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.
(Image Credit: Susan Murry -left- & Jacqui Johnson -right-)
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.
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.
You can purchase a few different Bottom Spring Kit sets:
You can find an updated version of this post here: https://www.mirrixlooms.com/blogs/mirrix-blog/the-ultimate-guide-to-bead-weaving-using-the-shedding-device-updated
When it comes to the arts, kids are often markedly good teachers. There is a certain innocence and fearlessness children possess that allows them to be creative and unbound to expectation. I have seen this again and again watching young people weave both tapestry and beads, but I’m still pleasantly surprised each time a child reminds me of the innocent glee weaving can bring to someone.
Recently Dani Dias shared a video with us of her daughter, Ava, teaching bead weaving on her 5″ Mini Mirrix Loreli Loom. Dani and Ava have graciously allowed us to share this video with all of you.
My mother-in-law is visiting from Ukraine for a couple of weeks. During her last visit, my mom and I taught her how to weave the Tapestry/Bead Cuff Bracelet and gave her a loom and a book on tapestry weaving to take back home with her. This trip, she wanted to learn how to weave beads.
Because my husband and I can’t take the whole of her visit off from work, she’s had quite a bit of downtime while we are working, and this has been the perfect thing to keep her happily occupied.
I handed her my Mini Mirrix, gave her a brief lesson and she was off!
This is her first bracelet:
Here is her second:
And this is the third one that she is still working on. I showed her a Turquoise Cuff Bracelet (from this kit, one of my favorites) and she recreated the project with no instructions with beads from my stash.
Lessons from this experience:
1.) I have a pretty talented mother-in-law
2.) You can teach someone how to weave with very few words. We actually speak Greek to each other (even though her first language is Russian and mine is English), but I really didn’t need to say much.
3.) The Mini Mirrix is a great little loom, and one that I under-utilize. It is easy to use and super portable! I usually recommend it as a second loom to people, but if you just wanted to weave small beaded pieces, it really does make a perfect “only” loom.
4.) Want to bond with your mother-in-law? A loom might just be the key!
There are two types jewelry most women have: The jewelry you wear all the time and the jewelry that sits in your jewelry box waiting for a special occasion. This bracelet, made of silk and crystals, falls into that first category. In fact, you’re never going to want to take it off your wrist.
For our eighteenth weave-along, we will be making this gorgeous bracelet.
What’s a Weave-Along, you ask?
A weave-along is a FREE online course. Claudia Chase and Elena Zuyok of Mirrix Looms will lead participants through a project woven on a loom. Every Sunday participants will get an email going over what had been worked on the week before and giving instructions and tips for the week ahead. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and engage with other members of the weave-along via email and social media sites including the Mirrix Facebook Page, Mirrix Facebook Group and Mirrix Ravelry Page. This is a community event!
Please note you must be using a genuine Mirrix Loom to participate in these Mirrix-sponsored events.
When? Where? How?
September 13th – September 27th, 2015
September 13th- 19th: Warping & Weaving
September 20th – 27th: Finishing
If you weave, whatever you weave, you love the materials with which you weave. After all, those materials are the bricks that make your weaving and if those bricks are crumbling and dull, what you weave will embody those traits. Materials that are rich and filled with color and texture and body will make your project sing. Hence, it’s no surprise that I get excited when I wield my paint brush over skeins of silk or receive a box of materials in the mail. Admiring that hand-painted silk once it has dried and put on skeins gives me the same feeling as receiving, as I recently did, a box of crystals. The goal is of course to make something worthy of the materials. It doesn’t have to be an intensely complicated long-term project. It can be something very simple that elegantly incorporates the gems and threads.
To that end, I made the following two woven projects which I would like to share with you.
Okay, you’ve seen the hand-painted silk a million times but I am going to post a picture of them anyway. The crystals are new, at least to me. I have frequently used size 4mm fire polish crystals in my work. This is the first time I’ve used the more delicate size 2mm fire polish crystals. I kept my color choices simple: a couple of versions of gold and just clear crystals.
After having made the simpTle beaded bracelet I realized that it would have been a bit easier to make it with the no warp-ends kit. I whipped out one of my two mini-mirrix looms and warped it up with the kit. I have been using the mini a lot lately. I go through stages but recently I’ve been weaving so much and in so many different places, including bed, that I find the mini is a must have when I really want something very little in my lap. I have even woven silk strips on it because I don’t always use the shedding device when weaving thin silk strips because it’s almost as easy not to reach up and change the shedding device. Plus sometimes I just like to needle weave. It’s kind of that “slow craft” moment, which I’ve been having a lot of lately. I digress.
Why the no warp-ends kit for this simple project? It turns out it is easier (and I am out to prove this point) to fold down the ends of the piece and sew them without those pesky warp end knots and ends. I am glad I tried it without the no warp-ends kit first because it’s very doable and I don’t want you folks who don’t have one and don’t want to buy the kit excluded from this very fun, very satisfying project. That being said, it’s always nice to find an easier way to to do anything. And if you are like me, turning over and sewing ends of things is not your favorite thing to do!
I wanted to make a simple, quick beaded bracelet. I haven’t woven beads in a while because lately I’ve been kind of obsessed with hand-painted silk bracelets and small tapestries. But the beads started calling.
Sometimes I just really crave simple: simple materials, simple design, but great colors. So I wanted this bracelet to be just that.
I decided I wanted to use the same clasp I’ve been using for the hand-painted silk bracelets. I figured out that I needed to use either 11/0 Delica or 15/0 beads in order for the bracelet to fit correctly into the clasp (obviously, smaller beads would work but that’s my limit!).
When/how did you first get into bead weaving? What inspired you to begin weaving?
A few years ago, my youngest daughter learned how to inkle weave at a summer arts camp, and it intrigued me to expand my bead work in that direction. She seemed to enjoy it so much, how could I resist?
Welcome to our second #letstalklooms Monday!
Let’s Talk Looms is a new blog/social media series by Mirrix Looms. Every Monday we’ll post a new weaving-related discussion topic that we’ll talk about here in the comments on the blog, on Ravelry, Twitter (with hashtag #letstalklooms), Instagram and Facebook!
Today’s question: Where do you weave?