Welcome to Mirrix’s 19th Weave-Along in collaboration with Weaving Works!
All you need to get started for week one is on this page!
Remember, 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 Group and Mirrix Ravelry Page and on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #weavealong19.
What you Need to Begin:
Tools and Supplies
-A Mirrix Loom 8″ or larger (recommend with a shedding device)
-A 12 dent coil (this comes with any Mirrix Loom that came with a shedding device)
-A tapestry needle (optional)
-A fork or tapestry beater
-A good pair of scissors
-A measuring tape or ruler
-E600 glue (or other similar glue)
-A Phillips head screwdriver (for slightly older looms without wooden clips that have wing-nuts)
-Heddles (these can be purchased from us, Weaving Works or made)
-A small dowel or stick (for hanging)
-Tapestry warp (we love Navajo Wool Warp)
-Various textured tapestry yarn and roving (click here to see and purchase the materials that we are using from Weaving Works)
We suggest purchasing the “Natural Textures Kit” plus one or more colors of the Malabrigo Gruesa and/or Malabrigo Aquarelle. How much extra wool you purchase (in addition to the kit) will determine the size of the tapestry you can make.
A Few Definitions:
The thread or yarn that is put on the loom to serve as the base for your weaving. Think of it as your canvas.
What you weave into the warp.
Warp Coil (or spring)
The spring at the top (and optional for the bottom) of your loom that separates the warp threads.
The vertical space between warp threads
Set-Up & Warping
We have included here pictures and basic instructions going over the warping process for this bracelet, but if you have never warped before we recommend checking out our warping for tapestry .pdf and our warping for tapestry video first to get more details on the process.
Ready to start? Place your loom on a flat work surface, fold out the leg or legs and ready your supplies!
First, set the height of your loom. You want two inches of threaded rod showing regardless of the loom size you have. Measure to make sure the sides are even.
Next, put your 12 dent warp coil (also just referred to as a spring) on the top of the loom (as shown below.) This spring comes with all looms that have a shedding device. To check which is your 12 dent coil, place the coil on the loom, measure an inch and count the dents (spaces in the spring). There should be 12 in one inch. It will be your second-shortest coil if you have a set of four.
If you are not using the kit from Weaving Works, make sure the yarn you are using is of a similar weight to those yarns. Otherwise, this spring may not set your warp threads the correct distance apart.
Next, measure the where on the loom the wooden clips are to make sure they are at same height. You want the clips somewhere on the top third of the loom. Turn them so the longer part is facing the back of the loom. If you have a newer loom, you will have to unscrew the white plastic screw, swing it to the back of the clip and re-screw it to secure the clip to the loom.
Place the warping bar (the thicker aluminum bar) in the wooden clips and push the clips slightly inward to secure the bar.
If you have a loom larger than a 22″ Loom, it is best to warp on one side of the loom instead of in the center. The reason you would want to do this is to balance the warping bar. If we were to weave a relatively thin piece in the center of a wide loom, once the loom is warped, the warping bar would be unbalanced. By warping on one side of the loom and then balancing the warping bar with a piece of string, cord or ribbon the other side (or warping another piece on the other side of the loom) we guarantee that our warping bar is balanced.
Now, take your warp thread and tie it in a double knot to the warping bar on the left (or right) side, depending on your preference.
You will warp your loom in every other dent (a dent is a space in the spring) across until you have reached 5 inches of width. Note: If you’d like to make a piece that is thinner or wider, feel free to do that. You’ll just want to make sure you have plenty of materials if you are weaving a wider piece.
Here are a few tips to remember when warping:
1.) Never let go of your warp. It is important to keep even tension while warping, but it does not have to be tight as you will tighten your warp threads later on.
2.) You can start warping in any direction (first going up over the loom or down under it), but the concept is always the same: Bring your warp around the loom until you hit the warping bar. When you hit the warping bar, loop around it and go back in the direction you just came from. Continue around the loom until you hit the warping bar again. Then, loop around the warping bar and continue back in the direction you came from. Continue this pattern.
3.) Check occasionally to see if you’ve accidentally warped through the center of the loom. Your warp threads should always be going around the loom and should never cross through the center.
4.) Make sure your wooden clips are even horizontally. To tighten them to the loom, simply turn the plastic screw at the end of the clips.
Here is the basic warping method.
First, bring your warp thread under the bottom of the loom from the back.
Continue bringing the thread up the front of the loom and place it in one dent in the spring. Bring your thread over the top of the loom and down the back. When you get to the warping bar on the back of the loom, do a U-turn around the bar and continue back up the loom.
This is the place where many people make mistakes and either forget to do the U-turn and switch directions (every time you hit the bar, you should do a U-turn and head back in the direction you came from) or come back through the middle of the loom instead of going over it. You should never bring your warp thread through the middle of your loom.
Continue up the back of the loom and over the top beam from the back to the front. When you hit the warp coil at the top of the loom, place your thread two dents over from where you placed your first thread (so you will be skipping a dent).
Continue down the front of the loom and then under the bottom beam from the front to the back. Continue back up until you hit the warping bar. Then, do a U-turn just as you did before, but this time continue back in down the loom (again, every time you hit the warping bar, you do a U-turn and continue back in whatever direction you just came from.)
Continue this pattern until you have warped 5″ wide.
Tie off your warp thread onto the bar, making sure to keep even tension.
Now, if you have warped on one side of the loom, tie a ribbon/string (here we just used our warp thread) on the other side to balance warping bar.
Now, tighten your tension slightly by turning the wing-nuts counter-clockwise.
At this point, take some time to make sure your warp threads are spaced evenly. Adjust them at the bottom of the loom and measure at both the top and bottom of the loom to make sure the width of your piece is even.
Now you are ready to install your shedding device! Swing your clips so they are facing forward on the loom. Measure to make sure they are even and tighten them with the white screw in the back if necessary. Place the shedding device in the clips. The hole in the copper tube will be on the left side if you are left handed or the right side if you are right handed.
Loosen the screw on one side of your shedding device using your Allen wrench and move the thin bar to one side.
You will now attach heddles to every other warp thread and then to the bar. A heddle is a loop. You will fold the heddle in half over the first warp thread and then place the two ends of the heddle onto the bar.
Continue to put heddles on every other warp thread.
When you get to the brass piece in the center of the shedding device, put the bar through it and continue putting on heddles.
Finish putting heddles on this bar and then retighten the small bar to the shedding device.
Make sure that the thin bar is flush with the brass pieces on either end of the shedding device so they do not hit the wooden clips when you rotate the shedding device.
At this point, make sure you have secured the shedding device to the loom by moving the brass pieces on the wooden clips over the shedding device. You may need to use a Phillips head screwdriver to keep these in place depending on the model of loom you have.
Rotate the shedding device inward so the heddles you just put on are now on the bottom of the shedding device.
Do the same thing you just did on this side, making sure to put your heddles around every other warp thread that does not have a heddle on it.
Tighten the bar when you are done as you did before.
Below is a fast-motion video of putting heddles on the loom:
Place the handle in the hole on one side of the shedding device.
Place your spring bar in your top warp coil, making sure it goes over the warp threads to keep them securely in the warp coil.
Tighten your tension. You want your tension tight enough that when you run your fingers over your warp threads they make a sound. You can always tighten or loosen your tension later.
Your loom is now warped!
A little bit on weaving:
If you did not have a shedding device, to weave you would bring your weft thread under and over each warp thread. The shedding device makes this process much easier by lifting up every other warp thread for you. To weave, all you need to do is change the shed (the position of the shedding device) using the shedding device handle (more on how to do this below.) Then, you simply need to bring your thread through the space between the raised and lowered warp threads. When you’ve made one complete pass, you will change the position of the shedding device again and go back in the other direction.
Check out the video below to see how to change sheds using the shedding device. When the handle is in one position, you are in one shed (lifting half the warp threads) and when the handle is in the other position your are in the other shed (lifting the other half of the warp threads).
First, you will weave in a piece of thread to act as a base for your piece.
Cut a piece of warp thread that is a little more than twice the width of your loom.
Move your shedding device to open the shed in one direction and bring the thread through the open shed. Loop around the side bar (this should be on the threaded rod), change the shed and bring your thread through the piece again. Tie off with the other end of the thread around the other side bar. At this point make sure the warp threads at the bottom of your piece and those at the top of your piece are even and the piece is the same width throughout.
Now you will weave your header. Take another length of your warp thread (about a wingspan’s length should work).
Change the position of your shedding device.
Note: You always want to make sure the tail of your threads face the back of the loom. Depending on the shed you are in and whether the last warp thread is raised or lowered, you may have to make what is called a pigtail to have your thread face the back of the loom. To do that, take your end thread behind the two side warps and then in between them in front so that the tail is now in the back of the weaving (we will discuss this more later).
Bring your thread through the space in-between the raised and lowered warp threads. Then, change your shed (by moving the position of the shedding device) and bring your thread back the other way. Continue doing this (you’re weaving!) until you’ve reached the end of your length of thread.
Be careful not to pull too tightly when you move your weft across, but also do not leave any space between the warp and where the weft turns.
Now your loom is warped and ready to go. Next week we will begin weaving!