Weave-Alongs 12 & 13

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

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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.

Sign up here

Next Weave along: Crystal and Bead Cuff Bracelet

I made a zillion of these and then gave most of them away.  I was in one of those moods.  This bracelet weaves up very quickly.  It probably takes longer to finish (attach to cuff and embellish) than it does to weave. I would say total time to weave and finish is about two and a half hours, which makes it a “not-slow project” so great for those of you who have a lot of gifts to whip up for girls/women this holiday season.  The kit, which I haven’t put together just yet (give me a day or so) will include enough materials to make two cuffs.  Below are two examples.  One without embellishment beads along the edge and one with.  Obviously, the one without embellishment beads will take less time to finish.  I like them both.  If  you are not going to be embellishing with beads along the edge, you need to be very careful with stitching the beaded piece to the cuff.  In any case, once on a wrist, those stitches will barely show but the cuff will not always be on someone’s wrist and you want it to look good then too.

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Confetti and Bead Necklace Weave-Along Week 2

Welcome to the second week of Mirrix’s Weave-Along! We’re ready to get to the fun part- weaving! This is the bulk of the weave-along, so remember to ask questions if you have them! We can always be reached directly (email: elena@mirrixlooms.com) or via social media sites like Facebook or Ravelry

This is how the LaniLoom looks with her warp on. You want to lift the bar in back so that there is at least seven inches of warp between the bar and where you will begin weaving.  That should leave seven inches on the other end as well.  I you’ve extended your loom more than 18 inches, you can increase the fringe by half the number of inches you increased your height by.  So that if your loom is now 20 inches high, you can make your fringe 8 inches.

Let’s begin weaving!  Your first row will be two crystals.  Once you’ve woven the row, tie and knot the the thread to adjust the initial width of the piece.  You can sew that end in later.

Next weave one solid row of beads (I used the pink) followed by that bead, two of another bead color (I used the gold), repeat that row and end with a solid row of the original color.  Then add another row of crystals in whatever color you want.  I used the pink.  Remember, you goal is to evenly distribute these colors throughout the piece.

Continue weaving this pattern until there are 41 sections of beads and 42 rows of crystals.

You are going to have to advance your piece several times.  Note how at one point, I move the warping bar to the top of the loom.

In this next photo you will see that the bar has been moved down to the front of the loom to create room for those final rows of beads.  Again, you will leave at least seven inches of empty warp ending with a row of cyrstals.

You can see now how easy this project is to do! It’s simple traditional bead weaving, but the results are stunning with the different sized beads and crystals. You can use this technique elsewhere and really experiment using different sized beads, crystals, stones or anything else you can think of!

What different materials would you use in a similar project? 

Mirrix Updates Pre-Holidays 2012

Win a FREE Loom
Win a FREE Mini Mirrix Loom just be answering the question “Why do you want a Mirrix?”

Weave-Along 9
Join our 9th weave-along and make a stunning silk and beaded necklace! Order your kit today!

Customer Profiles
Who is a Mirrix customer? From professional bead and tapestry weavers to novice crafters, Mirrix customers are just like you!

Are you a Mirrix customer? Do you want to be profiled on this page? Email us and we’ll send you our questionnaire.

Mirrix Looms Holiday Gift Guide 2012
For the newbie, bead obsessed, fiber junkie and Mirrix fanatic!

Send a Hint
Have a Mirrix item on YOUR wish list? Email elena@mirrixlooms.com with the subject “wish list”. Tell us what Mirrix product you want this holiday season plus the name, email and relationship of someone you think might like a little gift-giving hint. We’ll send off an email on Cyber Monday telling them exactly what Mirrix product you’d like in your stocking this year! Plus, on that day, one participant will win a $25.00 Mirrix Looms gift certificate!

Starter Package with Class
The Perfect Package for a Beginner, and at a FANTASTIC price!

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the crafter in your life, you’ve found it. Get a 5″ Mini Mirrix Loom, a stunning Desert Beaded Braclet Kit and an online class to help get you started!

The class will be offered in January (6th to the 27th), February (3rd to the 24th) and March (3rd to the 24th) of 2013 and will function much-like one of our famous weave-alongs, but private. We will also archive these classes in case someone can’t participate at these times. Once a class date range is chosen, participants will get an email once a week for four weeks walking them step-by-step through the set-up, warping and weaving (of the gorgeous bracelet kit included in the loom package) processes. These emails will include pictures, videos and .pdf instructions. Instructors will be available to answer questions via email throughout the class.

This kit includes:
-One 5″ Mini Mirrix Loom
-One Desert Braclet Kit
-One private online class (by email) with Mirrix’s Claudia Chase and Elena Zuyok (a sign-up link will be sent with your package)

Bead Loom, Kit & Class Package

What’s the perfect gift to give any craft-addict? A Mirrix Loom, Kit and Class package gives any  bead lover everything they need to get started weaving including a class that will lead students through everything they need to weave a beautiful beaded bracelet with the kit provided.

loom, class, kit package

The package comes with a 5″ Mini Mirrix Loom, a stunning Desert Beaded Braclet Kit and and the online class.

The class will be offered in January (6th to the 27th), February (3rd to the 24th) and March (3rd to the 24th) of 2013 and will function much-like one of our famous weave-alongs, but private. We will also archive these classes in case someone can’t participate at these times. Once a class date range is chosen, paricipants will get an email once a week for four weeks walking them step-by-step through the set-up, warping and weaving processes. Instructors will be available to answer questions via email throughout the class.

This kit includes:
-One 5″ Mini Mirrix Loom 
-One Desert Braclet Kit
-One private online class with Mirrix’s Claudia Chase and Elena Zuyok (a sign-up link will be sent with your package)

You can learn more and purchase the package here.

Weave along #8- Part Seven Finishing Techniques

And, so, the Soumak Pouch Weave Along draws to a close with a very long video on finishing techniques.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Here are the chapters in the final installment:
1- Steam, Press and block the finished weaving
2- Overcast the straight edge of the inside front of the pouch
3- Making the point for the tip of the pouch
4- How to do the chain stitch embroidery
5- Cut out a lining
6- How to stitch the lining to the pouch invisibly
7- Stitch the side seams
8- Sew on the snaps
9- Stitching the edging cords to the pouch – in the video, I show how to add things like large beads at the ends and center of the cord, as well as the swivel clip hook. I also show how to stitch size 8 seed beads to the edging to embellish it.  You don’t have to add these extra flourishes, but I thought that it made sense to show you how to do it so you ~could~ do it, if you want to.
It’s the embellishments that make the pouch the truly individual statement of your creativity!
And, here’s the video:

Happy Weaving!
I hope that you have had fun weaving your Soumak pouch!
And, cheerio, this is my last post on ‘A Word From Elena’
:o) Noreen

Soumak Pouch Weave Along #8 Part Two: Design Notes

I am sure that everyone who is participating in the Soumak Pouch Weave Along wants to create a finished piece that is completely unique.
So, that’s why I am sharing a few design notes.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

In Part One of the Weave Along LINK   I posted my design for the Soumak Pouch.
How did I come up with this design, and how can you make it be a reflection of your personality?
I started the design process by thinking of the rug that was in my grandmother’s dining room when I was a little girl:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I spent many a happy hour on that carpet, when I was a child, playing with my cousins.
The flowers became a deeply ingrained part of my ‘pattern language’.
So, when I was designing the pouch, it was natural to look at the flowers in the carpet and see if there was a starting point there.
Indeed there was, and I sketched and played with variations on carpet flowers:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I  traced out lots of copies of the prototype pattern.
I find that tracing the pattern by hand is better for me than scanning and printing the pattern.
When my hand and eyes are quietly engaged in tracing the design, then connections are made that are really helpful in making creative leaps.
I choose aquarelles (watercolor pencils) that matched my weft colors.
Then, I colored lots and lots of variations on the theme, playing with combinations of colors and trying to push myself to use the weft colors in ways that I might not have considered.
I also would make little sidebar colorways when I was uncertain about a specific motif in the pattern.
And, then, when I was happy, I started weaving.
As I wove the prototype pouches, I discovered a few things:  OOPS! The weaving contracts when it’s released from the loom, so it NEEDS a header and footer beyond the pattern!
Also, I felt that making the pattern more geometrical would make it more weaver-friendly, so I re-designed the pattern to make it conform more closely to the warp strands:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I felt constrained to stick to using only the colors of yarn that were in the various kits and packages supplied by the yarn companies.
I didn’t mix and match, BUT… you can feel totally free to use yarn from your stash to personalize your pouch.
The only exception to the ‘no stash’ rule that I was following was that, for the black and white checkered pouch, I did pull white wool from my stash (well, my daughter in law’s stash to be perfectly honest… bless her for her donation to the cause <3 and :D )

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

In this photo, you’ll see that I traced the pattern onto graph paper (4 squares to the inch or 2.5 cm).
(The photo of the pouch at the beginning of this post was woven with the Mirrix Soumak Pouch Kit yarns and this colorway.)
Graph paper is the top of the list of my favorite design tools…. it’s a weaver’s very good friend indeed!
Playing with graph paper allows you to try out all manner of interesting things.
So, in a nutshell, what are the key points of designing a unique project?
1-  Look for a starting point in something that you love or are inspired by.
2-  Be willing to make mistakes and to start over
3-  Trace, don’t print the extra copies of the design.
4-  Use colors in ways that you might not usually consider when you are experimenting with your coloring pages.
BUT… if you have signature colors, then, of course, feel free to use them.
5-  Make multiple color combination sidebars if you are uncertain about a part of the design.
6-  Use graph paper to work out colorways and patterns.
7- The ways that you choose to embellish your pouch will make your pouch TOTALLY unique, as the finishing and embellishment techniques are incredibly expressive :)

Here’s the Design Notes Video:

 Happy weaving! :o) Noreen

Two more pouches for the Soumak Pouch Weave Along

I’ve been shooting videos for the weave along  that begins on September 2nd.
As I was shooting, I was weaving along on a couple of pouches.

Here they are:

A Stripey one, with some beads and other embellishments:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

and the back:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

I wove it with Lion Brand Bonbon yarn- cotton for the body of the pouch and metallic for the embellishment.

The size 8 beads along the sides are from Mirrix and the bone beads at the lower edge were in my stash.

The medallion on the back of the pouch is one that I snitched from a box of stuff that my daughter in law was going to give away. 
(She gave it away, but to ~me~ instead of giving it to ‘anonymous’ -  I can be shameless when it comes to pretty goodies! )

My daughter in law grinned at me when she saw the finished pouch, and said:
 ‘This one is yours, isn’t it, Mum?’
‘Yes! but how did you guess?’
She just laughed.
  I guess it’s because I adore these colors and use them all the time!

I was concerned about this pouch:

copyright  Noreen Crone-Findlay

Why?  Well, because both my daughter and my daughter in law declared that they loved it and would love to have SantaMamma leave it in their Christmas stocking.

I didn’t want to make two pouches that were exactly alike, so I had to have a big old think about it.

And, I came up with the perfect answer!!!!!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

TADAH!!!!   I wove it up in the same colorway, but using the drop dead luscious wool yarn from the Mirrix kit   [LINK to purchase]
(and, please note,: I don’t profit by raving about the delicious and gorgeous yarns I am using for these pouches, but I am just tickled pink with them, and VERY happy to say: WHEEEEEEEEEEE about them and to say: Yup… thumbs up, order and love ‘em, too)   :o)

Here’s the back of the woolie pouch:

www.kreinik.com supplied me with the gorgeous embroidery thread and edging cord for this pouch.
Here are the links for them:
The edging is 3/8 ” trim:  # 170 Natural Pewter    
http://www.kreinik.com/kshop/product.php?productid=17023&cat=0&page=1

The embroidery thread is: Ombre: http://www.kreinik.com/kshop/product.php?productid=622&cat=0&page=1  1000 – Solid Silver
I love the combination of the soft loftiness of the wool with the sparkle of the metallic embroidery floss. The embroidery thread is soft and lovely to work with. Some metallics can be barky and sharky. This is soft and nooshy.

!AND! 

Happy dance!
and   ~whew~

My daughter in law (who happens to be an incredibly gifted and talented handspinner, so she is naturally inclined to be more drawn to wool),  likes the woolie pouch -

HURRAH! SantaMamma is so relieved! 

My girls will have their lovely pouches in their Christmas stockings, and they are ‘sister pouches’…. similar, but each unique!  
Alright… time for me to get back to editing video…..  :o)
~Noreen~

Oooh Claudia made gorgeous kits for the Soumak Pouches

Oooh, Claudia has made gorgeous kits for the Soumak Pouches!

Oh my word!
Claudia has outdone herself in making the kits for the Soumak pouches for the Weave Along in September:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Aren’t the  colors and textures gorgeous?
I just went and picked up the text from this page: LINK

If you’re a weave-along 8 participant get $10.oo off this kit with discount code:   weavealong8
This package goes with our Weave-Along 8 hosted by Noreen Crone-Findlay.

Learn more about the weave-along and sign-up here today.

Kit Includes:
-30 yards of 10 each of ten colors of  wool/mohair yarn
-12 x 6 piece of silk for lining
-A semi precious stone for a clasp
-100 gram tube of Navajo Wool Warp
*Please note, this kit does not come with fiber for the edging or a kumihimo kit to make one.
The kit can be purchased separately.
You will have 4 options for making the edging cord for the pouches: 
1- A beaded peyote stitch tubular cord.  If you want to make your cord with beads, be sure to add beads to your shopping list.  Either #8 or #11 work fine, depending on what your favorite size is. I used the #11.
You can order them from Claudia when you order the kumihimo kit and the pouch kit. 
By the way, you will be able to weave more than one pouch from the kit.
OR:
2- A kumihimo cord. You can order it from the link above.
OR:
3- A spool knitted cord.  LINK for the ordering information.
OR:
4- A twisted cord. I’ll be showing you how to make a twisted cord with a spool and a crochet hook.
I am rubbing my hands together in delight, as I am having a wonderful time working on a ton of videos to make the Weave Along really fun and super user friendly.
There is a mountain of information, so I am breaking it all down into bites that make sense and are easy to refer to when questions come up.
Happy Weaving!
Noreen



Mirrix Loom Weave Along Soumak Pouch- 2- Looms, tools, equipment

Mirrix Loom Weave Along # 8 -Soumak Pouch- 2- Looms, tools, equipment

This is the second ‘Prelude Post’ for the Mirrix Loom Weave Along for the Soumak Pouch.
The pouches are perfect for both business cards:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

or for cellphones:
My cellphone is one of the smaller, lower tech ones  [4inches tall, 2 inches wide, 5/8 inch thick] if yours is larger, then you will want to upsize your pouch, if your pouch is going to be a cellphone pouch.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Alright… now onto the gathering up of tools and equipment:
First of all, you need a loom:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Most of the photos and videos for the weave along will feature my 8 inch Lani Mirrix loom. (Although I have ordered a Mini and a Little Guy, so hopefully, they will arrive soon, so I can use them in the photos and videos, too.)
The pouch can also be woven on any of the larger Mirrix looms as well- if you are using one of the smaller Mirrix looms, then warp up one pouch at a time. If you are using one of the larger looms, then you can warp and weave 2 pouches at the same time.
Even if you don’t have a Mirrix loom, please feel welcome to join in the Weave Along.
As long as you have a loom that you can get good tight tension on it, then you will be able to weave the pouches.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

You will also need: A steam iron, a pressing cloth, a good source of light, pencil crayons or watercolors or some other way of coloring your preliminary pattern colorways, 2 clothespins, scissors, needle and thread for finishing, snap fastener and a swivel clip, you’ll also need paper for tracing out your patterns and trying out different color schemes.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Knitting needles and crochet hooks are very helpful, and  a loop turning tool is  handy (I bought mine at my local fabric store),  a piece of cardboard that is 10 inches tall by 3 inches wide (25 cm tall by 7.5 cm wide),  a weaving stick, small paper clamps, a fork or beater, a hole punch, at least a yard of firm yarn or cord, clear tape (packing tape works well); a black fine tip permanent marker

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

You’ll need rods for the top and lower edge of the weaving: 6 inch (15 cm) tent pegs or 6 inch (15 cm) lengths of steel or brass rods 1/8 inch in diameter (I bought a 36 inch long one at the hardware store and cut it to 6 inch lengths with a hacksaw);  velcro straps (I bought mine from Lee Valley:  Link‘S’ HOOKS: 25  “S” hooks, either 7/8 inch or 1 inch- opened or closed :[ I had a huge 'AHA' when I bought closed 'S' hooks.... having one end closed is just GREAT... so if you buy closed 'S' hooks, open one end with pliers.  If you buy open 'S' hooks, squeeze one of the ends closed. Having the closed end keeps the 'S' hooks on the rod.  :) ] ; 1/4 inch Washers: 54 in total; 1 or 2 pairs of pliers for adjusting the ‘S’ hooks; ruler and tape measure.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Some of these things have shown up in other photos, so I won’t list them again, but the other things are:  A small bowl for holding pins, needles, clamps etc;  a bag or box to store and transport the project (that’s Tottie Tomato’s knitting bag); chopsticks are very handy for several things  besides your Pad Thai :)

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

You will need at least 5 or 6 blunt tapestry or craft or darning needles. It’s handy to have a needlebook or tin, or cardboard tube or eyeglass case to store them in.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

To line the pouch: Fabric (I upcycled one of my son’s abandoned t shirts for the lining of the first 4 bags), scissors, pins, needle and thread, snap fastener: I used the 15 mm size.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

To make the edging cord: A kumihimo kit (the cd is a stand in as I haven’t received mine yet) available from Mirrix: LINK
OR a spool knitter: Lion Brand: LINK
or Harrisville:  LINK

CHECKLIST at a glance:

- Loom

- steam iron
- pressing cloth
-a good source of light
- pencil crayons or watercolors or some other way of coloring your preliminary pattern colorways
- paper for tracing out your patterns and trying out different color schemes
- 2 clothespins
-scissors
-needle and thread for finishing
-snap fastener 15 mm size

-swivel snap hook (optional)
-knitting needles & crochet hooks
-Optional:  a loop turning tool is  handy
-a piece of cardboard that is 10 inches tall by 3 inches wide (25 cm tall by 7.5 cm wide)
-  a weaving stick
- small paper clamps
-a fork or beater
-a hole punch
-at least a yard of firm yarn or cord
-clear tape (packing tape works well)
-a black fine tip permanent marker
-Rods for the top and lower edge of the weaving: 6 inch (15 cm) tent pegs or 6 inch (15 cm) lengths of steel or brass rods 1/8 inch in diameter
-velcro straps   Link
-‘S’ HOOKS: 25  “S” hooks, either 7/8 inch or 1 inch- opened or closed 
1/4 inch Washers: 54 in total
-1 or 2 pairs of pliers for adjusting the ‘S’ hooks
-ruler and tape measure
- small bowl for holding pins, needles, clamps etc
- a bag or box to store and transport the project
- chopstick (optional)

- At least 5 or 6 blunt tapestry or craft or darning needles and a needlebook or tin, or cardboard tube or eyeglass case to store them in.
-Lining fabric
- Straight pins

-kumihimo kit  OR a spool knitter
-any other embellishments, beads, buttons, charms or found objects that you wish to use.
Happy Weaving!
:) Noreen