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!
Buy the kit here, only $59!
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:
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!
I’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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Have questions? Feel free to email me anytime and I can answer any bead weaving (or tapestry) related questions you have!
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!