Welcome to week two of our 21st weave-along! We will be covering a lot this week, so don’t worry if you fall a bit behind in your weaving. Please direct all questions to Claudia via email firstname.lastname@example.org or post them on Facebook or Ravelry!
Remember, by signing up and/or using the kit and/or loom package discount, you have agreed to post on one of our social media pages (including the Mirrix Facebook Page, Mirrix Facebook Group and Mirrix Ravelry Page) or to email us at least once during the weave-along with updates on your progress, questions or simply a picture of your work.
Some Definitions (added on to from last week)
Warp: the threads that are on your loom.
Weft: the threads you weave into the warp.
Shed: the space between lowered and raised warp threads.
Header: the band of warp thread you weave at the beginning of your piece that will not show.
Footer: the final band of warp thread you weave to finish your piece.
Selvedge: the sides of your tapestry.
After you have woven your header from your warp material (five or six rows), you can begin to weave the piece!
The video below shows how to change sheds on a Mirrix Loom (although if you’ve already woven your header, you probably already figured this out)!
We will begin by inserting five wefts all going in opposite directions all in the same shed. The shed is the space between the raised and lowered warp threads. During the course of weaving this tapestry, we will always have our wefts in any given shed going in opposite directions. The beauty of doing this is you can cross one weft into another weft’s territory (as long as you do not go past the working end of the neighboring weft) and still be in the correct shed. Your main concern throughout this piece is to make sure your wefts are all behaving correctly and traveling in the direction they should. Of course, if you mess up it can be corrected. And if this is your first time doing this, I would be amazed if you got off without making at least a few mistakes.
The image below shows the concept of weaving wefts in opposite directions. You see that the green tail is going in the opposite direction of the magenta tail which is going in the opposite direction of the blue tail. Even though the blue is woven one extra pass than the other colors, it is still in the correct relationship to the other wefts. The only way to ruin that relationship is to, for example, add just one weft in the middle of two of the wefts. It will be going in the correct direction in terms of one of its neighboring wefts, but in the incorrect direction for the other neighboring weft. You can never add just one weft other than at the selvedges where you will insert that weft going in the opposite direction of the existing weft. You will have to add two wefts in every other case. Of course another way to start a new color is to end a color and just insert that new color where the other color ends.
Insert five wefts going in opposite directions. Your first weft will start where you ended your warp weft. The next weft will be traveling from left to right. You will stick its end tail in between two warp threads and landing at the back of the weaving. All your tails should be hanging off the back of the tapestry, never in front.
Note how the green goes from right to left; the red from left to right and meets around the same warp as the green; the black starts at the red tail and heads left; the orange heads toward the black; the blue starts at the end of the orange and heads left. You now have five wefts in their correct position to one another no matter what shed you are in. And they really are just forming one straight line when added together.
Next weave every weft in the opposite direction in the next shed. Note that you cannot go past he working end of a neighboring weft. If you do, you will strand that end. So you can travel as far as you want into a neighboring color as long as you don’t go past its working end.
Next weave those wefts back again in the next shed.
One more time. Are you getting the hang of this? Note you can either meet your working ends so that there is a slit in between or you can wrap around a shared warp thread.
Weave everyone back in the next shed. Are you starting to see the possibilities?
And some more . .
more . . .
Now we are going to try something fancy. Change the shed and just take the red weft to the right all the way to the selvedge. We are going to be switching the position of the red and green and they will both end up in the correct relationship to the other wefts.
Wrap the green weft around the selvedge thread because at that edge, it will have to fill in the space of the red weft since the red weft will not wrap around the selvedge thread. This is because the selvedge warp is in the down position. In a little bit I will show you what you do when the selvedge warp is in the up position.
Weave the green weft to the left making sure you do not go past the working end of the black weft. You will notice that where the red and green cross you are going to see spots of each color. That is the beginning of pick-and-pick. Pick-and-pick happens when you alternate to different colored wefts since one weft will cover the even warps and the other the odd warps, creating vertical lines.
You are in the correct she to weave the remaining three wefts.
Change sheds and weave all five wefts. Notice the shapes you are building just by following this simple exercise.
Change the shed and weave all five wefts. Again, note the shapes and shading you have created just by playing.
Keep changing the shed and weaving all five wefts following my example (I will ask you to go off on your own later on, but following my example for the beginning of the piece might make it easier for you.)
Now we are going to seemingly break the rules. But we aren’t. We are just once again switching the places of two wefts. In this case the green and black. Weave the green over the working tail of the black and towards the orange weft.
Change sheds and weave the green towards the black and the black towards the green, meeting in the middle.
Next we are going to change the positions of the orange and blue wefts. Weave the orange weft left to the left selvedge.
In this case the selvedge warp is in the up position, so you do not have to wrap around it with your blue thread. Instead, catch the orange thread and pull slightly.
When you weave the orange weft it will be wrapped around the selvedge warp. And you will also get the beginnings of pick-and-pick!
Note how the fell line (the line you are weaving on) is no longer straight since you wove more of the weft threads on the left than on the right. You want this. As you complete this piece you will fill in any dents so that you have a straight fell line at the end of the piece. See how much fun this is!!!
Weave the blue and orange back and forth two more times.
Beat it down a bit to get a better sense of the design.
Change sheds and weave all five wefts.
Add some silk thread to the red weft and weave a coupe of passes. Note how the weft looks going around the selvedge thread: not so tight that it pulls in and not so loose that it looks sloppy.
Switch the direction of the black and red wefts.
Change the positions of the orange and blue wefts.
Time to end a color. The orange weft is the victim!
Stick the end of the orange weft to the back of the piece. You will start a new weft at that same spot.
Replace the left weft with the light blue.
I have just ended the green weft and replaced it with a black one. If you are replacing just one weft this is always how you do it: stick the end of the finished weft to the back and insert the new one in the same place and going in the same direction. Note that in places I am adding a silk thread to the weft. Do this as you choose either to a thread that is already being woven or add to an new thread.
This is something you have not done yet. Add a blue weft and a green weft going in opposite directions. You can only add two wefts inside the tapestry and they must be going in the opposite direction of one another. If you added just one weft it would be in the correct relationship to only one of its neighbors. If you want to add just one weft, you will have to do that at either selvedge, again making sure that weft is going in the opposite direction of its one neighbor.
At this point, you can start doing your own thing. Just keep to the rules. You can switch positions of weft threads because they will be in the correct relationship to one another. You can add a weft when you end another weft. You can weave back and forth with just one weft to make a slight hill and then outline it with a neighboring weft. I still have some tips to teach you, so keep scrolling down!
Replacing the red weft with a pink/purple weft.
Making a little hill!
Covering half of the blue hill with black weft.
Playing with the pink and black right wefts to create an interesting design. In order to get more detailed effects, just take your wefts shorter distances.
Note the seven wefts I am now working with (remember when we added those two wefts0>
Switching places with the pink and black wefts on the right.
I am just playing. I hope you are too. Below I am changing the position of the blue and black wefts.
Replacing the pink weft with a blue one.
You now have all the tools you need to replace wefts, change positions of wefts, create hills and outlines, create internal pick-and-pick. And yes, you might get a bit confused. So if things seem a little out of whack, engage your shedding device in one position and weave all the wefts that can be woven (in other words, don’t unweave anything). Now notice whether or not your wefts are all still traveling in opposite directions from one another. If you find that two wefts are traveling in the same direction, correct that by adding a weft in between going in the opposite direction.
I am building a hill here!
And covering it with a black weft. That is how you outline a shape!
Changing places at the selvedge.
Adding a black weft on the left. Remember that you can add a single weft when it’s at the left or right selvedge. But if you want to add wefts inside the piece, you always need to add two wefts going in opposite directions.
Chloe is sweet and adorable, but what she was really doing was knocking over the loom again and again!
Replacing a weft with a new one.
In order to advance your tapestry you will first need to cut those two warp threads you wove in to create a base on which to weave. Turn the wingnuts clockwise to loosen the tension. Pull up on the warping bar at the back of the loom to bring part of your weaving to the back. Replace tension by turning the wingnuts counter-clockwise.
Your piece needs to be seven and a half inches wide unless you would like to make your piece longer than that (you know for those really wide glasses). You will have plenty of yarn to do this. This is how my piece looks.
You will have to straighten our your fell line in order to finish the piece. So fill in any holes until your piece is straight across as you see below.
Use your measuring tape to make sure it’s the right length.
Next week we will show you how to finish this piece!