A New Class

Looking for the perfect gift?

wrap bracelet on hand

For only $15 take our online Craftartedu class, the Crystal and Bead Wrap Bracelet with Claudia Anne Chase.

“In this beginner level CraftArtEdu class, learn how to weave beads on a loom to create a colorful wrap around bracelet. Follow Claudia Anne Chase’s detailed instruction on how to warp the loom, weave the bracelet and finish the bracelet. You will want to make dozens once you learn how.”

This class goes over all the details on how to weave this beautiful bracelet. Once you learn how, you can make tons of different unique bracelets. It’s a quick and easy project, and is a great introduction on how to weave beads on a Mirrix Loom. You’ll learn how to warp, weave with different sized beads and crystals and finish this great piece.

four bracelets

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You can purchase the kit here. You can make at least two bracelets from this kit.

crystal bead and wrap bracelet

 

Enjoy!

Holiday Hints!

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Some of us are blessed with friends and family who just know how to choose the perfect gift. They are savvy at picking up on subtle hints and know exactly what you like. A few years ago a good friend of mine, in his early-to-mid-20s at the time, bought his wife a Mirrix Loom. I remember thinking how sweet it was that he, on his own, came up with the idea, knowing her passion for crafting. But not everyone is as punctilious as my friend. Some husbands need a little hint, some friends are still looking for the perfect crafty gift for their best friend who has everything and some moms don’t know their son’s passion for Mirrix products.

This is where our third-annual holiday hints program comes in! Fill out the form below with what Mirrix-item you’d like this holiday season and, on the weekend before Cyber Monday, we’ll email the person you specify and give them a little hint about what you’d really like this holiday season!

Holiday Gift Mirrix Looms Bead Weaving Class: December 8th, 2013

If you live in the Boston area, you are in for a very special treat. Mirrix President Claudia Chase, the owner of NOA Gallery Joni Parker-Roach and artist and teacher Alexia Rosoff will be teaching a one-day bead weaving workshop on Sunday December 8th, 2013 at NOA Gallery in Groton, MA outside of Boston.

Students will learn how to warp and weave two stunning crystal and bead wrap bracelets. This is the perfect class to make some gorgeous hand-made gifts for those you love the most (or keep one for yourself)! These same bracelets are sold by Claudia in galleries for hundreds of dollars each.

wrap bracelet on hand

Where: NOA Gallery in Groton, MA

When: 9 am- 5 pm (with a break for lunch that can be worked through)

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What:  Students will learn how to warp a Mirrix Loom with gorgeous hand-painted silk, the basics of weaving beads, the method for weaving different sized beads, tips on combining colors, how to finish a wrap bracelet and much, much more. They will make two stunning “Crystal and Bead Wrap Bracelets” made with 8/0 and 11/0 seed beads, fire-polished crystals, hand-painted silk, porcelain beads and finished with pewter buttons.

four bracelets

Why: Because you deserve a day of pure fun and creativity and this is the perfect chance to check a few more people off that holiday gift list! Plus, you’ll learn how to weave beads on a Mirrix Loom, a useful skill that will  open up for you a whole new world of weaving.

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How Much: $150 plus $59 materials fee ($10 off the original price of the kit) and $20 loom rental fee which can be used towards the purchase of your loom!

Kit Includes: 

crystalbeadandwrapbracelet

-25 grams of 8/0 seed beads
-25 grams of 11/0 seed beads
-12 grams of 4 mm fire-polished crystals
-12 yards of hand-painted silk
-A bobbins of size D C-Lon beading thread
-13 round porclain beads
-2 peweter buttons
-1 long Tulip beading needle
-1 short beading needle

All in a lovely reusable plastic box
Makes two bracelets

How:
Email elena@mirrixlooms.com to reserve a space in the class. We will accept payment by check or PayPal.

*After November 15th there will be no refunds, class will be cancelled by November 15th if we do not hit our class minimum
*Maximum class size of TEN people

Mirrix Retail Recommendation

showyourlove
The Concept:
You, our customers, give us recommendations for stores who might be a good fit to carry the Mirrix Loom. Email us store recommendations and, if we approve the store, we will email you back with information you can either print and deliver, mail to or email to the store. That card will have information about our products as well as a code that will allow them to be part of our trial-wholesaler program. If they decide to take part, we’ll give you a $25 gift certificate to the Mirrix Looms store.
The Execution:
Email us (elena@mirrixlooms.com) with your store suggestions. If we approve the store, we will email you with printable information for you to deliver to the store (either in person, by mail or by email). If they decide to participate in our trial-wholesaler program, we’ll email you a $25 Mirrix Looms gift certificate good in the Mirrix store towards looms, accessories or anything else we sell!
The Hope: 
We are always looking for great stores to sell our products. A successful store knows and understands our looms, at least at a basic level, and has staff who can talk confidently about our products (we, of course, are happy to virtually train). We have always been very careful about choosing stores to carry our looms because we want to make sure they are well represented.  We realized recently, as we brainstormed ways to find the best stores out there, that the people who know  those hidden gem stores are you, our customers (and their customers). You love Mirrix and you love your local bead or yarn store, so why not bring the two together. You get to be the matchmaker and get a little bonus to boot!

Intro to Tapestry Class: Header and Wavy Lines

In my last post I shared my progress warping my Mirrix loom for the Introduction to Tapestry Class on CraftArtEdu. This week I completed the header and the first rows of actual color weaving.

The header is the initial band of weaving that you create using the same yarn you used for the warps. I’m using the class kit, and so my warp and header material is the Navaho wool warp.

Before you start the header, you need to weave two strands that serve as a base for your tapestry to rest on. The base yarn is wrapped around both sides of the loom and tied to hold it in place. You weave it like you do anything else, passing the yarn through one open shed, then changing sheds and passing back through.

Here’s my base.

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I used my weighted tapestry beater to beat those strands down.

To begin the header for this project, we’re weaving a row of twining. This was my first time doing twining, and it wasn’t difficult at all.

Twining is performed with the shed closed, meaning that there is no space between sets of warps for passing the yarn through; all the warps are on the same plane. I mentioned last time that I’m using a treadle to change sheds on my loom, instead of the standard handle. Before I show you how the twining turned out, here’s what the treadle setup looks like.

This is where the treadle device hooks up to the loom.

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The two cords are cables that run all the way to the floor and connect with the foot treadle itself.

Here’s the treadle on the floor.

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I have it sitting on a stair runner carpet to keep it from sliding. The big flat silver portion is the pedal. It rotates like a seesaw. You press it forward and down to open one shed and backward and down to open the other. If you’d like to see how to install the treadle, check out this free video by Claudia.

To close the shed for twining, you position the pedal so it’s flat, which is halfway between one shed and the other shed.

Twining uses two bundles of yarn that cross one another between warps. Here are my first several “twines.”

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They almost look like a rope running along the warps.

Here’s my completed row of twining.

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It probably could have been a little neater toward the end. I think I allowed the strands to twist too much.

Next up is the main portion of the header, which simply involves weaving a bunch of rows that reach from one side all the way to the other. When you do this, you need to create a hill, or bubble, with the weft yarn, rather than pulling it straight across in the shed. This ensures that the weft is long enough to zig zig between the warps when you close the shed without pulling in the sides of the tapestry. Claudia explains this in more detail during the class.

Here’s my first header weft making a bubble.

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And here I am beating down the wefts after making a few rows of bubbles.

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To use the weighted beater, I used a sort of loose tapping motion, letting the beater do the work. Here’s a look at those first few rows completely beaten down.

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The next step is to just keep weaving for a while. The biggest challenge at this point is learning how to keep the sides of the tapestry straight and even, and keep them from pulling inward. Which reminds me, I need to correct something I mentioned in my previous post. I had stated that my tapestry would probably end up pulling in a little on the sides — but that’s not correct! In the class, Claudia shows you how to measure as you go along to make sure your sides don’t pull in.

Looking closely at this next photo, I see that I could have done a better job keeping my edges even.

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With the header complete, it’s time to start some real weaving using the beautiful wool/mohair yarn from the kit. We begin with several regular rows of black. You usually start a color by cutting a workable length and then deciding how to manage it. Claudia shows you how to make and use butterflies for the class, where the only tool you need is your hand. Another option is to use tapestry bobbins. I recently got a great deal on a bunch of bobbins on Ebay, and I decided to practice with them for this project instead of using butterflies.

This is what a bobbin looks like with some black yarn loaded on.

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And here I am using the bobbin to pass the yarn through a shed.

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One of the nice things about using a bobbin is that you can use it to push down bubbles between beatings. (I know…that sounds a little strange! Weaving has some interesting terminology.)

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If you’d like to learn how to use bobbins, check out Kathe Todd-Hooker’s book Tapestry 101.

Here are the first few rows of black yarn completed.

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The wool/mohair yarn is a little puffier than the Navaho warp yarn, which means that you need to experiment to determine the right size of bubbles to make. I found that my edges tended to be too loose if I wasn’t careful.

Next we switched to a few rows of magenta.

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At this point it was time to try the first special technique: wavy lines. They’re super easy. We were supposed to use orange yarn for the first one, but for some reason I grabbed yellow. So, my wavy lines are going to be yellow.

Here’s a close look at a pig tail which is used to secure the new color of yarn to a warp.

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After making some wavy lines, I actually decided that my edges were unacceptably loose.

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I wanted to redo them, so I un-wove several rows of weaving. The downside I’ve found with un-weaving is that wool yarn tends to get fuzzy from pulling it through the warps multiple times. I always end up trying to snip off the extra fuzz with my embroidery scissors. Maybe one of those little sweater fuzz eater machines would work better.

Here’s my initial weaving after re-weaving to tighten up the edges a little.

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The left hand side looks a little bulky because I used that side to carry up each color when the opposite color was in use (for the wavy lines), but I think the right hand side looks much better.

Next, we’ll make some blocks of color, starting with the weft interlock technique. Stay tuned for my next post to find out how it goes!

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

Mirrix-Ware: We’re bringin’ it back!

A few years ago Mirrix President Claudia Chase came up with a fantastic idea: Have Mirrix owners share their love of Mirrix Looms with their friends and neighbors in exchange for credits that could be used in the Mirrix Store to get more goodies! These sessions could either be one-on-one or “Mirrix parties”. The program was fairly successful and quite a few Mirrix enthusiasts earned enough credits to treat themselves to lots of fun Mirrix stuff. However, the program seems to have fizzled out recently and we’re ready to bring it back!

Show off your Mirrix

Show off your Mirrix

Visit our website to learn more about how the program works and start earning your Mirrix credits, OR see a loom in person by visiting one of fantastic participants, today!

Email elena@mirrixlooms.com if you’re interested in signing up!

It’s a new weave-along: The Crystal Cuff

Crystal Cuffs

Concept: The concept of a weave-along is simple. Once a week on Sunday during the span of the weave-along participants receive an email from us going over (in detail and with pictures, descriptions and sometimes even video) the steps of how to make a particular project. The project is split into seperate parts, each part being a different email, allowing participants to work on the section detailed in the email sent on Sunday during the following week.

Typically we archive weave-alongs, but this one will NOT BE ARCHIVED and will only be available “live”. This doesn’t mean you can’t save your emails and work at your own pace, but it should encourage you to work at the pace of the weave-along.

A very important aspect of the weave-along is the social aspect. Each week we encourage you to ask questions, to share pictures of your progress, to answer questions and to interact with other participants on Facebook, Ravelry, Twitter (hashtag #weavealong10) and via email (if you aren’t a social media user we’d be happy to post your pictures and progress for you!). A weave-along is meant to be an online re-creation of a class with friends. Learn, share and be inspired! When you sign up, we ask you to click “YES” and agree to “Participate, ask questions, etc.”. Please do, and help make this weave-along a more social experience for everyone involved!

Project: The Crystal Cuff is a gorgeous bead and crystal bracelet on a resizable brass cuff.

Get $5.00 off as a weave-along participant (for those of you who have already signed up before we have the kit available, we will email you your discount codes when the weave-along launches)

What do you need? Any size Mirrix Loom, a Cyrstal Cuff Kit (or similar supplies) (CUFF KIT COMING SOON)

Sign-up here

 

Bead and Button Class, June 2013: Woven Bead and Fiber Bracelets

B130050 Woven Bead and Fiber Bracelets

Claudia Chase
Mon. & Tue. June 3 & 4  9:00am-5:30pm (with 1.5 hr. break) – (14 hours)Level: All Levels
Maximum Class Size: 12
Class Fee: $469.00
Day One:
Tapestry/Bead Cuff Bracelet
Tapestry/Bead Cuff Bracelets are an original bracelet design by Claudia Chase. They combine tapestry techniques that can range from simple to advanced and bead weaving together to make unique, colorful cuff bracelets. These bracelets have been featured in Beadwork Magazine, Beads, Baubles & Jewels & on Craftsy. You’ll walk away from this section of the class with an understanding of setting up and a warping a Mirrix Loom, weaving fiber on a Mirrix Loom, weaving beads on a Mirrix Loom and even some more advanced tapestry techniques. It’s a great all-around project!
420589_10150603432063186_10050933185_8991158_398685425_ntapestry bead cuff bracelet
Day Two:
Two Affinity Bracelets 
Affinity Bracelets are a concept pioneered by the folks at Mirrix Looms. They use a beautiful fiber, like hand-dyed silk, as warp and different beads or fibers as weft. There are many different types of Affinity Bracelets, and the possibilities to be creative are endless. You’ll learn how to make two different types in day two! A third affinity bracelet can be woven if time permits using extra gold thread and beads from the kit.
Affinity Bracelet Affinity Bracelet
The following kit COMES WITH THE CLASS:

Bead & Button 2013 Kit

Materials:
-A bobbin of black C-Lon cord
-A bobbin of black C-Lon size D beading thread
-A one-inch brass cuff
-A piece of black ultra suede for backing
-10 grams of size 8/0 mixed color beads
-10 grams of size 11/0 mixed color beads
-6 twelve-yard skeins of hand-painted silk
-A bobbin of 75 yards of gold thread
-Five yards of novelty yarn
-Tila, Magnatama, size 8/0, size 11/0 beads for Affinity Bracelet One
-4mm crystals and 10 grams of hex beads for Affinity Bracelet Two

Tools/supplies
-A short beading needle
-A Tulip bead weaving needle
-A five-inch tapestry needle
-15 heddles
-A ten dent warp coil for whatever loom you have
-One small tube of E-000 glue

You will need a Mirrix Loom size 8″ or larger WITH a shedding device. The looms can be purchased on our website http://www.mirrixlooms.com/looms.html  and should be purchased before the class.

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

New Loom Options!

Three of our looms, the 8″ Lani Loom, 12″ Little Guy Loom and 16″ Big Sister will now come two ways. The first way: WITH the shedding device and the second way: WITHOUT the shedding device. That’s that. The price will be reflected in whether or not you get the shedding device and, if you do decide not to, a shedding device can always be purchased separately.

Little Guy Loom

Little Guy Loom Without Shedding Device

Big Sister Loom Without Shedding Device

Big Sister Loom Without Shedding Device

The 12″ Little Guy Loom without a shedding device will now be sold for $225.00 and the 16″ Big Sister Loom without a shedding device will be sold for $250.00.

Please note that previously we were offering these looms without a shedding device but WITH  a bottom spring kit at the same price. This option is no longer available, but the bottom spring kits can be purchased seperately.