I still have one more three-day run in my summer residency at Fibreworks Studio and Gallery in Madeira Park BC and I’m already done tapestry #2 in my current series. I wasn’t sure how long it would take me, or how much time I’d actually spend weaving during the public residency, so I’m thrilled that I was able to start and finish an entire weaving.
There are just a few more weft ends to sew in and the hanging mechanism to attach and it’s ready for a wall. I’ve estimated that during the 65 hours of residency time I was able to warp up and weave for around 45 hours of it. In the past, before I had childcare, I’d weave an hour here and there, never keeping track of how long any particular piece took, so I’m very happy to have a better idea now. Having a Spencer Power Treadle helped me chug along steadily, too. My treadle is currently being borrowed by one of my students. She spent a lot of time with me on that first stretch of seven days of my residency, and then bought herself a Mirrix. I figure I won’t be weaving again until the end of the month when I hunker down for the third and final weaving in this series at Fibreworks again, so someone may as well enjoy using the treadle in the mean time.
Often people associate tapestry weaving with just wall-hangings, but you can make a lot of different things with a tapestry. This week I made a set of tiny tapestry pillows, perfect for a tiny dog to rest his head or as a pop of accent color in any cozy room.
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!
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
Why isn’t one included with every loom?
The bottom spring kit is not included with every loom because there are people who simply do not want or need a spring at the bottom of their loom. With this add-on kit, we give you the choice to have one or not. Note that if you do get the Bottom Spring Kit you don’t have to use it for every piece you make. Simply don’t put a spring in it and you can warp around it with no problem.
Can you rotate the weaving to advance it with the spring on the bottom?
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.
Do extra coils come with the bottom spring kit?
You can purchase a few different Bottom Spring Kit sets:
The Bottom Spring Kit with 8, 12, 14 and 18 Dent Warp Coils. Want a Bottom Spring Kit with all the warp coils to match the ones that came with your loom (that has a shedding device)? This version is our most popular loom accessory.
The Bottom Spring Kit with Two 20 and 22 Dent Warp Coils. No looms come with 20 and 22 dent warp coils, so this version of the kit has two of each: one for the bottom and one for the top.
The Bottom Spring Kit with Two 16 Dent Warp Coils. If you weave wide bead pieces with 11/0 Delica beads, you may find the 16 dent coil works best for you. This version fo the kit comes with two 16 dent coils, one for the bottom and one for the top.
The Bottom spring Kit and 14 Dent Coil. If you have an 8″ or 12″ Loom without the shedding device, it came with only one 14 dent warp coil. This Bottom Spring Kit adds one more 14 dent coil to the bottom!
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!
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?
Imagine a woven scarf or a blanket. It might be one color, stripes or a pattern, but usually it doesn’t depict an image or a varying design. Tapestry, however, does. A tapestry might represent a realistic image, a complex design or even an abstract picture.
Generally tapestry has discontinuous wefts. This mean the weft (again, these are the threads that go across the loom) do not go from selvedge (edge) to selvedge (edge).
So is the type of weaving you want to do tapestry? If it is weft-faced and pictorial, it probably falls somewhere on the tapestry spectrum. What does this mean?,
1.) You can use, and benefit from, a dedicated tapestry loom like a Mirrix. Great tension, a shedding device and accessory options are just a few reasons why. Check out this blog post“Choosing a Tapestry Weaving Loom: Wood Frame or Mirrix” for a few more reasons.
2.) You can weave using tapestry techniques. Stripes and fringe are fun, but there are so many more amazing tapestry techniques. Pick and Pick is a great example. Learn how to create these fun vertical stripes here. Hatching is another great technique. You can learn about hatching here.
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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.