My first Mirrix Loom Experience!

I have to say that when I received the Mirrix Loom - a Big Sister Loom - I was so impressed!! Not only did it come with complete instructions, but there are many videos to help you get started and make it through!! My first project was a simple one...with only 2 colors. When I designed the pattern I was hoping for something simple and fun!! And boy did I get it!! Just watch this video to see how I created the DREAM a Little DREAM Project and how I finished it. I am very proud of this creation and I have to say...I can't wait to show you my next creations!!!

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A Tall Mini Mirrix

Our customers are the best because they are so creative and are always coming up with new ideas for the Mirrix Loom. One such customer asked if one could use the loom extenders on the Mini Mirrix. My first response inside my head was no way. And then I paused, reconsidered and found a Mini Mirrix and some threaded rod that must have come from a loom I took apart for some research. I do have a pair of regular extenders, but I wanted these to be a little shorter. They were exactly the size I wanted then to be: one foot.

So how does this work? Obviously the Mini Mirrix has no legs. Well that's the point, you aren't going to be standing it up. You will either lay the loom down on a table or prop its bottom in your lap and lean her against a table.

Let me show you how this looks.

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Should You Purchase a Bottom Spring Kit?

What's a Bottom Spring Kit?

A Bottom Spring Kit is a kit that allows you to put a warp coil (spring) on the bottom of your Mirrix Loom, just like you have one on the top. 

What does it do?  

Having a spring on the bottom beam of your loom helps you to keep your warp threads organized while warping and beginning to weave. 

(Image Credit: Susan Murry -left- & Jacqui Johnson -right-)
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Join The American Tapestry Alliance, Save 10% on a Mirrix Loom!

It can be tough to find a Mirrix Loom on sale, but if you join American Tapestry Alliance you'll get a code for 10% off any size Mirrix Loom good for three months after you join AND you get  to benefit from being a part of a wonderful organization dedicated to the art of tapestry weaving.

American Tapestry Alliance offers inspiration, networking, education, discounts  and more. Interested? Click here to learn more about membership!

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Tapestry is Weaving but Weaving Isn't Always Tapestry

You've seeing these adorable woven wall-hangings on Instagram and Pinterest and you're ready to take the plung e to learn how to make your own woven art. Maybe you take a class on a basic frame loom or you make your own loom from a picture frame and follow some instructions you find online. Now, you're ready to take this craft to the next level. What's first? A high-quality loom! You've heard of Mirrix Looms, but they're tapestry looms... is tapestry the type of weaving you're interested in? What exactly IS tapestry?

Tapestry is...
 
Weft-Faced

This means you can see the weft (the threads that go across the loom horizontally) and not the warp. Imagine a piece of woven fabric. You can usually see both the warp (the threads that go around the loom vertically) AND the weft. With tapestry you are actually COVERING the warp threads with the weft.

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A residency at Fibreworks Studio & Gallery

 

Hello!

Last week I did the first 7 days of a summer residency in the yurts of Fibreworks Studio & Gallery in beautiful Madeira Park on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. It was the hottest week of the year so I experimented with weaving both inside the yurts where I've got a fan, and outside in the shade. The two spaces were about the same comfortable tempurture so I opted to stay inside on most days since I had the best of both worlds with a skylight above me and the kind of shade that I didn't have to chase all day. I did end up spending plenty of time outside for a natural dye adventure which had me dyeing and overdyeing a single skein of yarn to achieve the perfect yellow, over two days. I ended up dyeing with osage and then overdyeing with fustic to achieve the dark yellow-orange seen in the photos below.

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The Ultimate Guide to Bead Weaving Using the Shedding Device

It’s been a long time since I’ve woven a wide bead piece using the Mirrix shedding device. I decided it was time to try this method of bead weaving again and to write a blog post about it since we often get questions about this process. I am always telling people that the set up is more complicated, but the actual weaving of beads using a shedding device is much easier and quicker. I am happy to be reminded after weaving this piece that it really is easier!

I asked myself the following questions: Besides the more complicated set up, are there any drawbacks that would push someone to just skip the shedding device? Was the final product as nice as a product made without using the shedding device? Is it actually faster to weave beads using the shedding device when you are making a wider piece? I have all my pat answers to these questions but felt I needed to re-explore this old territory and to update my opinions. I can happily report that my experience using the shedding device to weave a wide bead piece was absolutely positive. I really can’t imagine weaving a wide bead piece without it. That might be slightly particular to me because I tend to miss sewing through beads when not using the shedding device. That can be corrected even after the piece is off the loom by sewing through the beads correctly off the loom. But that is so annoying. One of the best things about using the shedding device is that it is much more unlikely that you will make any weaving mistakes. I did notice when I took this piece off the loom that there was one place where about ten beads seemed to be floating on the back of the piece. Why? Because I weave beads in sections and that particular section did not go into the shed. Rather it went behind the warp threads. I was able to sew through those beads and correctly attach them to the warp. But on a piece this long one little mistake is not bad. Had I not used the shedding device, there would have been many, many more mistakes. 

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The Mirrix Looms 2017 Summer Weaving Challenge

Summer is here and we’re looking forward to sunshine, longer days and weaving in the sunshine on those longer days. To help keep our wonderful community inspired this July and August, today we are launching Mirrix’s very first Summer Weaving Challenge. 

Every Monday through the end of August members of the challenge group will get an email with a new weaving-related (we are going to focus on bead and tapestry/weft-faced weaving, but all weavers are welcome to join) challenge. Challenges will be about the weaving process rather than the product and can be completed at any time through the end of August.

Here are some challenge examples:
-Give someone a weaving lesson. This could be a young person, a family
member, a friend, a stranger… anyone! Even if you’re a beginner, there’s always someone who can learn from you.
-Take your loom out of the house. Go weave in a coffee shop, on the beach, in a park… somewhere where you’ve never taken your loom before. 
-Weave something totally out of your comfort zone. This challenge gives you permission to make mistakes, to do something crazy or silly and wildly creative.  

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The Newbie's Guide to Pick and Pick

I remember learning the tapestry technique Pick and Pick. I was trying to follow instructions in a book and found myself constantly making mistakes. The middle of the piece would look great, but my selvedges were riddled with errors. My "aha" moment came when I stopped for a moment and considered how lines in tapestry work and how that creates the Pick and Pick pattern.

The key to understanding Pick and Pick is the same key to understanding how tapestry weaving works at a very basic level. In tapestry, your warp threads are always covered. When you weave one pass through your weft, you have successfully covered HALF of your warp threads because you are weaving over and under warp threads as you go across. When you weave a pass going back the other way, you cover the other half of those warp threads. Therefore, two passes with your weft makes a complete line. 

With Pick and Pick you weave one weft in one direction in one color and then another weft in that same direction in another color to make a line instead of weaving in one direction and then back in the other direction. 

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Learn How to Weave Beads From a 7-Year-Old!

When it comes to the arts, kids are often markedly good teachers. There is a certain innocence and fearlessness children possess that allows them to be creative and unbound to expectation. I have seen this again and again watching young people weave both tapestry and beads, but I'm still pleasantly surprised each time a child reminds me of the innocent glee weaving can bring to someone. 

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