Welcome to Weave-Along 22!
What you Need to Begin:
Tools and Supplies
-Any size Mirrix Loom
-A tapestry needle
-A good pair of scissors
-A measuring tape or ruler
-A beading needle
-A bead mat or piece of cloth
-A Kirsten Affinity Bracelet Kit (or equivalent supplies)
Swing out your loom’s leg or legs and place it firmly on a table.
Turn the wing-nuts on either side of your loom to raise or lower the loom. For this piece, you want about three inches of threaded rod showing regardless the size of your loom. On my 8″ Lani Loom, the the loom was 14″ high from the bottom of the bottom beam to the top of the top beam. If you are weaving this on a larger loom, you might want to consider making two bracelets on the same warp thread, making sure to leave enough silk to finish the ends.
Measure to make sure your loom is even on both sides.
For this piece, you will not need a warp coil on the top of the loom.
Note: You can use the Easy Warp method of warping for this project. For instructions on how to do this, click here. You will want to warp four warp threads across.
Swing your wooden clips to the back of the loom. Make sure they are tightly on the loom by turning the white screw on the back of the clip. If you have a newer loom, you may need to loosen your screw and swing it from the side of the clip to the back in order to tighten it.
For this piece, we want our clips in the middle of the loom, about halfway between the top and bottom beams.
Place your warping bar in the indentations on the inside of the clips. You will have to press the clips slightly inward to hold the bar steadily.
Next, the end of your silk securely to the warping bar. It is time to begin warping!
Now, usually when we warp a thin piece we want you to warp it on one side of the loom and balance the warping bar on the other side (more on this here). For this piece, though, we are going to be super lazy and just keep the warping bar in the clips. Now you can warp anywhere on the loom you want, but we recommend the center.
You can start warping by bringing your thread from the warping bar up over the top of the loom or down under it. We’ll start here by going under it (but for future reference, it doesn’t matter).
There are two important things to remember while warping:
1.) Never let go of your warp. You don’t need to warp with tight tension, but you want to warp with even tension.
2.) Basically warping is just wrapping your warp around the loom and doing a u-turn when you hit the warping bar. If you ever find yourself going through the middle of the loom, you know you’re doing something wrong.
After you’ve brought your loom under your loom (from the back to the front), begin bringing it up the loom and over the top (from the front to the back). At this point, you’ve basically just wrapped your warp around the loom.
When you hit the warping bar, you’ll do a u-turn. Every time. Just remember that, and you’re already a warping-pro!
A u-turn is not wrapping all the way around the bar so there is a complete circle of warp around the bar. It is simply coming from one direction (here, from above) wrapping around the bar and then coming back the same way you came. Image you’re driving your car. Cars are going one way in one direction and one way in the other (as roads typically do). You come to a place where there is a median between the two lanes. That’s your warping bar. When you do your u-turn around that warping bar, you’re simply turning around that median and going into the other lane in the direction you came from.
So, do a u-turn around the bar and start heading back up the back of the loom.
Now, go back up over the loom (from the back to the front) and down the front.
When you hit the bottom beam, continue wrapping around the loom (from the front to the back) and come back up the back of the loom.
There’s that warping bar again. You’re driving your little car and you’re like “Agh! I left the stove on! I need to turn around!” So you do another u-turn around the bar.
So now you’re coming back the same way you were coming when you first tied your warp on, on the back of the loom from the warping bar down to the bottom beam. When you hit that bottom beam, you go under it up and up the front of loom, just like you did before. When you get to the top of the loom, you go over the top beam and start heading down. But there’s that warping bar! Wait… you didn’t leave the stove on… turn around again!
Come back up from the warping bar after doing a u-turn and go over the top of the loom from the back to the front (sound familiar?). Head back down the front of the loom and under the bottom beam (from the front to the back). Head back to that warping bar.
This time, though, count your warp threads. Are there four? That’s how many we need for this piece! Your little warping car has arrived. Tie off your warp on the bar and trim it.
Now, tighten your tension by turning your wing-nuts again. You want your tension tight enough that you can run your finger over the warp threads and there isn’t much give, but not so much tension that they seem like they’re going to break.
And that’s IT. Who knew warping was so easy?
Next, we’re going to start weaving!
dumb your beads and crystals out onto a bead mat or a piece of material. You don’t want them rolling around everywhere!
Now, cut a length of thread. Because this piece is so short, I like to try to make my thread long enough that I don’t have to stop my old thread and start a new one. I made mine about one and half times my wing-span. If you cut too much, it can be a pain to weave with, if you cut too little you may have to stop that thread and start a new one. Neither are problems that can’t be fixed!
Thread that thread on your beading needle.
Tie the non-needle side of the thread to the sidebar of your loom (if you’re right-handed, tie it to the left sidebar. If you’re left-handed, you may want to try it on the other side. If you do that, the way you weave will be the opposite of what you see here. Wrap around the bar and then bring the end through as a loop. Tighten it so the loop is still there. When you tug on the end you’ll be weaving with, it shouldn’t easily come undone, but when you pull on the other end it should release.
Now, pick up your beads. You’ll want to grab one bead, one crystal and one more bead.
Now, the easy part. Actually weaving! Simply place your beads (on the thread) behind your warp threads. Each bead goes between two warp threads. Pull all your thread through. Your beads probably won’t stay between the warp threads on their own (you may have to hold them there with your finger), but we’ll secure them in a moment.
Now, sew through your beads on TOP of your warp threads.
Pull tightly enough so the thread is snug on the thread on the edge, but not too tight.
That’s it! You’re weaving! Keep doing this!
You want to weave 38 rows up at least (about 5.5″). If you are weaving this bracelet for someone with larger wrists, you could make it even longer. There are enough crystals and beads to make the bracelet up to 44 crystals long.
When you finish weaving you’ll need to weave in your top and bottom threads. If you run out of thread while you’re weaving, you’ll also have to end the old thread and start another. This is all done the same way. Very basically you weave the thread back into the piece and tie some knots around the warp threads to keep it securely in the piece. You want to do this as neatly as possible.
For more on this, check out this tutorial.
Next week we will be finishing the bracelets! Stay tuned!