The Easiest Way to Finish a Beaded Bracelet

Two weeks ago I recieved an order of new clasps for beadwork that I wanted to try out. My first attempt with the clasps was to just make a pile of 11/0 seed bead soup and weave. I was in a rush. I wanted to try out these clasps fast. I had to know if they would really work. Finding out that they do work, I decided to design my next piece. Granted, I kind of made up the design as I went along but I did spend quite a bit of time figuring out my bead choices. I went for a goldish/pinkish/greenish with a tad of off-white theme. It fit my mood at the moment. But the colors also directed themselves to a rather calming, delicate piece. I was pleased with the result. 

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Binge Weaving is for the Birds

So I have a confession. I am a certified binge weaver. What’s a binge weaver you ask? Well, I weave in bursts. I tend to go days—even as much as a week or so, without weaving. When I do finally reunite with my loom, it’s an all day and night occasion. I will literally start a project in the morning, sometimes remember to break for lunch and dinner, and then weave through the night into the wee hours of the morning if needed. It has worked for me in the past—that crazy pressure that artists press upon themselves to crank something out under some sort of pressure. It often fuels me into some sort of creative whirlwind, and usually a pretty great end product is spawned from this creative storm.

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Finishing beadwork with a beautiful gold clasp

Figuring out how to finish a beaded jewelry piece is something you need to contemplate even before you've warped your loom. There are a variety of options, from using the No Warp-Ends Kit to weaving in a fiber header and footer to incorporating the warp threads into the finishing.

Recently I discovered this really nice clasp (available for pre-order now) that makes finishing a beaded bracelet as easy as tying knots and slipping on the clasp!

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Hatching: Your Tapestry Lightbulb Moment

The first time I felt like I was really beginning to understand tapestry was while practicing hatching. This technique is when more than one weft thread travels into the horizontal space of another, creating layers of interchanging weft threads.

Hatching is great for blending colors and is a good technique for beginners to help them to understand how warp and weft relate in tapestry weaving. 

In the picture here, the top part of the weaving (the blue green and purple) is hatching. 

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A different way to use your Mirrix

Okay, so I know Mirrix has introduced a new and easy way to warp up by wrapping the warp around your entire loom as oppossed to making a u-turn using a warping bar, but I wanted to share a similar method that I dreamt up. I'm sure some of you Mirrix users have thought of this, too. My thinking is that many people will eventually move to warping up the original Mirrix way, but that using one of the alternatives is less intimidating for people who are new weavers.

The gist of my method is tying your warp yarn to the bottom beam of the loom, wrapping your yarn around your entire loom as many times as desired across, and then to finish tie it to the bottom beam again. It's essentially the same way I instruct you to do on a pipe loom, here. In this method, in lieu of being able to make one long weaving by advancing it (as with the original Mirrix warp up meathod), you plan on doing two small weavings - one weaving on the front warps and another on the back. So, when you're done your first weaving you simply loosen your tension, remove your spring and move your heddles to the other side of the loom, as well as change the direction your loom feet are pointing. Voila - ready to start your second weaving!

Here's where I tie my warp before I wrap the yarn around the loom over and over before tying off on the bottom beam again...

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Adjusting to my New Spencer Treadle

I received my Spencer Treadle just a little while ago and was eager to attach it to my personal Mirrix loom.  I have the amazing 22" Zach loom and I love it.  Together my husband and I watched the video, attached the treadle and off I went into weaving land.

I put on a small sampling warp, only 3" wide using the Navajo Wool Warp that Mirrix Looms sells set at 7 ends per inch.  I really liked that sett and wool warp when I participated in the Weave A Long Eyeglass Case project, so I decided to use it again, this time for sampling.

I was eager to begin with the treadle, and I must say, first and foremost that it is definitely a game changer.  I can continue to weave quickly, just by the touch of the foot pedal.  No more putting down my beater, using the handle to switch sheds, it is amazing!  I know with time I am going to learn to depend on it so much.  We are still getting used to each other right now!

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