Time for some weft interlock.
Add two silk wefts and weave for a bit. Then replace with single silk weft.
Add a row of beads.
Weave a the silk weft.
For a bit!
Add another color of single silk weft. Weave for another bit and then add another row of beads.
Continue with some single silk weft.
Add some railroad yarn to the silk weft.
Weave a bunch of it.
Add some single silk weft. The double it up.
Weave some doubled silk weft.
Change it up a bit by replacing one silk weft with a new color. Play!
As you probably know, the usual method of bead looming is to tie a length of weft to the edge warp then load your beads, and pass through them from the top. That’s how I started, and the only way I knew. Until someone introduced me to the two needle method.
In this branch, there are two methods. In one, the needles move in opposite directions. In the other, they move in the same direction. Since discovering these, I use then (mainly the former) 99.999% of the time. That obviously tells you I prefer them! I can work with a longer length of thread, skip beads less often (not that I did much previously), and seem to add new thread less often.
The latter method, where the needles move in the same direction, is very useful when you’re working an area of the same colour. You just load one half of the weft with beads and go on your merry way. This advantage is best seen with wider pieces. I used it in one of my previous portraits for the background. I got tired of counting, and loading using the bead spinner then having to remove some!
So on that note, here is my second video. I try and explain the first of the two methods, including a few close up pictures. I hope it’s clear enough and gets your interest. I don’t think these methods are talked about much, at least not as far as I’ve seen.
If you have questions, contact me through the blog.
I mentioned the bead spinner above. I had the lightbulb moment (I’m sure I’m not the first) when I was working on that background. Imagine counting out 150+ beads of one colour, a shiny white. Yes, you can see the concentration wondering! So, if you have a bead spinner and are working in one colour, think about dustin off those cobwebs 🙂
Lastly, I found a way to work on the Mirrix in a horizontal position. Just pull out the legs and place the clips behind the loom. Bobs your uncle! I’ll edit this tomorrow and post the photo.
In the meantime, stay well and happy reading.
The plan for yesterday included looming in the afternoon or evening. By the time I was done with shopping, cooking, washing and getting a packed lunch ready, it was too late to get in a decent amount. I was also tired – more probe to mistakes and redoing rows several times over!
With the purse on the loom (Mirrix), I’m working with 37 colours. The setup looks like below. It takes about 3-4 minutes to get all the colours laid out in order (lowest to highest DB number), and put away when I’m finished. I have been using this setup for a while, and it works for me. 5 colours in each row numbered from 1 to 9 then A and up. I’ve used it enough to memorise which letter or number is at the start of each row. I don’t need to count very often I’m so used to it.
When I first worked with two mats worth of colours, I stuck a piece of paper to the wall in front. It just had the start number/letter for each row, serving as a reminder. The getting out/putting away can be tiresome, so I need to think of a way to store them so they’re ready to be used without too much faffing around! I’ll have to think about that a bit more.
I have done two things with this. The first, and new, is to loom from the bottom up. I didn’t reverse the rows in the word chart so I’m reading from the bottom up! I haven’t confused any rows yet so that’s good. But I think I prefer to work top down. I guess that’s what I’m used to. The second is I worked those first rows with a single needle (usual method of looming). I normally use the two-needle method regardless of whether I’m working on a bracelet or wider piece. The needles travel in opposite directions.
There is another where the needless travel in the same direction. That is very useful for areas of solid colour. You can load beads onto one half of the weft, and use the other end to pass through to secure them. The advantage is being able to use a longer length of thread without fear of it becoming tangled. I also seem to add thread less often. it’s better seen so I’ll try and show it in my next YouTube video.
On that note, here is the progress. That’s a hand appearing on the left! The excitement starts now! There’s one colour I need more of, so don’t know how much I’ll be able to loom tomorrow. I’m getting more on Wednesday so can continue soon.
Till next time, happy beading 🙂
If you have a bottom spring kit, as I do here, start weaving your header. If you don’t have a bottom spring kit, cut a thread three times the width of your loom. Engage the shedding device, weave it to the threaded bar, wrap it around the threaded bar, change the she and weave it back to the other threaded rod. Tie the two ends tightly around the threaded bar. This will serve as a base for starting your weaving. Make sure the two threads make a straight line. Arrange the warps so that they are evening spaced at ten ends per inch. Then begin weaving a header.
Next, weave the left weft to the right but weave over one more warp. Do the same for the other three wefts. The goal is to create a diagnol shapes by weaving over one warp when you go to the left and reducing by one warp when you weave to the right.
Follow the pictures. Your left shape is gong to get bigger and bigger whereas your right shape is going to shrink.
At some point you can remove the guide threads as they won’t be necessary.
To end the left weft wrap around the end warp so it is hanging to the back.
Weave back all the other wefts.
Stick the ends of the other wefts to the back of the piece.
Insert a new silk weft.
Weave it for a few passes.
Add a second weft to the existing weft that is longer.
Weave until you run out of the first silk. Replace with a new silk weft to add to the existing weft.
Weave until you run out of one of the silk threads and replace with railroad yarn.
End the railroad yarn and replace with silk weft.
Weave a couple of rows of silk weft.
I am fascinated by exploring all the different things that I can do with Mirrix looms.
While I am involved in this four month long co-creation with Mirrix looms, I am going to be looking at what I can and can’t do with the Mirrix looms.
(Guess what I am NO GOOD at? Bead weaving on the Mirrix!
Yep. All my bead weaving has been off loom and I am TERRIBLE at bead weaving on the loom.
That one came as a surprise… ah well… we shall see if that changes! )
In my previous blog post, LINK, I showed how I set up my Lani Mirrix loom, using the ‘No Warp Ends’ warping technique.
There are several advantages in setting up your Mirrix loom for the ‘No Warp Ends’ technique:
It allows you to sample different weaving techniques quickly and efficiently.
You won’t waste time OR yarn when using the ‘No Warp Ends’ technique.
I love that!
Because the ‘No Warp Ends’ warping technique precludes using a shedding device, it is perfect for weaving techniques that are hand manipulated, like: LENO lace! Yay!
I think that Leno lace is the bee’s knees.
It’s kind of a miniature version of the ancient technique of twisting fibers, called, Sprang.
You do this nifty twist thing, and tadah! You get a bonus free row that is cheerfully waiting for you, gratis! Whee!
Leno can seem a little challenging at first, so I figured that a video tutorial is a good idea.
Here it is:
I hate wasting yarn… so I really don’t like loom waste – who wants to toss their yarn in the trash? Really 🙂
That’s why I love Claudia Chase’s ‘No Warp Ends’ technique for the Mirrix looms.
The one thing that I wasn’t keen on was using paper clips to be the holders for the yarn ends, so I thought about it and mulled it over.
Hmmmm…. I use ‘S’ hooks all the time to hang things and connect them, but I have never used them on a loom.
This called for some experimenting.
I don’t know about you…. but, I have a tendency to start with a really complicated plan, and have to do a lot of trial and errors to get to the elegant and simple final version.
I was thinking about all kinds of ways of making harnesses to hold the bars for the ‘s’ hooks…. oh my!
I also figured that I wanted to use both sides of the loom while setting up for this technique.
I had woven two affinity bracelets at the same time- one on the front of the loom, and one on the back, so this seemed to stick in my mind as ‘the way to go’.
Well… I twiddled and fiddled, and threw away the whole overly elaborate harness idea, and ended up using 4 loops of double sided velcro to hold the bars to the upper and lower edges of the loom.
That was a big breakthrough- talk about a simple way to do this! Yay!~
And, I am really pleased with the final method that I came up with- it really works for me!
Here is the video, showing how I warp the Mirrix Lani using the ‘No Warp Ends’ technique, with ‘S’ hooks:
I my last blog post, I talked about two projects that I rally want to loom, and how I couldn’t choose which to do first. Someone then suggested I could get them both on the loom. There are two options for this. Firstly, I could loom one, then advance the completed weaving and then loom the other. secondly, I could warp as usual and push the warping bar all the way down. Then I would be free to use both sides of the loom simultaneously. The latter sounded more like what would be the suitable method.
Now, the two projects are 152 and 162 beads wide. I don’t want to jump in at the deep end, as it’s crucial for me to get them absolutely right. With that in mind, I decided to try out this way of using the loom before proceeding with the portrait and purse. I warped as usual, then pushed the warping bar as far down as I could. It doesn’t quite fit underneath the loom so it juts out slightly at an angle.
I encountered no problems in warping and moving the warping bar. I then loomed two rows at top and bottom of the warps for the (two) projects that would go on the back. There was no need to do this for the front project, as the coil was enough to space the warps. I did add a line of beads on the front of the bottom bar, but found I couldn’t quite place the warps in it once I had moved the warping bar downwards. However, this can be very effective in spacing the warps towards the bottom of the loom, if you don’t have the bottom spring kit. Thank you to the person who suggested it to me (you know who you are).
As you can see I am able to work on three projects at the same time. Without the extra warping bar kit, a substantial amount of warping thread is used for warping. This is one way to reduce this warp wastage, as long as the warp colour chosen matches what you plan to loom. So, a little forward planning helps. As I often like to (or inevitably) work on several projects, this makes things easier for me – I don’t have to keep swapping looms to work on each, and my thread doesn’t go to waste.
So, I think this could be something I use again in the future if I have multiple projects that can fit on the Mirrix at the same time. For now, I have the two bracelets at the back, and the front of a photo purse to complete. Some warp cutting is necessary for the bracelet on the left, but I may leave that till the front project is all loomed. I’ll make up my mind as I go along.
I’m off to nurse my cold and get some sleep. Hopefully I can do some more tomorrow evening. The purse (front) takes some time to set everything up – more than 26 colours need to be laid out on bead mats, in a particular order. It’s a little boring but needs must! Sweet beady dreams!
Combining Beads and Fiber on a Mirrix Loom (with the shedding device)