Weave-Alongs 12 & 13

Weave-Along 12: Jewel Cuff Bracelet
Starts December 1st

weavealong12logo

One Week Weave-Along – Make a gift fast!

You can purchase the kit here

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Weave-Along 13 : Rag Mug Rug (or runner or rug… you choose the size)

Starts December 8th

Two Week Weave-Along

There will not be a kit for this weave-along.

You’ll need:
-Cotton or wool rags.  Either strip material  you already have: old clothes, sheets, fabric you never turned into the gorgeous sundress, etc. or by some brand new material from the fabric store (on sale of course).  The strips should be about half an inch wide.  Rip them, don’t cut them.
-Wool warp (our Navajo warp would be great) if you are using wool rags and cotton warp (The Woolery is a great source for this) if you are using cotton rags.

Tools:
-A Mirrix Loom with shedding device size 8 inch or up.
-A good beater.  The heavier, the better.

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Checkerboard Cuff Bracelet

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When we go to bead shows, we like to bring along a lot of samples of projects made on Mirrix Looms. One sample that always gets a lot of attention is a former kit, the Pastel Checkerboard Cuff Bracelet. For one reason or another (probably having to do with the availability of certain beads) we stopped making the kit. Recently we decided to bring back this old favorite in slightly different, more vibrant, colors.

Claudia loves the permanent galvanized beads and the great colors of this versatile cuff.

This project is great for any level weaver! The pattern is easy and fun and you’ll love the results. The holidays are coming and we know there is someone on your list who would love this hand-made (by you) bracelet!

checkerboardcuffbraceletkit

Buy the kit here, only $59!

Easy Beaded Leather Wrap Bracelet

A few months ago I bought some leather cord and was playing with wrap bracelets on my Mirrix. I was playing with the idea of using wire to string the beads and trying for really easy, fast projects. These were my results:

http://blog.mirrixlooms.com/2013/04/17/wire-suede-another-20-minute-bracelet/

http://blog.mirrixlooms.com/2013/04/16/the-20-minute-bracelet/

After that I warped my loom for a thicker wrap bracelet, but it was one of those projects that just sat on my loom. Yesterday I finally decided to re-warp and try a more traditional wrap bracelet. It was so fast and easy to do this on a Mirrix Loom! I chose some pretty 8/0 beads and crystals and tied off with a  pretty glass button and that was it! And, hey, when you can buy an even simpler wrap bracelet for $200… this is a pretty good deal!

pastelwrapbracelet

 

 

Wire & Suede: Another 20-minute Bracelet

ImageI’m addicted to using SoftFlex wire on leather or suede! I’ve ordered some more supplies, but in the meantime did some playing with the concept of weaving a wrap bracelet. My next one (when I get more leather) will be woven further across (maybe 5 or 7 warps across) to make an almost cuff-like bracelet (which will be slightly stiff because of the wire). Can’t wait!

 

The Colorblock Bracelet

One of the great things about weaving (and crafts in general) is that you have the ability to make things exactly how you want them. No searching in stores or compromising on quality.
I’ve jumped on the whole “colorblock” bandwagon this summer and I keep thinking how a colorblock bracelet would be the perfect pop to add to a bland outfit. I chose bright salmon, purply blue and black Delicas and some turquoise stones to make this simple but fun bracelet. The only trick was that my stones only had one hole and each stone equaled just about two rows of the Delicas so I had to somehow weave two rows of Delicas for each one row with a stone in it. I did this like this:
three salmon, one turquoise, three salmon
three salmon
then back through the previous row of three salmon, one turquoise, three salmon
three salmon
and then a new row of three salmon, one turquoise, three salmon
Using this method you build up one side at a time and then sew back through your previous row, build up the other side, and then begin a new row. This means that you are not always sewing through in the same direction like you would be if you were just weaving rows, but if the holes in your beads are big enough it’s an easy way to get a nice big bead in the middle of your piece. I should also note that I used an 18 dent spring and left two dents in the middle of the piece without warps on them.
1/3 of the way up the piece I will switch to my black Delicas and 2/3 of the way up the piece I will switch to the purply blue. A fun weekend project perfect for anyone in your life who needs a little color!

 

Affinity Wrap Bracelet

I’m in love with wrap bracelets. They’re casual, pretty, simple and easy to wear. I realized this morning that it would be really easy to make an Affinity Bracelet into an Affinity Wrap Bracelet. I found some gorgeous gold iris Tila beads that were perfect for this experiment and got weaving.

I warped my 12″ loom with some black silk. I had a ten dent coil on the top (warped one warp thread, three spaces and the other warp thread) but it wasn’t necessary to have any coil on because the beads will set the sett of the warp.
Weaving this bracelet was very simple. I used Tila beads which have two holes instead of one. First, I picked up a bead.
I placed that bead behind my warp threads.
Then, I sewed through the bead in the front of the warp.
Next, I sewed through the second hole in the bead, behind the warp.
Finally, I sewed through the second hold in front of my warp.
Because these beads are so large, the weaving part is very fast (and fun!) I finished this just by tying off the ends of the silk and securing the bracelet with a nice little bow!

In total I think this took me about an hour, although I tend to do thirteen things at once so it was hard to tell. Another easy Mirrix project!

Weaving Beads -It’s Easy!

There seem to be a lot of people out there who think weaving beads is difficult. The goal of this blog post is to show you that, really and truly, it isn’t.

At the bead show we just attended I demonstrated the basics of weaving beads to many people and they all seemed shocked at how easy it was. When I told people that bracelet I wore for most of the show took about an hour to make (from warping to finishing) it often came as a huge surprise.

It’s true, there are a lot of advanced bead weaving techniques that can be used on a Mirrix and a lot of stunning and complex projects that some of our customers do. BUT… there are also many, many easy projects that can be done too, and with gorgeous results. Weaving beads isn’t hard, we promise, and our goal at Mirrix Looms is to prove that to you with easy projects and lots of available instruction.

Warping
I know, I know, it seems scary. All those warp threads and springs and dents and warping bars… if you’ve never warped before it can be a little overwhelming. The truth is, though, it isn’t hard at all. Start with a thin piece and you’ll learn fast. Tie on to the warping bar, go over the top of the loom and into one space in the spring, around the front to the back and when you hit the warping bar again, go back in the direction you came from. Continue doing this until you’ve warped as wide as you want and then just tie off onto the warping bar. It really is easy and we have lots and instruction available including our great warping .pdfs!


Weaving
We talk about all kinds of bead weaving methods: The no warp-ends kit, the shedding device, combining beads and fiber… But the fact is that weaving beads at the most basic level is as easy as stringing up your beads, placing them behind your warp threads and sewing back through the other way. So easy that the other day an eight year old did it after only being shown briefly how it’s done.


Finishing Warp Ends
Nobody wants to finish their warp ends which is why we’ve come up with lots of ways to avoid that.

Try our Affinity Bracelets, our No Warp-Ends Kit or our Tapestry/Bead Cuff Bracelets for easy-finishing fun!

Have questions? Feel free to email me anytime and I can answer any bead weaving (or tapestry) related questions you have!

Bead Woven Bracelet

I just finished this bracelet.  The band is loom woven.  The triangle is a combination of peyote and herringbone stitch.  The clasp is peyote stitch.  The triangle took almost as long to make as the band, which worked up really quickly.  I woven two pieces simultaneously on the loom and learned quite a lot.

Let me show you a shot of the two pieces as they came off the loom.

The piece on the right became the finished bracelet.  The piece on the left is still awaiting its fate.  The left piece is twelve beads wide whereas the right piece is eleven beads wide.  I discovered that I love odd count bead rows.  It lends itself better to spontaneous design.  On an even bead row, diamonds have a two bead point.   You can’t center anything including which is fine, but on a thin piece like this I like being able to center the designs.  The even count rows would serve better abstract design, color blocks, Greek keys, etc.

I did not use my usual technique of weaving a fiber edge and folding it over thereby concealing the knotted warp threads because of two reasons:  I knew that the double-sided triangle clasp would buy one end of the band.  And I had decided that I would try a new technique on the other end which was to continue the end of the piece with four rows of square stitch and then fold those four rows onto the back of the piece and sew it down, again burying the knotted warp threads. I liked the outcome because it was clean and neat and no thread showed.   It might have been a little more time consuming than weaving a fiber edge, but I think it was worth and I do plan to experiment more with this technique.

Here’s a not so great photo of the extended square stitch. (I took it in bad light last night).  Once I folded it back onto the woven section those threads were buried.  I did apply some glue just to make sure the warp thread knots didn’t come undone.

I discovered something else and I am kind of hitting my head wondering why I couldn’t have figured this out a thousand years ago.  I’ve been having a lot of trouble missing beads when using the traditional technique of bead weaving which I do tend to use for thin pieces.  I couldn’t figure it out until I randomly used a long thin needle on these two pieces.  Normally I use the softouch needles meant for softouch wire.  Why?  Because they are very sturdy and easy to use.  BUT they don’t like passing through the front of a bead when on the loom.  The longer and thinner needles don’t mind doing it at all.  So with this new needle I made NO mistakes.  And you all probably already new this!  I was so happy with the  quality of the piece.  So perfect and flat and I didn’t have to sew through beads that hadn’t quite got connected to the warp.  WOW, major breakthrough I should have had along time ago.  Hope you haven’t lost all faith in me!

Picture of finished bracelet on my wrist!