By Krafty Max
have started a new project with my amazing loom…this one is only 4 colors, but the desing is much more unique! Here are my colors and the start of the warp!
I did some more beading on my AMAZING Mirrix Loom!! I am just loving this loom!! Just look how far I got!! Here is where I got yesterday 30 rows and 2940 beads.
I thought I would stop and tell you about how I come up with my designs and how I create them.
First thing is to try to find a design. Some of them I actually create on my own, but most of them are inspired by photos/art I find. Then I design the pattern using a program called BeadTool (I’ve been using this program for years). I often joke about it, but the truth is that I had to start using a computer when I ripped through the graph paper to many times making changes to my patterns!! Next thing I do is print the pattern out (the word chart) and then start using the pattern to ‘pull rows’. Here is what the word chart looks like and here is a sample of the rows of beads……
Row 70 (R) (5)1, (2)2, (5)3, (2)1, (9)3, (2)1, (4)3, (3)1, (4)3, (1)1, (4)3, (1)1, (6)3, (2)1, (5)3, (2)1, (6)3, (1)1, (8)3, (3)1, (9)3, (3)1, (6)3, (5)1
Row 71 (R) (5)1, (2)2, (5)3, (3)1, (9)3, (2)1, (6)3, (2)1, (2)3, (1)1, (5)3, (2)1, (3)3, (2)1, (1)3, (1)1, (4)3, (1)1, (7)3, (1)1, (7)3, (4)1, (8)3, (3)1, (7)3, (5)1
Row 72 (R) (5)1, (2)2, (5)3, (4)1, (8)3, (2)1, (7)3, (4)1, (6)3, (3)1, (1)3, (1)1, (2)3, (2)1, (2)3, (1)1, (8)3, (1)1, (5)3, (5)1, (8)3, (2)1, (9)3, (5)1
Row 73 (R) (5)1, (2)2, (5)3, (7)1, (6)3, (1)1, (9)3, (2)1, (7)3, (4)1, (4)3, (3)1, (8)3, (1)1, (2)3, (2)1, (5)3, (1)1, (4)3, (7)1, (8)3, (5)1
Row 74 (R) (5)1, (2)2, (5)3, (1)1, (5)3, (4)1, (3)3, (1)1, (10)3, (1)1, (8)3, (2)1, (6)3, (1)1, (8)3, (4)1, (7)3, (1)1, (2)3, (2)1, (6)3, (3)1, (6)3, (5)1
Row 75 (R) (5)1, (2)2, (5)3, (1)1, (7)3, (8)1, (8)3, (2)1, (7)3, (2)1, (6)3, (1)1, (7)3, (4)1, (8)3, (3)1, (9)3, (3)1, (5)3, (5)1
When I bead on a loom the next step is to thread each row onto the needle and then ‘pop’ them onto the warp thread and thread the needle back through them. This makes the beads have a thread on the front and back of each warp thread….in other words – woven in!! For this design each row has 98 beads, so above there are 490 beads to thread on!!
I just can’t say enough how great this loom is!! Not only is is functional, strong and very well made, it is beautiful!! When I am working on it I notice all types of ‘little features’ that it has!! First all the metal (most of them light weight) and colors! But also the wood and then the warp….and of course my beads!! But when you just look at it….it is like a work of art on it’s own!
130 rows and 12,740 beads
155 rows and 15,190 beads
Here is a video of my taking it off the loom…look at how simple it is!!!
This is my third creation using my new Mirrix Loom as part of the Mirrix’s 2016 Social Marketer Program. This time I used the No Warp-Ends Kit and enjoyed every minute of it!! I used only 4 colors to design this beautiful and simple wall art. I had so much fun with this design!! The canvass has been hand-painted and then a black satin ribbon was added. The beadwork was mounted on a piece of acid free paper and then mounted to the canvass.
Here are the ‘stats’ for this creation;
180 rows x 98 beads per row = 17,640 beads in total
These beads are all Delica brand 11o beads – this means that they are 11 beads per inch average.
There was approximately 43 hours of beading and designing in this creation.
The canvass is sized at 8 x 16 inches.
Beadwok is sized at 12 x 5.25 inches
To see a ‘row by row’ look – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5taOLKhPncY
By Krafty Max for Krafty Max Originals – kraftymax.net
WOW, what an experience I am having with this beautiful Big Sister Loom with the No Warp-Ends Kit from Mirrix Looms! I have to say that I have done some loom work beading before, but never anything like this!! The ease of tightening the tension when it needs it, moving the legs to adjust the height and angle or just the clean lines of the loom is amazing to me!! The Mirrix Looms Company just celebrated their 20th year and it is easy to see why so many people love them!!
Here is 65 rows and 5,720 beads!
I am so happy with the way that this beautiful loom work is coming along!! I just can’t believe how much better ‘curves’ turn out in this stitch!! If you have been watching, then you know that I have been moving along with the pattern. I know it is slow, but you have to remember that every photo I show you is another 440 beads!! As I am working along I keep thinking about how wide this Big Sister Loom from Mirrix Looms is!! Do you know how wide I could make some of these designs? And then, because it is adjustable UP….I can also go tall….hum….I am thinking of designing a new pattern…hum!! But, for now, here is row 80 (7,040 beads so far) and where I start off this morning!
145 rows and 12,760 beads so far!
I am done!!! Just look at this finished creation!!
his is my second creation using my new Mirrix Loom as part of the Mirrix’s 2016 Social Marketer Program. This time I used the No Warp-Ends Kit and enjoyed every minute of it!! The originals artwork is by by Katerina Art (Katerina Koukiotis). For many years I have loved/collected her artwork and was thrilled when she said that I could use this as one of my designs! I had so much fun with this design!! Adding the believe and ‘little’ details to the finished artwork just seemed to be perfect!!
Here are the ‘stats’ for this creation;
165 rows x 88 beads per row = 14,520 beads in total
These beads are all Delica brand 11o beads – this means that they are 11 beads per inch average.
There was approximately 47 hours of beading and designing in this creation.
The frame is sized at 7.5 x 13.5 inches.
To see a ‘row by row’ video of how this was made – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5mCmZAwFyM
I just love the way it turned out! But I have to show you something….remember I used the No Warp-Ends Kit on my Big Sister Loomfrom Mirrix Looms. Well, I was VERY unsure (in my mind) about how this would work!! I totally understood how to warp the loom when I started, but what really concerned me was the part of the weaving on the first couple of rows where there is a ‘spacer’ on this graphic!
Now, logically I understand that the threads will hold in the beads…but in my mind I just can’t get it to understand how the beads that are in the ‘spacer’ section will not slide right off once the ‘paperclips’ are removed!! I know, it is all about tension and the threads of the weft…..but…. So, once I was done last night I had to take a quick walk (to gain courage) and then come back and start to remove the paperclips from my project….here I went, with a project with 14,520 beads in it….holding my breath that it will work…and then….
It WORKED!!!!!!!!! I was so amazed! Now, I knew in my mind it would, but….. and with a little bit of ‘rubbing’ it turned out perfectly!!
Krafty Max for Krafty Max Originals – Kraftymax.net
Today I am starting on a new project on my Big Sister Loom with the No Warp-Ends Kit as part of the Social Marketing Program from Mirrix Looms. I have designed a pattern from a piece of artwork from one of my favorite artists – Katerina Art (Katerina Koukiotis). I am so excited about using one of her drawings!! As I looked through her beautiful art (many of which I have) I had to find – just the right one – and boy did I!! You can go through her page and find it….or wait and I’ll SHOW you!! She is excited to see what I do with this ‘version’ of her art too!
But as I got ready to warp up the loom last night I ran into a few things that I either didn’t know how to do and/or couldn’t find a video to show me how!! I started out using the S hooks that came with my kit, but quickly got frustrated with them falling off – my pattern is 88 beads wide!! Then I found the ‘paper clip’ way and got started right off! Again, there are some things that I had to ‘tweek’ or change, but I’ll go over them all as we go along! I would love to help answer all the question I had for YOU….that way you will know how to do them when you get to this point!!
Here are the colors that I am using….notice that they are on a different tray than I usually use….I will NOT be pulling lines from the pattern for the loom. But instead I’ll be picking up the beads one row at a time directly only the 4 inch needle!!
Now, you all know that I am using the Big Sister Loom with the No Warp-Ends Kit from Mirrix Looms, but here are some things that I have discovered….first, that I have to have the pattern under the loom….this is so that with my left hand I can move across the pattern with my finger as I pick up beads with my right hand and the needle. This is important, with 88 beads wide it is VERY easy to loose your place as you move your eyes from pattern to beads/needle. I also have been marking off row by row so I don’t forget what row I am on!
You can see that I am using the paperclips, but what I found is that they are TOO skinny for the beads I am using! So, I put 1-2 paperclips in between each of the paperclips that are holding my actual warp threads. This is keeping them separated almost perfectly!! As I go farther up in the beading I will be able to remove the extras….because the ‘work’ will keep it flat on it’s own.
Here is a closer view of what the ‘extra paperclips’ look like!
Now here is one more photo….see the tape? Let me tell you what that is for….something so simple and yet…. When I put the paperclips on – as I was warping the loom – I didn’t think about how they were laying!! If you can look close (or at a paperclip at your desk) you’ll see the the ‘outside’ opening is on the back. Well, that is where my thread goes around to do the beading…guess what…it caught every time! So, I put a piece of tape around the back…just to cover the openings of the paperclip. Next time this will be a lesson I remember!!
And here is where where I will leave you…at about 35 rows and 3080 beads!!
I will catch up to you in the next post….lots more to see!!
Krafty Max for Krafty Max Originals – kraftymax.net
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!!!
Krafty Max for Krafty Max Originals www.kraftymax.net
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-)
1.) You are weaving beads using the shedding device and you don’t want to deal with trying to keep those pairs of warp threads neatly divided on the bottom while putting on heddles and weaving in the first row. Can you do this without the bottom coil? Yes, you can. But especially for wider bead woven pieces using the shedding device, this handy add-on does make it easier.2.) You are weaving a wide bead piece without the shedding device. When you’re dealing with lots of warp threads very close together, having a spring to help keep them organized at the bottom of the loom can be very helpful. 3.) You are weaving a tapestry at a very fine sett. While the Bottom Spring Kit was initially developed for bead weaving, many who weave tapestry at very fine setts (18, 20, 22 dpi) like the Bottom Spring Kit to help organize their warp threads while warping. 4.) You feel more confident warping when your warp threads are well organized at both the top and bottom of the loom. A Bottom Spring Kit is great for every perfectionist! It also precludes you from having to weave in a thread at the bottom that you tie to the threaded rod to provide a stable surface to start weaving.
You will have to loosen the tension on the loom and actually remove the spring in order to do this. Once the spring is removed, you will have no problem rotating your weaving.
You can purchase a few different Bottom Spring Kit sets:
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 setup, 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.
My idea for this piece was to use some drop-dead gorgeous gold plated beads and other versions of gold beads in size 10 Delicas and size 10 two cut beads. The two cut beads are slightly larger than the Delicas which I can see on this piece because I used the two cuts nearer to the top of the piece and the top of the piece is slightly wider than the bottom. Had I thought it through more thoroughly I would have more evenly spread those beads throughout the piece. To give the piece interest, I wove matte black and green beads in geometric shapes (mostly rectangles) throughout the piece. The result is very Klint like. I happen to love Klint’s work, so that I accidentally copied his style is not a surprise. I did not do it on purpose. You will not be shocked to learn I have a postcard of my favorite Klint painting pinned to my bulletin board. I think I look at it quite a lot and hence those colors are stuck in my brain.
This bead piece is actually quite free form so I didn’t have to worry about making any mistakes! I could just weave and play and look at all the lovely colors.
I wish I had timed myself when weaving this piece. I can tell you that it did not take as long as I thought it would. Because I was not following a fixed pattern there were fewer opportunities to make design mistakes. A couple of times I was not happy with the placement of the matte accent beads and had to remove a row and adjust my bead choices. But since the design concept was so simple, this clearly was not a frequent issue.
Before I dive into my process I do want to mention that if you have never used the shedding device for bead weaving before that you not start with a wide piece. Why? Well, set up is more complicated than when not using the shedding device because you put on twice as many warp threads (two in each dent) and you have to put the heddles on. While not at all difficult, if you make a mistake the loom will not be able to function properly or at all. If you are a newbie at this kind of set up and you make a mistake on a wide piece, the repair process can be a bit difficult. Therefore, I suggest starting with a very thin piece just to see what can go wrong and how the process works. You will thank me for this. The temptation to jump right in and make a billboard-sized piece is very alluring, but first make a one-inch wide piece so you can see how best to get the heddles on correctly, etc.
Let me show you the steps I took to weave and finish this piece now. I used a twelve dent warp coil on the top and the bottom. There is a Bottom Spring Kit on the bottom beam of this loom which allows me to put a spring there as well. Putting a coil on the bottom of the loom makes setting up the loom for bead weaving using the shedding device much easier. Since you have to isolate pairs of warp threads (there are two warp threads, not one, in each dent of your warp coil) the bottom spring is extremely helpful to keep everything organized and to sew in that first pesky row. If you don’t have the Bottom Spring Kit, you will need to weave two passes of warp thread isolating the warp pairs. In other words, weave under and over the pairs of warp theads in one direction. Wrap around the side beam and weave the thread back going over the pairs you went under and under the pairs you went over. Once you’ve sewn in the first row of beads, you can cut off that thread. After the first row, the bottom coil is also not necessary and can be removed at any time. I tend to remove it when I advance my weaving.
Need some help warping your loom? Go here for an excellent pdf on setting up the Mirrix Loom using the shedding device.
For your first row you need to sew in the beads in the same manner you sew in the beads for the alternative way to weave beads, which actually is not even weaving. It’s really sewing. Let me explain this to those of you who have never woven beads before. The most common way to “weave” beads is to string up some beads, stick them behind and in between the warp threads and sew through the tops of the beads to attach them to the warp. This is why I say it’s not actually weaving. But when you use the shedding device to weave beads you are actually weaving. You are raising half the threads so that you can weave the beads in between the raised and lowered threads. This space is called the shed. That is why we call the loom part that creates that shed the shedding device.
In order to sew in this first row this is to string up all the beads you will need for that row and with the shedding device in the neutral position, place the beads behind and in between the pairs of warp threads. Then push the beads to the top of the warp and sew through so that they are attached to the warp thread. You will have to sew this row in sections. Just be very careful that you are sewing above the warp thread so the bead actually gets attached to the warp. Yes, you have to sew in the first row. If you don’t you will not have a starting place. You need that first row in order to open the shed for the next row.
From now on and until your final row you will be using the shedding device to weave your beads.
There are two things I do not do when weaving beads using the shedding device: 1) I don’t string up all the beads for the entire row all at once; 2) As a result, I obviously don’t weave the whole row all at once. Since I was kind of winging the design in this piece, I also found that stringing up sections of beads allowed me to better gauge what I was doing. What I mean by this is: if you string up an entire row there is a better chance you will make a mistake. But if you string up small sections and then weave them, it’s much easier to get things right. At least for me it is.
String up a section of beads.
Engage the shedding device. Stick your needle in the shed and arrange the beads behind and in between the top layer of warp threads. The needle does not have to emerge next to the last bead. It can go past it. Push the beads down so they get caught in the V created where the two layers of warp threads meet.
String up some more beads. Re-enter the needle into the shed. Arrange the beads and tug on the thread so it goes all the way through the beads. Keep stringing and weaving until you’ve finished the row.
The images below show how you pull the non-working end of your thread so that you can grab the thread on both sides and tease the beads into place.
It is really as easy as it looks.
I make a habit of changing the shed as soon as I finish weaving a row. The way to determine whether or not you have changed there shed is to try to move the beads up. If they can’t move very far because of the crossed threads on top of them, you have changed the shed. If the beads easily move up, you have not changed the shed. But let’s say you are a space shot and start weaving a row without having changed the shed you will immediately see that you have not done so because the first bead will be flopping around because the weft thread (the thread your beads are on) will not wrap around the outside warp. It might be a good lesson to purposely start weaving a row without changing the shedding device to see how this looks so you can easily identify this mistake later.
This video below shows the weaving process.
Want your own Mirrix with a shedding device? Click here to start shopping!
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.
Everyone who completes 7 of the 9 challenges will get a personalized Mirrix Summer Challenge completion certificate emailed to them at the end of the challenge. There will also be awards!
This challenge has ended