I discovered some new findings. The light bulb appeared. I could use them to make bracelets out of woven silk tapestry. I patiently waited while they winged their way to me and was thrilled once they arrived to find out my light bulb was shinning on something very possible indeed.
I quickly wove a strip of silk tapestry and attached a finding. It was perfect.
We started selling the kit for this a couple of weeks ago and they have been flying off the shelf. The kit allows you to make two bracelets: one half an inch wide and one three-quarters of an inch wide. I thought it was time to write an instructional blog about it in case some of you need some operating instructions to get started (and to finish it).
I call it weaving-lite. It’s what I do when I want to weave but don’t really want to think. My go-to material is hand-painted silk because of its no-fail qualities. If you want to just play with fiber on your Mirrix, use great materials and you probably will create something that is pleasing if not out-right amazing. And it will get you through the moments when your creativity light is not shining at its brightest. After all, creating art is really 95% doing it and 5% true creativity. Often we are repeating something we’ve already done with slight alterations. These baby steps keep us moving toward the rare but wonderful huge insights. And if you are like me, you can’t help but make things constantly.
Let me begin with the beginning which wasn’t weaving, but was actually turning an already woven silk strip into a wearable item. I was inspired by the below findings that I had just received in the mail. I thought they would be perfect for making a silk bracelet, and I was right.
A few years ago, Mirrix’s CEO Claudia Chase came up with a fun and easy way to combine beads and fiber on a Mirrix Loom. Using the shedding device, beading cord, 8/0 beads, silk and novelty yarn Claudia came up with the first Tapestry/Bead Cuff Bracelet.
The project took off almost immediately and has been featured in Beadwork Magazine, Beads, Baubles & Jewels and in our class on Craftsy.
|Cuff with more techniques|
|Another Cuff with more techniques|
Weave a little shy of one inch of the gold and silk combined threads. Do not pull in too tightly at the edges so that your piece remains a consistent width. Don’t weave so loosely that you have large loops at the edges.
The next step is to add a row of beads. Thread beading thread onto a needle and tie an overhand knot.
Loop the silk and gold thread through the loop of thread on your needle.
Push the beads into place with your fingers and pull tightly enough n the thread so that it is completely buried in the beads. Neatness counts!
Continue weaving the gold and silk thread until you reach close to an inch.
Cut a length of silk about a yard long.
Stick the end of the header thread between two warps in the center of the weaving and begin the silk where the header thread ends. Not a great picture, but I can’t go back and take another one now.
Weave the silk thread for about six passes. This is not set in stone.
Now you get to add the gold! End the silk thread in the middle of the weaving and start the three stranded gold where the silk thread ended.
Weave some of that gorgeous gold.
Add the black thread back in but this time at the edge because you are not ending the gold thread. I know this is not a clear picture. It looked fine on the camera! What I’ve done is wrap the black thread around the side warp so that it doesn’t stick out the side. Take the end under the side warp and then wrap it to the right over the warp sticking it in between the two side warps. Then weave it to meet the end of the gold.
Wrap the gold around the end warp twice. Then weave it back to the right.
Weave the black thread to the right. You are doing pick and pick, which is essentially a way to make vertical stripes. It’s a blast once you get the hang of it.
Weave the gold back. It will naturally go around the black thread making a neat edge.
Weave the black thread. See the design emerge!
Do the same trick with the gold thread, wrapping around the edge thread twice before you weave it.
Weave just the silk thread for a bit.
End the gold thread and start the silk thread.
Add the gold thread while NOT ending the black thread. See the way you wrap the thread around the end warp backwards so that the end sticks out behind the weaving.
Weave the gold thread for two passes. This will not be pick and pick. Rather it is called wavy lines. You will weave two passes of each color instead of one.
Weave the silk thread for two passes.
Weave the gold thread for two passes.
Then the black. Congratulations! You’ve woven an inch and are ready to add beads.
Thread bead thread in to a needle and tie an overhand knot.
Loop the silk thread that is being woven on the loom around the bead thread attached to the needle.
Pick up eleven gorgeous 24 karat plated size 10/0 delicas and slide onto your silk thread.
Warp that silk thread around the edge warp before weaving your beads.
Then weave those sweet beads! Still gives me chills to see how beautiful that looks.
Wrap silk thread around edge thread before you weave it back.
Weave the silk thread .
Weave some more silk thread. How ever much you want.
Add some silk thread to the black thread and weave them together for a bit.
Now we are going to turn it back into pick and pick. Wrap the silk thread around the outside warp and weave it back once.
Now weave just the gold thread.
One pass of silk thread.
Now you’ve got those wonderful vertical stripes again!
Combine the silk and gold thread and weave with that for a bit.
Look how sweet that looks!
Weave on!!! This is my loom at this point. I will be weaving the rest of the piece this week. How about you?