the instructions have the right height but I got all excited about cutting it off and just couldn’t wait to weave one more inch.  My cellphone is just a tad too tall for it so I have to put it in my purse side ways.  My cellphone is not an iPhone.  Not because I don’t want an iPhone but because I can’t get service here.  My cellphone is a little taller and a lot thinner.  It wants a slightly taller purse in order for the flap to close properly.

So if you haven’t signed up already, you still can.  I do have kits here waiting to be mailed priority mail.  You can get them in three days.  Check out the links below and even get a 25% discount!  Participate in this weave-along and you might win the Ott-lite: http://www.ottlite.com/  How can you lose!

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

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

New Mirrix Products and the motor scooters

I thought it would be fun to line up some of the new products we’ve created here at Mirrix during this autumn.  It’s kind of stunning and now I know why I really could use some sleep.  I believe Elena feels the same.  And now as I think about and that picture I just took I even left out some stuff.

Let me list them, all of them:

The shedding device for the eight inch loom
The McKinley Loom (28 inches wide and 44 inches in possible weaving length)
The kumihimo on-the-go kit
The small tapestry purse kit
The tapestry cuff refill kit
The Just weft Yarn kit
The No Warps to Sew in kit
The 24 karat gold thread
The silk yarn selection
The ultra-suede
Tulip bead weaving needles
New Bead Soup

As well as a bunch of loom starter kits sure to keep you fascinated with weaving throughout the cold or wet winter months.

We welcome new suggestions and if we can and think it will work, we will try to create it or find it for you.  We want to become a place where you can shop for all your weaving needs, or at least a lot of them.  And we want to continue to find beautiful fiber for you to weave.  We love doing it and hope you love what we do!

And now the pictures you’ve been waiting for:  Vespa and Buddy!  They are really quite beautiful and I wish to heck winter was not a reality here so I could actually ride them more than twice before I have to pack up their batteries and winterize their gas.