Studio Cleaning: Fall 2013

A few weeks ago we did some studio cleaning here at Mirrix Looms, but still have quite a bit of stuff left. We are listing it below. Email claudia@mirrixlooms.com if you are interested in something. We will accept payment via check or PayPal and will charge exact shipping for each product or group of products. When we sell something we will mark the item as sold.

Used Beadwork Magazines from Claudia’s stash. $3 each sold in packages. You can combine packages.
Package One: 1 February 1997, 4 1998 (full year), 2 1999 (fall and spring) total: $21 plus shipping

Package Two: 1 March-April 1999, 1 May-June 1999, 1 Winter 1999, 1 Nov-Dec 1999, 1 February-March 2001, 1 April-May 2001, 1 December 2001-January 2002 total: $21 plus shipping

Package Three: 1 February March 2002, 1 April-May 2002, 1 August-September 2002, 1 February-March 2003, One April-May 2003, 1 June-July 2003, 1 August-September 2003, 1 October-November 2003, 1 December 2003-January 2004. total: $27 plus shipping

Package Four: 1 February-March 2004, 1 June-July 2004, 1 August-September 2004, 1 October-November 2004, 1 December 2004-January 2005 total: $30 plus shipping

Package Five: 1 February-March 2006, 1 April-May 2006, 1 June-July 2006, 1 August-September 2006, 1 October-November 2006, 1 December 2006-January 2007, 1 April-May 2007, 1 June-July 2007, 1 August-September 2007, October-November 2007 total $30 plus shipping

Package Seven: February February-March 2008, June-July 2008, August-September 2008, October-November 2008, December 2008-January 2009, February-March 2009, April-May 2009, August-September 2009, December 2009-January 2010 total $27 plus shipping

Package Eight:April-May 2010, June-July 2010, August-September 2010, December 2010-January 2011, February-March 2011, April-May 2011, August-September 2011, December 2011-January 2012. total: $27 plus shipping

Used SpinOff Magazines from Claudia’s stash. $40
Summer 1998, Summer 1999, Spring 1999, Autumn 1998, Autumn 2002, Winter 1996, Winter 1998.

Wooden Bead Spinner. $25.00.
1393977_10100836797942121_496618888_n

6 38-bead strands of 4mm Fire Polished Preciosa Crystals in rose. $10.00. SOLD
1385042_10100836744843531_785927019_n

6 38-bead strands of 4mm Fire Polished Preciosa Crystals in peridot. $10.00. SOLD
1375243_10100836761894361_1742741414_n

50 grams of dyed mother-of-pearl buttons. $10.00. (one more package  left!)
599385_10100836793970081_1541115635_n

5 oz of Fire Engine Red Icicle roving by Louet Sales. Adds sparkle to your spinning! $6.00. SOLD
994949_10100836836454941_47118940_n

5 oz of Fuchsia Icicle roving by Louet Sales. Adds sparkle to your spinning! $6.00. SOLD
1375024_10100836835671511_245643453_n

7 oz of Yellow Icicle  roving by Louet Sales. Adds sparkle to your spinning! $8.00. SOLD
1379785_10100836834883091_1910279537_n

8 3/4 oz of Golden Sunset Icicle roving by Louet Sales. Adds sparkle to your spinning! $20.00. SOLD1382004_10100836810711531_447739246_n 1377199_10100836810581791_687662214_n

4 oz of Sparkling White Icicle roving by Louet Sales. Adds sparkle to your spinning! $4.00. 
1381424_10100836809094771_284172779_n 1378509_10100836808994971_1521188678_n

400 grams of flat copper Lurex yarn. $45.00.
1382082_10100836801345301_1712484699_n

Checkerboard Cuff Bracelet

IMG_3268

When we go to bead shows, we like to bring along a lot of samples of projects made on Mirrix Looms. One sample that always gets a lot of attention is a former kit, the Pastel Checkerboard Cuff Bracelet. For one reason or another (probably having to do with the availability of certain beads) we stopped making the kit. Recently we decided to bring back this old favorite in slightly different, more vibrant, colors.

Claudia loves the permanent galvanized beads and the great colors of this versatile cuff.

This project is great for any level weaver! The pattern is easy and fun and you’ll love the results. The holidays are coming and we know there is someone on your list who would love this hand-made (by you) bracelet!

checkerboardcuffbraceletkit

Buy the kit here, only $59!

Bead Woven & Embroidery Bracelet: Finishing!

When you are happy with all of your weaving and the final look of your piece, it is time to remove it from the loom. Do not forget to measure it to ensure that it will fit the wrist of its recipient. In my case, it measured a bit beyond 6.25”.

To remove the piece, loosen the tension on the loom and slide out the warping bar. Trim the ends of the warp threads so there are no loops. Tie overhand knots using pairs of neighboring warp threads. Be careful to get those knots as close as possible to your weaving.
IMG_3622

IMG_3621

IMG_3624

It is at this point in the given instructions that I have chosen to take a bit of a personal departure. Although I do love to hand sew, I do not however love to hand sew through beading and ultrasuede together. (Ouch!) So…here it is- I admit to it freely: I cheat. Yep, I use a little bit of glue. (Ah, I can hear the admonitions from here. Sorry folks.)

I measure and cut the ultra-suede so that it is the same size as my finished piece. Placing the finished weaving bead side down with the backside facing up, I dab a LITTLE BIT of trusty E6000 across the back of the piece being SUPER CAREFUL not to overdo it and have any glue- God forbid- seep through to the front of the piece. I use a small paint brush for this to better control the amount of glue. In this way, I am also able to glue down those pesky errant warp tail that want to stick out anyway. I am also careful to neatly extend the glue JUST to the edge of the piece so that the ultrasuede is sealed all around creating a seamless look without any messy glue seeping out. This careful glueing takes a little practice but can definitely be successfully accomplished. Of course I realize that many of you purists out there might never consider using glue at all but I can assure you that it does work and might even be preferable to those sometimes imperfect tiny sewing stitches around the edge. I should also note that in the case of this particular bracelet, I prefer not beading around the edge either as I believe that it detracts a from the finished beaded look of the piece. (Just my humble opinion here.) Feel free of course to choose your own personal finishing method.

mirrix glue

mirrix clothepins

The written instructions continue as follows:
“Warp the bracelet around your wrist. Measure the distance between the two edges. This distance will be filled with the loop that the button will go into and the button itself. This cuff should fit snugly around your wrist. In any case, you will want to add some beads to the beading thread to attach the button.
Center your beading thread at one end of the cuff in order to attach the button.
Attach a length of beading thread to the other end of the bracelet. Pick up enough beads to be able to fit over the button. You can make this loop longer than that if you need to in order to fit around your wrist. Keep in mind, that if the cuff is snug the button will not fall out of the loop even if the loop is large. Sew back through the end of the bracelet and then back through the beads for strength. End the thread as you ended the other thread.”
mirrix clasp

mirrix clasp 2

mirrix clasp complete

mirrix 2 braceletes

WEAR PROUDLY AND WITH PANACHE!

See you next time,

xxx, Karen

Bead Woven & Embroidery Bracelet -Bead Weaving the Base

The ten warp threads I dressed the loom with created nine working spaces to place my beads.  Using approx. 18” C-Lon beading thread, I threaded nine beads of a similar size for my first row.  Once my first few rows of beading were established, I was able to choose among the 8/0 seed beads, 10/0 delica beads and an occasional larger 6/0 bead. The concept here is that the base beads all be of a similar size to not expand or contract the space between the warp threads too much. It really is very much like creating a puzzle with smaller beads sitting atop larger ones from the previous row, and vice versa. The good news is that after making my first bracelet I learned the important fact that this base will be pretty well covered with embellishment beads and will only show through as a background so don’t sweat it too much. As long as the width of the bracelet remains fairly consistent you’ll be ok.  (And I say fairly even” because even this can be fudged later on if need be.)

mirrix first row

mirrix 6 rows

mirrix 10 rows

 

 

 

You can approach the weaving of this bracelet in one of two ways: You can bead weave the entire bracelet’s base and then completely embellish the full piece or you can weave the base for several rows, embellish just these rows, go back to weaving the base and embellishing those rows, etc. For these photos I did it the second way, initially weaving ten rows before embellishing. I was not patient enough to weave the whole bracelet before indulging in the fun part which for me is the embellishment. That is where you really get to play.

It is best to do your embellishing when you are relaxed and not in a hurry. I must warn you that this is a very time consuming process. Each and every embellishment bead is threaded and secured individually and forcing a bead where it does not belong will only bring misery. Trust me on this- ask me how I know.

 

When you are ready to begin adding your embellishment beads, you begin by coming out the side of the last row you wove and picking up a larger bead. In my case I used a bugle bead on the top right hand side of the photo. I then sewed through the bead below that is two warps over.
mirrix bugle

mirrix bugle 2

According to the instructions the rule here is to sew through a bead that is far enough away that the embellishment bead will lie flat but not so far away that the beading thread will show. Although you will initially measure each bead before finding its landing spot, with a little experience after a few rows, you will pretty much be able to eyeball it and this will make things move along a little faster.

 

 

After placing the first embellished bead you can go anywhere you want in the woven piece. In my case, the next bead I added was a crystal traveling across the piece. You can choose to travel anywhere you like across the piece however you will probably find that working in small sections makes the most sense rather than criss-crossing all over the place and getting the embellishment threads tangled up. The point is to cover a lot of the base beads nearly entirely while angling the beads differently so that they add interest.
mirrix moving along

mirrix getting there

mirrix mess

 

 

You will continue weaving and embellishing until your piece is large enough to fit around your wrist keeping in mind the type of clasp that you intend to use. In the case of this kit, we will be making a loop on one side with a button on the other. Your piece will shrink at least a third of an inch when you take it off the loom because the warp threads are under tension so keep this in mind while measuring.

 

Next: Finshing Your Bracelet

Bead Woven & Embroidery Bracelet- Intro & Warping

If my name looks familiar to many of you Mirrix aficionados out there, it should. It is hard to believe but it was exactly a full year ago that I began blogging for Mirrix. In fact, it was the end of July 2012 that I learned that I had won the contest that Mirrix sponsored to find a new blogger for Claudia’s Craftsy class. Well, I can surely tell you that a lot has happened during the course of the last year and unfortunately for me, much of it has taken me away from weaving and my Mirrix loom. However on a rare occasion that I was able to catch up with the Mirrix happenings, I caught sight of a really compelling bracelet that Claudia had designed. It didn’t have a name nor any real details other than that a special weave-along class and kit* was to follow. I went on about my business storing this information away for a later date when life returned to normal.

IMG_3587

Months later, while life hadn’t exactly returned to normal, I still had not forgotten about this mesmerizing bracelet. I had never seen anything like it before and although I had some idea as to how it might be constructed, I wasn’t sure I could copy it myself without some guidance. My spontaneous suggestion to Elena to commence blogging again was met enthusiastically, and here I am. If you too have been smitten with this mystery bracelet, then follow along with me as I take you through its construction, step-by-step. I will provide instruction in three parts. The first will detail bead weaving the bracelet’s base; the second will include the fun part- or the embellishment; and the third part describes the finishing touches in turning your beaded piece of art into an actual bracelet to be worn on your wrist.

IMG_3586

Warping

The warping is standard using ten warps of the C-Lon beading cord. No shedding device is necessary. The weaving of this bracelet has two distinct phases. The first phase is quite basic where you will create a grid-like base using your choice between the 8/0 seed beads, 10/0 delica beads and an occasional 6/0 bead which are all included in the bead soup that comes with the kit.

Next: Bead Weaving the Base

*Weave-along Class dates: March 10-24, April 7-21, May 3-24 2013

Kit includes enough to make TWO bracelets: 60 grams Bead soup, black C-Lon cord & black C-Lon beading thread, black ultra-suede, 2 pewter buttons, written instructions

Intro to Tapestry Class: Finishing the Sampler

Welcome to the very last post in my CraftArtEdu Introduction to Tapestry series! Today I’m finishing the tapestry, which involves setting it up to hang on the wall.

First, I trimmed all of the wefts down to about 1 inch on the back of the tapestry.

craftartedu_10a

Then it was time to twirl and tie off the bottom warps. I’m not great at twirling (twisting) yarn, so I kept my twists relatively short. I also waited to make the overhand knots until I had all the twists finished, so I could go back and redo any that were too loose.

craftartedu_10b

At the top of the sampler, you need to tie overhand knots directly against the header. I used my beading awl to slide the knots down, but you can use a metal tapestry needle instead.

craftartedu_10c

The following photos were taken after I’d completed the finishing process (which I did away from my camera, watching the Tour de France). First, I folded over the top header and stitched it down. I then stitched on a piece of twill tape and a strip of velcro (these are included in the class kit).

craftartedu_10d

Then I stitched twill tape to both side edges of the back of the tapestry. I did all of this stitching by hand, sewing up around warps. However, because my sewing thread does show through here and there, I may try stitching through the backs of the wefts instead on my next project.

I used a large zig-zag stitch, because you really don’t need many actual stitches to get this done. You just want to keep the little tails of weft yarn from showing along the sides of the tapestry.

craftartedu_10e

At this point, the only thing left to do is attach the matching piece of velcro to a piece of wood (not included in the kit) and hang it up on the wall.

Here it is temporarily on my door, where you can see it better. You may notice that I need more practice to get my side selvedges straight. (Oddly, my problem seems to be leaving the edges too loose, rather than making them too tight).

craftartedu_10f

It’s so exciting to be finished! Although I made a few mistakes along the way, I still ended up with a pretty tapestry and, more importantly, a lot more confidence in my weaving.

A big thank you to Elena and Claudia for this opportunity to take the class and even hop into their blog to blog about it. If you’d like try the sampler for yourself, you can hop over to CraftArtEdu anytime and sign up for the class. To see what I’m up to next, visit my blog or my profile on Weavolution or Ravelry. I also have a Tapestry board on Pinterest.

Have a great summer, everyone!

~Chris

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

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

template

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

print

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.

cut

labels

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.

craftartedu_9a

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.

craftartedu_9b

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.

craftartedu_9c

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.

craftartedu_9d

(What is it with cats and Mirrix looms?)

craftartedu_9e
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).

craftartedu_9f

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.

craftartedu_9g

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.

craftartedu_9h
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.

craftartedu_9i

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.

craftartedu_9j

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

craftartedu_9k

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.

craftartedu_9l

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.

craftartedu_9m

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

craftartedu_9n

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.

craftartedu_9o

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.

craftartedu_9p

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.

craftartedu_8a

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.

craftartedu_8b

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

craftartedu_8c

craftartedu_8d

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.

craftartedu_8e

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.

craftartedu_8f

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.

craftartedu_8g

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.

craftartedu_8h

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.

craftartedu_8i

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.

craftartedu_8j

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

craftartedu_8k

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.