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
Today is the birthday of Mirrix President and CEO Claudia Chase. She started Mirrix Looms over 21 years ago out of a friend’s garage workshop. She hadn’t planned to start a company, at the time she was a stay-at-home mom and tapestry artist, but it seemed she wasn’t the only one in search of a high-quality, portable tapestry loom.
You see, as a mom of two, Claudia wasn’t able to spend all her time on one of her big floor looms like she might have liked. Instead she spent much of her days shuttling kids back and forth from soccer games and gymnastic meets and theater rehearsals and play dates. She often found herself itching to weave, but she hadn’t been able to find a loom that was both portable and fit her needs as a professional weaver. She wanted a portable loom that had:
A very old Mirrix print advertisement
And so she designed a loom that had all that. And she went into business and grew this wonderful company that really epitomizes the American dream. She’s grown her business slowly and steadily and has everything manufactured right here in America at a facility that is all kinds of awesome.
Sunshine House is located in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. From providing group activities to training and supported employment, Sunshine House’s goal is to help people become more integrated into their community and to give them a place where they can be successful. The managers at Sunshine House take the time to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each employee and provide them with an environment where everyone can take pride in their work.
But more than that, she’s truly a great person running a great company. I’m constantly having to rein her in to comply with company policies. Otherwise she might just take her first slogan, “A Loom in Every Lap” a little too munificently.
She’s taught me that doing that right thing in business should always be a company’s first goal and in the nine years I’ve worked with her I have never once seen her choose the easy or the cheap way out.
So here’s to you, Claudia, to another year of doing the right thing and running a successful business without ever compromising your values. Here’s to a wonderful product that really is built to last a lifetime and a company built for a love of weaving not a love of earnings.
Let’s spread the Mirrix love today in honor of Claudia. Tell us in the comments why YOU wanted (or want) a Mirrix. What makes these looms special to you?
This is a very specific blog post but one I wanted to write because I have heard some incorrect information being shared regarding this. The question: Can you advance your weaving with a Bottom Spring Kit on your loom?
Before I go into this, let me answer two questions:
What does it mean to “advance your weaving”?
When you warp a Mirrix Loom using our standard method with the warping bar, you can weave a piece longer than the length of your loom. How? By advancing your weaving. Once you’ve woven as far as you can (or as far as you want) on the front of your loom, loosen your tension and slowly move your warping bar up the back of your loom. This will begin to move your piece to the back of the loom, allowing you more room to weave on the front! Check out this video to see how to do this.
What is a Bottom Spring Kit?
A Bottom Spring Kit is a Mirrix Loom accessory that can be added to any Mirrix. It allows you to put a warp coil/spring on the bottom beam of your loom just like the one on the top. You can learn more about this accessory and why you might want one here.
And now, to answer that first question: YES you can! Using the Bottom Spring Kit does NOT prevent you from advancing your bead or fiber weaving.
The Bottom Spring Kit is useful for warping your loom and for beginning to weave. Once you’ve gotten to the point where you’re ready to advance your weaving, having the spring there isn’t doing anything. Your sett is determined by your TOP spring, not your bottom one. So when you are ready to advance your weaving, you simply remove the spring and advance your piece over the Bottom Spring Kit (the kit won’t damage your warp.)
I warped up a sample piece to show you how it works. Note that you wouldn’t need to advance a piece until it is a lot further along than this one!
First, loosen your tension.
Remove the spring from behind the warp.
Now you can advance your weaving by pulling the warping bar up the back of the loom. Easy!
Spread the word that you CAN advance a weaving on a Mirrix with a Bottom Spring Kit! Want your own Bottom Spring Kit? You can find the Bottom Spring Kit with four warp coils here!
This sale has ended.
Though I’m no longer in school, this time of year still makes me feel like I’m heading “back to school” and I have an overwhelming urge to stock up on new things for fall and winter. If something Mirrix is on your back-to-school list, we’re having a sale perfect for you!
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
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.
Ready to start your own tapestry journey? Click here to get a free loom recommendation!
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