Like many of us these days I live across the country from some of my closest friends. Skype, Facebook, IM and email have made keeping in touch much easier, but it’s still hard to be far from all those people who I have known the longest. My best friend, 3,000 miles away in New Hampshire (I’m in Seattle these days), had a fantastic idea recently: to take a notebook and send it back and forth across the country filled with whatever we want: poems, pictures, journal entries and anything else we can think of. It was such a wonderful surprise to get the notebook in the mail a few weeks ago and I am excited to send mine back. In addition to a whole bunch of writing I decided to include an Affinity Bracelet in the notebook. I won’t show the bracelet in case she reads this blog, but it was a pretty basic all-bead Affinity with lines of crystals added periodically making the edges not straight.
The other day Elena had this brainstorm: why not weave friendship-like bracelets on the Mirrix loom? Would be a perfect project for the Mini, she thought. And was she ever correct. And the amusing piece is after my silk warp failure, this was a silk warp success! And the reason for this is that the silk is part of the finishing. I did not use the no warps kit. This is very much not for that kit. In fact, for this you want those warp ends because they become part of the design. These bracelets are quick and addictive and actually fun to finish. Why did it take Elena so long to figure this out?
For my first piece I put eight warps on the loom in four different colors. I wove size 11/0 two cut beads and size 11/0 seed beads, alternating them in both directions so they fit together well for the first inch and a quarter. I then replaced the 11/0 seed beads with 8/0 seed beads to make the center a little wider. I finished it with another inch and a quarter of 11/0 beads.
To finish this piece, I twisted together four warps at a time to form ropes. I then made a peyote stitch tube which I sewed around the two strings. The bracelet is tightened by pulling on the ends of the strings while on your wrist. I made the tube tight. You cold also use a large bead (put it on before tying knots at ends of silk) or even use silk to wrap around the two ends.
The piece in total took about an hour to make. Every piece of making it was enjoyable. The frustration level was 0. This is a great piece for beginners and advanced weavers who want something fun, easy and satisfying to make. You could have a whole lot of friends with this bracelet!
For the piece below, I put on only six warps and wove exclusively with two cut 11/0 beads and 8/0 beads. I twisted all the silk warps together to form one rope. Again, I made a peyote tube as a closure. This one took even less time to make.
Of course my head is spinning with all the other possibilities. The concept: a beautiful, strong, muli-colored warp that shows and is also part of the bracelet and even the clasp . . . has no limitations for one’s imagination. And best of all, it can be done on the Mini Mirrix (any Mini Mirrix).
Future ideas: including some gold thread, of course! This weekend.