Ask Elena: How do you use different sized beads in the same piece?

askelena

Hello Elena,

I’m been reading and studying and am getting ready to order my first Mirrix Loom.

I’ve been using a simple bead loom (that I made) years ago – and I want to advance to something more functional.

I have been using mostly seed beads and want to start incorporating Tila/different sized beads and I am a little confused over

how the warp is set up for this. I read on the Mirrix website

“One of our Affinity bracelets uses Tila beads and size 8/0 seed beads. The Tila beads take up twice the width of the seed beads, so we set the warp twice as far apart where the Tilas will be placed…”

I just don’t understand what that means….and I apologize if I am being dense, but I would like to be able to use different sized beads….

Right now I am deciding on which loom to purchase – but this questions has been bugging me….lol.   I hope to hear back from you..

Carla

Carla-

The Mirrix Loom normally has a spring at the top, chosen depending on the size of beads you are using. When we use several different sized beads, we either do not use a warp coil (spring) (so the beads space themselves), or make sure to space the warp threads in the spring to accommodate the largest size bead/stone/crystal we’ll be using.

It’s mostly a game of math. You have to calculate how many smaller beads equal a larger bead while designing your piece. For example, three 8/0 beads might be the same width as a crystal. Once you figure this out, you can build your piece based on this. For example, in this piece (below) the warp is set far enough apart to accommodate the larger crystals and three of the smaller beads fit in that same space. When you are weaving the beads you simply put three of the beads between the warp threads and sew through normally. This is possible on a Mirrix because the tension is so good.

beaded bracelet

Elena

Ask Elena: Which kit to save warp?

askelena

I have the Big Sister loom and would like to make some bracelets however, when warped I see a lot of  warp that goes wasted.  Since I can’t get smaller loom right now which would you recommend I get the” No Warps kit “or the” Extra Warp kit” so that I don’t end up with so much leftover warp?

Thank you,

Vanita

Vanita-

Thanks for your question! Both the Extra Warping Bar Kit and the No Warp-Ends Kit allow you to warp in an alternative way and will save you warp, but ultimately they have different functions. Remember, too, that with continuous warp you can weave more than one bracelet on one warp. Just “advance” your weaving and make sure to leave some space between the bracelets for finishing.

The Extra Warping Bar Kit was designed for two reasons. First, to eliminate warp waste by eliminating warp on the back of the loom and second to give you more room to bring your hands behind your warp. You can see a video of how to warp the Extra Warping Bar Kit here. If your goal is simply to save warp, this is the kit I’d recommend.

extra warping bar kit

Extra Warping Bar Kit: The red line is where the warp is with the kit on. You can see how this extra bar saved warp on the back of the loom and allows more room for your hands behind the warp.

No Warp-Ends Kit was made to eliminate having to finish warp ends on beaded pieces. It also saves warp, as you warp your piece exactly the size that you want your piece to be. Instead of having threads left at the ends of a beaded piece, with this kit you just have little loops that don’t need any more finishing. The No Warp-Ends Kit now comes with S-hooks instead of the paper clips that are shown in this picture. You can read a little more about how to use this kit here. It is great for people making beaded pieces who don’t want to have to finish off their ends, the saving of warp is just an extra bonus!

No Warp-Ends Kit

The No Warp-Ends Kit where the piece is warped on the front of the loom to exactly the length of the piece. This means less finishing for bead pieces!

Hope that clarifies the differences between the two kits some!

Elena

Ask Elena: What do I need to get started?

askelena

Hi Elena.

I have been eyeing your looms for a while. I like the 12″ loom with the shedding device. I would mostly be making bracelets, maybe belts, small purses also. What else would I need to get me started. I have beads and some fibers. What other accessories would be helpful.  

Thanks Lissa

Lissa-

One of the great things about Mirrix Looms is that you can pretty much get started with just the loom, your materials and some basic supplies like a good pair of scissors! The one thing you do need besides a loom if you are using the shedding device is heddles. Heddles connect your shedding device to your warp thread and we do sell them on our website, but they can also be made at home! We have instructions here. 

If you do want some extra goodies with your loom, here are a few of our most popular accessories:

Loom Extenders:
If you are interested in making belts, you’ll want some loom extenders. The 12″ Little Guy Loom can make a piece about 24″ long without them, and with them they add two whole feet of weaving length! They can be removed, too, for when you aren’t making long pieces.

loomextenders

The Bottom Spring Kit (with springs):
The Mirrix bottom spring kit helps to organize warps at the bottom of a loom, just like the warp coil (spring) at the top. It is useful for wide bead pieces and small-scale tapestry.

bottomspringkits

The Extra Warping Bar Kit:
The Extra Warping Bar Kit adds a second warping bar to the back of the loom, eliminating warp waste for shorter pieces. Because it also eliminates having a layer of warp on both the front and back of the loom, it allows you to better position your hand for weaving wider pieces with the traditional method of bead weaving. You can learn how to warp with this kit here. 

extra warping bar kit

The No Warp-Ends Kit:
The No Warp-Ends Kit allows you to weave beaded pieces without having to finish off the ends. You can see a video about how to warp with this kit here.

nowarpendskit

Hope that helps you decide what accessories you might be interested in! Thanks for your question!

-Elena

Do you have a question for Elena? Email elena@mirrixlooms.com and you might just be featured here!

Ask Elena

Do you have a question about Mirrix Looms? Wondering how to choose a warp coil? Not sure what a bottom spring kit is? Puzzled by the warping bar?

We’ve got your answers… just ASK ELENA.

askelena

Email elena@mirrixlooms.com with your question in the traditional “ask someone” form and we’ll choose our favorites to put up on the blog. (But don’t worry, we’ll answer them all!)

Sample Question:

Dear Elena-

I have never warped a loom before and I am wondering what kind of instruction you have online for a beginner. 

Sincerely, Warpless in Washington

Sample Answer:

Dear Warpless in Washington-

Never fear! We have great .pdf warping instructions available online. Just choose the “type” of warping you need to do (for tapestry, for bead weaving, with the shedding device, without…) and go to that .pdf for written instructions with lots of pictures! You can see them here. 

Elena