FREE Warp Coil Label Template: Label Those Springs!

When you have more than one loom and a bazillion sets of warp coils, it can be a pain to find a warp coil you want when you want it. Instead of struggling with this every time they warp, a lot of our smart customers label their warp coils so they always know which one is which. I’ve made a printable template to make labeling your own warp coils easier!

Step One: Determine what loom sizes and warp coils you have

You probably already know what size loom you have, but if you’ve forgotten, measure the top beam in inches. That number is your loom size.

To determine what size each warp coil is, place your coil on your loom and measure an inch. Count how many dents (spaces in the spring) there are in that inch. That number is the size warp coil you have. If you have more than one loom and you’ve mixed up your warp coils this can be a more difficult process. If you get a non-standard number, you may have a warp coil on the wrong loom!

measure your mirrix loom

Step Two: Pop by your local office supply store and grab some standard sticker address labels. I used an Avery template number 5160. This size is very standard, though, so it should be fine for other brands as long as they have 30 address labels.

This is the template I downloaded: Download the template here

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Step Three: Download my template and edit it for your needs. You probably don’t have every loom and every coil, and may have a bottom spring kit so you have more than one of certain coils. Edit the template in Word and print it on your sticker labels!

Download the template here

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Step Four: Cut each label in half and place each label on the end of the corresponding warp coil. I found folding a little end over the end of the warp coil and then folding everything in half worked best.

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Step Five: Bask in your organizational skills.

Intro to Tapestry Class: The Circle

I’ve finally reached the upper section of my Introduction to Tapestry class sampler. This is the section that contains the big, colorful circle.

We start by using a template and permanent marker to mark the outline of the circle on the warps. I didn’t cut out my template like Claudia did in the instructions. In the first photo below, I’ve taped the template to the warps of the closed shed and already marked the circle on the warps with a permanent marker. You can see that the very sides of my circle are straight lines. I’ve learned that if those lines are too short, you’ll end up with “ears” on your circle.

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Optionally, after removing the template, you can go back to each mark on the warps and extend it all the way around each warp. This makes it easier to see the marks if your warps spin around while you’re weaving.

We begin weaving the background of the circle with several passes of solid magenta weft. There are two separate wefts of magenta here, going in opposite directions. We weft dance them to hide where they come together.

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Technically, the magenta yarn is supposed to reach all the way up into the beginning of the circle, but I ran out of magenta and needed to switch to dark orange sooner.

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Here, Claudia points out that the bottom of the circle will start out covering quite a few warps, rather than starting with just one or two warps and then gradually getting larger. This is important for creating the correct shape. That said, keep in mind that no two weavers’ circles ever look exactly alike.

Because the bottom half of the circle increases in size as you weave, the negative spaces around it will decrease in size at first. This means we can continue with our background color around the empty space that will be the bottom half of the circle.

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(What is it with cats and Mirrix looms?)

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Now we continue weaving until we reach the point that is exactly halfway up the circle. This is the point where the circle will begin to decrease in size, and so we’ll need to weave the circle itself before completing the background.

Claudia shows you how to use the cut-out circle template to locate the middle of the circle. I just stopped weaving the background when I reached a point within the outermost vertical lines on the sides of my circle (because the circle doesn’t get any larger after that).

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Next we begin filling in the circle with bright yellow weft. Again we’re using two separate wefts, laid-in in opposite directions. The two wefts come together with warp interlock.

You need to be careful here to make sure you follow the steps that you made on the warps when weaving the background color. That requires taking a close look at how many times you wrapped around each warp.

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The yellow wefts are now separated and used to climb up the sides of the circle, covering a thickness of 5 warps each.

At this point, you can see that my weaving is a little shorter on the left than on the right. That’s just because I ran out of dark orange on the left.

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Moving back to the bottom of the circle, we now introduce two more wefts: one for the lighter yellow background color and one for the green accents.  For the green I just wrapped the weft around the warps, only doing actual weaving (and changing the shed) when I moved to the right. The light yellow fills in the adjacent empty space. I love how this looks — it’s like you’re painting with yarn.

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Next, we started a new color to create some dots. Dots are strange in that they don’t follow the general rules of tapestry. Case in point, you begin by laying in a color in the same shed as the previous row.

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Dots are really just little accents that swim along in your wefts. They’d be a good use of short yarn scraps.

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In this next photo, you can see that I’ve started to vary the width of green, actually weaving it rather than just wrapping once around the warp.

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I should point out that I’m not just eyeballing it when I fill in the circle. There’s a lot of counting involved, as I continue to check how many wefts of the dark yellow cover each warp, and making sure I match that number with the light and green wefts beside them.

When you hit the center point of the circle, you need to keep building up the inside of the circle (which decreases in size from this point on) before filling in the background.

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I decided to complete my circle before going back and finishing any of the remaining background colors.

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Looking back at the photo above, I guess I didn’t weave all the way to my upper black outline. Instead I focused on making the top of the circle look similar to the bottom. However, I still used the sides of the outlines as guides.

Now it was a simple task of filling in. I had some color challenges with the background at the top of the sun because I’d run out of magenta and, eventually, green. I substituted some chartreuse green wool yarn from my stash. I hope it’s not too distracting.

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Next it was finally time for the top header. This was actually tricky for me because I was running out of space on my loom, and I’d already advanced as far as I could without my warping bar coming forward over the top of the loom. But I persevered. This header was just like the one we made at the beginning of the sampler.

After the header, I couldn’t believe I’d finally finished weaving! How exciting! It was time to cut the tapestry off of the loom, which I must say was a bit nerve-wracking. It’s not difficult, it’s just that after spending hours on a project, it’s alarming to watch it slump down.

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In my next — and final — blog post in this series I’ll finish my sampler and get it hung up proudly on the wall. Stay tuned…

Chris Franchetti Michaels is a bestselling craft book author and designer. Visit her blog at http://www.beadjewelry.net.

Intro to Tapestry Class: Eccentric Wefts, Outlining, and Weft Dance

Today in my CraftArtEdu Introduction to Tapestry class series, I begin the final large section of the sampler! It will include some techniques we’ve already covered, plus some new ones.

Eccentric Wefts and Outlining

This task is new. It begins with weaving a little blue “blob” shape and a slightly different green blob shape.

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These blobs seem to be an exception to the rule that you create shapes that decrease in size before filling in adjacent shapes that increase in size. However, this situation is actually a little different because these blobs will be outlined in the next step, rather than having matching shapes built up next to them.

Here, we’re making the outlines with gold and orange weft yarn. The yarn is woven down on top of the blobs.

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Next we added more blobs and more outlines. We’re also doing some weft dancing with the gold and orange yarn.

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Next I filled in with some more weft dancing between the gold and orange. My wefts here are a lot more wavy than Claudia’s, and I don’t necessarily recommend making them that wavy. It makes it much harder to return to a straight line so that you can begin the next section. However, they do look kind of cool.

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Another challenge with making super wavy wefts that include blending of colors is that (for a beginner, anyway) it’s hard to determine exactly what the blending will look like when it finally gets fully beaten down. Mine didn’t become fully beaten down until I’d completed the section with some straight horizontal wefts. To achieve those wefts, I first had to build up some areas (essentially invisible blobs) of gold and orange to fill in concave parts of the wefts. As I mentioned earlier, this can be challenging because wefts don’t always line up in the same shed, and you run into situations where warps show through. But eventually I pulled it together.

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Weft Dancing

We’ve done some weft dance here and there previously, but this next section uses it as a primary way to blend colors. This is another take on freeform weaving. The section begins with 5 weft colors, again all going in opposite directions. We then weave those wefts in and out of each other’s territories.

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Next we bring in some pick and pick. The two colors I used were green and magenta (rather than green and purple). I started by weaving the green to the right selvedge. I then changed sheds and wove the magenta to the right selvedge. Finally, I changed sheds again and wove the green back toward the left. The single row of pick and pick creates horizontal dots.

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The next step was to begin a new blue weft at the left selvedge and then continue weaving all of the colors across. I had to be careful here because I had built up the green and magenta on the right a little higher than the rest when I created the row of pick and pick. That meant that I needed to fill in the rest of the tapestry to bring the wefts to the same level, while making sure all of the wefts ended within the same shed at the top.

In this next photo, I’ve completed this task to the point where we weave the two outermost wefts to the sides.

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We then add two new wefts in the middles of the weaving. When adding at the middle (rather than at an edge) you need to add two colors at once so that they can run in opposite directions and be in the correct shed. The other important rule is that you must not cover the ends of any existing working weft yarns with the new wefts.

In the next photo, I’ve started new blue and gold wefts and completed that same row. In addition to making the new wefts in opposite directions to one another, I made sure they ran in opposite directions to the colors on either side of them.

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After a bit more weaving, the weft dance section is complete!

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Today’s sections really helped me get more comfortable with managing different colors and blending techniques.

And now we’ve finally reached the final, major part of the sampler: the big circle! See it in action in my next post.

Chris Franchetti Michaels is a bestselling craft book author and designer. Visit her blog at http://www.beadjewelry.net.