New Kit in a Basket

Just for fun!  We’ve created a new kit in a basket that is both great for giving to others and to yourself! It includes: lots of beads and hand-painted silk and gold thread and tools and crystals.  You can make a variety of fiber and/or bead projects of your own design or following some of the weave-alongs we’ve already posted in this blog.


Gold thread, C-Lon cord, C-Lon beading thread, Hand-painted silk, Chenille, novelty yarn.
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11/0 seed beads, 8/0 seed beads, bead and crystal soup, mother-of-pearl buttons, glass leaves.
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Scissor, 5 inch tapestry needle, tulip beading needles.
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One gorgeous small Bolga basket.
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Price:  $150
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You Got a Loom as a Gift: Now What?

You must have someone who loves you very much out there, because you got a Mirrix Loom as a gift. Or maybe you you gifted one to yourself, that’s just as good! Whatever the reason, you may be wondering how to get started! Our website and this blog are both packed to the brim with information about how to warp, weave beads, weave tapestry and weave with fiber and beads together.

Here’s a quick cheat-sheet to get you to these resources quickly and easily:

loom gift

The Mirrix Learning Center

The Mirrix Beginner’s Guide

The Mirrix Blog

 

Warping:

For Bead Weaving (without the Shedding Device)

For Bead Weaving (with the Shedding Device)

For Tapestry

The Mini Mirrix

With the No Warp-Ends Kit

 

Weaving:

Tutorials

Weaving Beads:
The Bead Weaving beginner’s guide

Weaving Tapestry:
The Tapestry beginner’s guide

Weaving Beads and Fiber Together:
Combining Beads and Fiber (without the shedding device) Tutorial
Combining Beads and Fiber (with the shedding device) Tutorial

 

Social Media:

The Mirrix Facebook Page

The Mirrix Facebook Group

The Mirrix Ravelry Group

The Mirrix Weavolution Group

 

Other Resources:

Videos

Free E-Books

Weave-Alongs

Sign up for The Weekly-Weave

Ask Elena: Which Loom for Weaving on The Go?

askelena

I am constantly waiting for my kids at their endless basketball, soccer, you-name-it-practices and games.  Sure, when the kids are actually doing something, I am riveted.  But that takes up only ten percent of my time at most.  I took up both knitting and crochet to help pass the time but I’ve grown bored with both and everyone I know now has enough scarves and hats to get through the next twenty years.  I saw your loom group on Ravlery and I was fascinated.  I’ve always had an idea that I would someday weave but I was put off by those huge looms.  The smaller rigid heddle looms now marketed to knitters will only serve to further alienate my friends and family who are, as I mentioned, drowning in neckwear.  The idea of creating artwork on a loom seems very appealing.  So, finally, to my question:  What size loom would be most suited for a person stuck in a lawn chair or balancing on bleacher seats? I like the mini, but I am thinking I might also want to weave thread.  

signed,
Sore Butt in San Diego

Dear Sore Butt in San Diego-

It’s funny you mention this, because the Mirrix Loom was actually invented for just this reason. Mirrix President Claudia Chase wanted a high-quality, yet portable loom to take to take to her kids’ (my brother and my) games and practices. Not only is a Mirrix Loom great for on-the-go weaving, but it’s a great conversation starter on the sidelines of the basketball court or soccer field.

The 5″ Mini Mirrix is a great portable loom that can fit in most purses. It would be perfect to take to any game. While it is meant to be a bead loom and does not come with a shedding device, it is possible to weave fiber on it. That said, if you’re aiming to make pieces just a little bit bigger or are interested in getting into tapestry, the 8″Lani and the and 12″ Little Guy looms are both very portable and come with or without the shedding device. You can compare the sizes of each of our looms here.

5 inch Mini Mirrix

5″ Mini Mirrix

Generally, tapestry is a better medium for portability, but you can certainly make beads work too. Just remember a good bead tray!

Weaving is a great gametime pasttime, but I will warn you, as the daughter of a weaver, your kids may get sick of beads in their cleats and fiber stuck to their shin guards. But hey, it’s worth that price to pay for some serious sideline entertainment!

Elena

Christmas Shipping

After December 15th, 2012 we cannot guarantee Christmas delivery.

That said, if you’re doing your shopping last-minute, we have some options for you:

We have a few of the smaller looms in inventory and may be able to get them shipped out to you in time. Please email elena@mirrixlooms.com and we’ll see what we can do. We also may be able to second-day a loom if you’re willing to pay for expedited shipping. We’ll do our best to help!

We can also direct you to a store that sells Mirrix Looms and has the size you want in stock.

As of December 13th, these are some stores with looms in stock who may be able to get you your loom by Christmas. Contact them to make sure that the loom you want is still in stock and to make sure they can ship it to arrive in time for Christmas.
(If you are a store and have looms in stock that can ship in time for Christmas, please email us and let us know.)

Halcyon Yarn
http://halcyonyarn.com/ Bath, Maine
12″ Little Guy Loom, 16″ Big Sister Loom and 32″ Joni Loom

Weaver’s Loft
http://www.weaversloft.com/ Guilford, Indiana
12″ Little Guy Loom

Yarn Barn of Kansas
http://www.yarnbarn-ks.com/ Lawrence, KS
12″ Little Guy Loom, 16″ Big Sister Loom, 22″ Zach Loom and 32″ Joni Loom

The Handweavers Studio and Gallery
http://www.handweavers.co.uk/ London, UK
12″ Little Guy Loom, 16″ Big Sister Loom, 22″ Zach Loom

Apple Hollow Farms
http://www.applehollow.com/ Sturgeon Bay, WI
16″ Big Sister Loom

Janette Meetze  http://jmeetzestudiocommonthreads.blogspot.com/
jmeetze8@aol.com
5″ Mini Mirrix, 8″ Lani Loom

Village Spinning & Weaving
http://www.villagespinweave.com/ Solvang, CA
8″ Lani Loom (with shedding device), 8″ Lani Loom (without shedding device), 22″ Zach Loom, 38″ Zeus Loom

The Woolery
http://www.woolery.com/store/pc/home.asp Frankfort, KY
5″ Mini Mirrix, 12″ Little Guy Loom, 16″ Big Sister Loom, 22″ Zach Loom, 28″ McKinley Loom, 32″ Joni Loom, Add-on Treadle

Ask Elena: How do you use different sized beads in the same piece?

askelena

Hello Elena,

I’m been reading and studying and am getting ready to order my first Mirrix Loom.

I’ve been using a simple bead loom (that I made) years ago – and I want to advance to something more functional.

I have been using mostly seed beads and want to start incorporating Tila/different sized beads and I am a little confused over

how the warp is set up for this. I read on the Mirrix website

“One of our Affinity bracelets uses Tila beads and size 8/0 seed beads. The Tila beads take up twice the width of the seed beads, so we set the warp twice as far apart where the Tilas will be placed…”

I just don’t understand what that means….and I apologize if I am being dense, but I would like to be able to use different sized beads….

Right now I am deciding on which loom to purchase – but this questions has been bugging me….lol.   I hope to hear back from you..

Carla

Carla-

The Mirrix Loom normally has a spring at the top, chosen depending on the size of beads you are using. When we use several different sized beads, we either do not use a warp coil (spring) (so the beads space themselves), or make sure to space the warp threads in the spring to accommodate the largest size bead/stone/crystal we’ll be using.

It’s mostly a game of math. You have to calculate how many smaller beads equal a larger bead while designing your piece. For example, three 8/0 beads might be the same width as a crystal. Once you figure this out, you can build your piece based on this. For example, in this piece (below) the warp is set far enough apart to accommodate the larger crystals and three of the smaller beads fit in that same space. When you are weaving the beads you simply put three of the beads between the warp threads and sew through normally. This is possible on a Mirrix because the tension is so good.

beaded bracelet

Elena

Ask Elena: Which kit to save warp?

askelena

I have the Big Sister loom and would like to make some bracelets however, when warped I see a lot of  warp that goes wasted.  Since I can’t get smaller loom right now which would you recommend I get the” No Warps kit “or the” Extra Warp kit” so that I don’t end up with so much leftover warp?

Thank you,

Vanita

Vanita-

Thanks for your question! Both the Extra Warping Bar Kit and the No Warp-Ends Kit allow you to warp in an alternative way and will save you warp, but ultimately they have different functions. Remember, too, that with continuous warp you can weave more than one bracelet on one warp. Just “advance” your weaving and make sure to leave some space between the bracelets for finishing.

The Extra Warping Bar Kit was designed for two reasons. First, to eliminate warp waste by eliminating warp on the back of the loom and second to give you more room to bring your hands behind your warp. You can see a video of how to warp the Extra Warping Bar Kit here. If your goal is simply to save warp, this is the kit I’d recommend.

extra warping bar kit

Extra Warping Bar Kit: The red line is where the warp is with the kit on. You can see how this extra bar saved warp on the back of the loom and allows more room for your hands behind the warp.

No Warp-Ends Kit was made to eliminate having to finish warp ends on beaded pieces. It also saves warp, as you warp your piece exactly the size that you want your piece to be. Instead of having threads left at the ends of a beaded piece, with this kit you just have little loops that don’t need any more finishing. The No Warp-Ends Kit now comes with S-hooks instead of the paper clips that are shown in this picture. You can read a little more about how to use this kit here. It is great for people making beaded pieces who don’t want to have to finish off their ends, the saving of warp is just an extra bonus!

No Warp-Ends Kit

The No Warp-Ends Kit where the piece is warped on the front of the loom to exactly the length of the piece. This means less finishing for bead pieces!

Hope that clarifies the differences between the two kits some!

Elena

Weave-Along 9: Finishing your bead and crystal necklace

I have made two of these bracelets (successfully . . . since I made three before I made the one I finally liked) and I’ve finished them both slightly differently although using the same concept.  So although I’ve come up with a couple of fun and workable ways to finish them, if you want to change it up a bit, feel free.

Weave 41 sections of the 8/0 bead pattern and end with a row of crystals.

Do NOT cut your piece off the loom.  Simply release the tension and slide out the warp bar.  Then . .

Trim your ends as little as possible making the ends on each side of the necklace even.

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Thread a beading needle with beading thread and tie an overhand knot at the end.  You will use this to slide the porcelain beads onto the silk warps.

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Divide off four warp threads on one end of necklace and slide on one of the smaller porcelain beads.

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Tie an overhand knot.  To get the knot snugly next to the bead, stick a needle into the knot and push it toward the bead.

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Do the same for four warp threads on the other end of the piece.

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Put the two ends of your piece side-by-side and slip another small porcelain bead onto the remaining six warp threads thereby joining the ends of your necklace together.  Tie an overhand knot to keep it in place.

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Add the last small porcelain bead after the first one.

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 Tie another overhand knot.

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Isolate four (note: this is a correction, it previously said three, sorry about that!) warp threads that emerge from the single porcelain beads.

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Using your threaded bead needle slide on one of the long porcelain beads.

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Tie an overhand knot to keep the bead in place.

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Repeat for the other side.

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Next slide crystals (or beads) onto the ends of all the warp threads.  You can slide more than one or a combination of beads and crystals.  I have used just one crystal for each end.

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Tie an overhand knot to keep the crystal in place.

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This is how my piece looks!

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Wear and enjoy or make a friend very happy.  Happy holidays to all!!!!!!!

The Mirrix Freeform Bracelet

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Before I even finished it Elena demanded ownership of this bracelet.  This meant I had to be careful not to make it too long.  Elena has the smallest wrists of anyone I know.  I used to think my wrists are small.  Not anymore.  At first I thought I overachieved in the smallness territory.  When I removed the bracelet from the loom I looked around for a doll whose wrist I could put it on.  I tried to increase the length with peyote.  Didn’t work.  Hated it.  Ripped it out.  Then I tried square stitch.  Equally awful.  And then I said to myself:  make the clasp attachment a little longer and it will be fine.  So I backed the bracelet with ultra-suede and then sewed beads all around to cover up my lousy sewing and to give it more depth and one more row of beads on either end.  Then I suffered over the clasp.  Elena wanted a button, a silver button if possible.  So I searched through all my s stuff and came up with a few very pretty pewter buttons.  Pewter/silver.  She won’t know the difference, I tell myself.  I wanted to use a silk covered O-ring for the thing for the button to go through because those O-rings make things stay on.  Because they have stretch they work so much better than something that is hard and static.  But silk covered?  There is no silk in this piece.  If it had silk (and future ones will have silk AND gold) the silk covered ring would be just fine.  Light bulb above my head:  what about embroidering beads onto the o-ring.  And so I did.

The first attempt at attaching the button failed.  Made the attachment way too long.  This cuff needs to fit snug.  It was going to look like Mommy’s bracelet on her five year if I didn’t fix it.  So I went smaller, smaller than I though realistic.  And guess what?  I got it so right.  The bracelet is snug on me but will fit Elena’s delicate wrists just perfectly.


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Ask Elena: What do I need to get started?

askelena

Hi Elena.

I have been eyeing your looms for a while. I like the 12″ loom with the shedding device. I would mostly be making bracelets, maybe belts, small purses also. What else would I need to get me started. I have beads and some fibers. What other accessories would be helpful.  

Thanks Lissa

Lissa-

One of the great things about Mirrix Looms is that you can pretty much get started with just the loom, your materials and some basic supplies like a good pair of scissors! The one thing you do need besides a loom if you are using the shedding device is heddles. Heddles connect your shedding device to your warp thread and we do sell them on our website, but they can also be made at home! We have instructions here. 

If you do want some extra goodies with your loom, here are a few of our most popular accessories:

Loom Extenders:
If you are interested in making belts, you’ll want some loom extenders. The 12″ Little Guy Loom can make a piece about 24″ long without them, and with them they add two whole feet of weaving length! They can be removed, too, for when you aren’t making long pieces.

loomextenders

The Bottom Spring Kit (with springs):
The Mirrix bottom spring kit helps to organize warps at the bottom of a loom, just like the warp coil (spring) at the top. It is useful for wide bead pieces and small-scale tapestry.

bottomspringkits

The Extra Warping Bar Kit:
The Extra Warping Bar Kit adds a second warping bar to the back of the loom, eliminating warp waste for shorter pieces. Because it also eliminates having a layer of warp on both the front and back of the loom, it allows you to better position your hand for weaving wider pieces with the traditional method of bead weaving. You can learn how to warp with this kit here. 

extra warping bar kit

The No Warp-Ends Kit:
The No Warp-Ends Kit allows you to weave beaded pieces without having to finish off the ends. You can see a video about how to warp with this kit here.

nowarpendskit

Hope that helps you decide what accessories you might be interested in! Thanks for your question!

-Elena

Do you have a question for Elena? Email elena@mirrixlooms.com and you might just be featured here!

Bead Soup Bracelet Revisited

I haven’t had a chance to finish the last bracelet, but you know the drill.  It’s finished like the first.  My mind started to wander as it filled with some new ideas, and so I headed in a new and surprising new direction.  Got the idea as I was trying to wake up yesterday.  That process consists of my lying in bed and letting ideas and thoughts float through my brain before the day has taken its toll on my creative thought process.  It’s when I get my best and most original ideas.

 

The genius of this idea came when I created a new batch of bead soup.  I looked at all those beautiful beads and crystals and thought:  yeah, this is great but in order to weave all these beads you have to set the warp as wide as the longest or biggest bead and some of those beads are really long and really can’t be used.  So how do I use all the beads in the bead soup in one piece.  I suddenly had this thought:  what if one wove beads off the grid or used the warp threads as a canvas that was not dedicated to weaving a row of beads across the warp threads and leaving it at that.  I had this image of a bunch of beads that would sit at angles, go on top of the woven beads and in effect mimic the concept of bead embroidery married to bead weaving.  And as it happens about one in a hundred times when I come up with some great idea, the image I had in my brain was able to find its way in reality.  So I am excited because this is new.  I have never seen anything like this before.  I had the same sense of AHAAAAAAA that I had when I visualized the tapestry/bead cuff bracelet.  I always love to find a totally new way to use the Mirrix Loom, and this was one of them.  To accomplish this bracelet one needs a loom that can provide perfect tension so it lends itself perfec
tly to the Mirrix.  Plus, there are a bunch of future additions that I can only imagine such as combining fiber and doing a lot of the finishing right on the loom.

I have five inches woven and one inch to go.  I am still contemplating the finishing.  I think I have it figured out but don’t want to rush it.  So for now I will just tease you with the piece on the loom.  See if you can figure out how this is done!

 

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