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Weekend Workshop

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

There we are all smiles on Sunday afternoon after having completed a two day workshop focused mostly on tapestry.IMG_7162


The workshop kind of invented itself.  By the end of the day on Saturday we realized that we shouldn’t make two tapestry/bead cuff bracelets.  The concept was to teach simple techniques in the first and more advanced techniques in the second.  However, the weaving is really two small to explore some of the techniques the students wanted to learn.  Sunday became serious tapestry day.  Everyone warped their looms at 14 ends per inch, 4 and a 1/2 inch wide.  As you can see from the looms, weaving silk at 14 ends per inch is not speed weaving.  But everyone mastered some very important concepts namely how to insert and weave four plus (I think one went up to seven) wefts at a time and always be in correct relationship with one another.  The students also learned how to insert a new weft (well, you always have to insert wo) between established wefts and how to insert just one weft on either end.  They also learned how to replace a weft, how to make sure all ends are at the back of the piece, warp interlock, slit tapestry, weaving bumps and lumps and then outlining them.  In short:  they got a crash course in the concept of tapestry by doing some very freeform weaving.  And of course, they were all amazing.


Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Inspiration | Tagged , | Leave a comment



Above is my take on free-form crochet

Imagine this: You are taking a walk with some friends. You are kind of spread out, maybe one behind and a couple ahead of you. Being that you are not talking to anyone at the moment, you automatically start singing very quietly to yourself. It’s that Joni Mitchell song you got stuck in your head because you recently heard it and now it just won’t leave. But that feels good and you know it’s a good sign to be singing to yourself and you don’t even notice you are doing it. The person behind you says: “Gee, you have a nice voice.” You don’t say anything because it’s at this point that you realize you are singing quietly to yourself and you are a tad embarrassed that someone heard you. But you continue singing never-the-less and then maybe ten seconds later someone in front of you turns and says: “Don’t quit your day job.” And all you can think is: why would someone say that?


Prevent Pulling-In!

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in FAQ, Tapestry Weaving | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

IMG_0026One of the biggest problems beginning tapestry weavers have is that, as they weave up, they begin to pull in the edges of their piece. In the language of tapestry we’d call this drawing in your selvedges. This can cause the piece to look sloppy and uneven.

While even a seasoned tapestry weaver is susceptible to pulling-in, there are a few tricks that can help you to weave with straight selvedges! 

1.) Measure! 
Being cognizant of whether or not you are pulling in is a good way to prevent it. Measure often (every inch and a half or so) and reweave if you notice you are pulling in.

2.) Don’t weave selvedge to selvedge for large sections
If you lay a straight line of tapestry weft into the shed the line of weft remains straight until you change the shed.  Once you change the shed the weft becomes scalloped in every place there is a warp. If you’ve just laid in a straight weft, in order to produce enough weft to allow for those scallops, extra weft will be pulled from the selvedges of your tapestry. There just isn’t enough weft to go around. When using discontinuous wefts (not weaving straight across), compensation for this almost happens naturally. You’ve got the extra weft just because every start and ending creates a little more yarn in the joining places.

3.) Bubble
bubblingBubbling (see the picture to the left) is important for making sure you are using plenty of weft thread so you don’t pull in on the sides. Here’s how:

Make sure the weft is wrapped tightly enough around the side warp to not have a baggy loop but not so tightly that it draws in at all. Lay the weft in to the warp in a curve and then take your finger and push down on that curve about every three or four inches so that the curve becomes a series of humps.  Change the shed. Do this again. Change the shed. do this again. Then take your beater and beat it all together. If you’ve done this correctly there will be no loops of wefts at the selvedges, the selvedges will not pull in at all, and there will not be little extra blobs of weft sticking out anywhere in the weaving. What you will see is a smooth patch of flat weaving. The best way to test your skill at this is to weave simple stripes for a long distance. If you can accomplish that, you’ve mastered the art of straight selvedges. And seriously, accomplishing stripes that travel from selvedge to selvedge and don’t pull in is quite the feat!

4.) Tension
This is where a good loom comes in! You need really good tension to weave tapestry. On a Mirrix Loom, you have the ability to get just that. If you are using a Mirrix Loom and your warp threads feel loose, simply tighten them up.

Don’t have a loom and ready to get started? We’ll give you a personalized loom recommendation here! 

Get Help Choosing a Loom!

Weaving With Fringe

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Tapestry Weaving, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fringe is in!

We’ve been getting requests from customers for information on how to add fringe to tapestries. While there may be other ways to do it, “fringe” in tapestry is typically created with rya knotting, which is a Swedish technique used to make pile-rugs as well wall-hangings.

I’ve never experimented with rya before, but thought I’d give it a try. The very basic technique was easier than I thought it would be, and fun to do.

Tapestry weaver Kathe Todd-Hooker (visit her blog here) has done some really neat tapestry pieces with rya, like this one of her dog Chene (Chene is as cute in person as in the tapestry):

Chene by Kathe Todd-Hooker

“Chene” by Kathe Todd-Hooker


Happy Being “Never-Done”

Posted on by Julia Hecht / Posted in Social Market for a Mirrix 2014 | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Victor on White_SMALLI finished my Homage to Victor Vasarely Bracelet.  I am writing up the instructions for a tutorial that I will make available.  But alas, there’s more  to do….I am on my next experiment with this pattern, using white warp threads instead of black, and a spring time color way.  I am also ordering a new product for the clasp – by Miyuki, the Japanese seed bead (and Delica) manufacturer.  It fits over a row of 11/0 round beads that are added to the end for just this purpose.

We, who indulge our creativity, know that we are “never-done”.  One thing leads to another, and we just can’t stop making stuff.  We might be “finished for now”.  But that’s about the best there is, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Here’s to letting our creative juices FLOW!

Peace, Beads, Warps and Wefts,


Julia L. Hecht

Poppyfield Bead Company





What’s Mulberry Silk?

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Inspiration, Tapestry Weaving | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

silk wormsI’m not sure if being a tapestry weaver makes you interested in fiber or if being interested in fiber makes you interested in tapestry; but my tapestry weaving mother instilled in me a love for and snobbery about fibers from an early age.

When I was a kid, we would go shopping and she would have to touch everything. “That’s acrylic!” she would say, and I’d have to put the sweater back on the rack.


It’s Your Birthday, You Can Get A Loom Deal if You Want To!

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Deals | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

birthday loomRecently a friend told me that I’m “like a little kid” when it comes to my birthday. I’m not sure if that’s necessarily a good thing, but I’m going to go ahead and take that as a compliment.

If you’re like me and  love getting special birthday treats, you should  join Mirrix’s birthday club.

All you have to do is send us your name, email address and birthday (don’t worry, we won’t ask the year) and we’ll send YOU an email during your birthday month with a surprise discount in it.

If your birthday is in March, we’re not sending emails out until tomorrow, so you can still join!

Join The Mirrix Birthday Club!


Saori-Inspired Weaving On a Mirrix

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Tapestry Weaving, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments
Saori-Inspired  by Marilou Johnstone

Saori-Inspired by Marilou Johnstone

Tapestry weaving has a lot of rules. These rules are very important and help to define the art. That said, sometimes you don’t want rules when you weave. Sometimes you want to just let the weft guide you. This is where Saori®-inspired weaving comes in.

Saori® Weaving is a type of free-form weaving done on Saori® looms. For more on Saori weaving, go here.

To learn more about weaving inspired by Saori® on a Mirrix,  I asked Mirrix customer Marilou Johnstone a few questions about her experiences doing so!

How long have you been weaving?  

Marilou: Off and on for 30 years.  Longer if you count the wonderful pot holder loom of my childhood. 

How long have you been weaving Saori®-inspired pieces on a Mirrix?

Marilou: months ago I stumbled upon a Ravelry Saori® group.  It was love at first sight. 

How would you explain Saori® weaving to someone who hasn’t woven it?  

Marilou: For me it is weaving with my spirt instead of my brain.  There are no should, must do, can’t do, never do rules.  I weave free.  What comes off the loom is what is supposed to come off the loom.  My first piece was done on a peg loom.  I wove for the shear joy of weaving. 

Have you woven Saori®-inspired pieces on a loom other than the Mirrix? If so, what are the differences you have found? Why did you choose to weave on a Mirrix?  

Marilou: I have used a floor loom and a peg loom. Using the Mirrix for Saori®-inspired weaving was one of those “what if…?” things.  I liked using the Little Guy because its vertical and portable.  I wove most of the piece en plein air.  I discovered that I really like to weave standing.  The outstanding feature of the Mirrix is the ability to add in beads so easily.  The beauty of Saori®-inspired  weaving was when the magatamas didn’t behave the way I wanted them to.  Rather than fuss and fume I added more magatamas and let them dangle.  Mirrix and Saori®-inspired  weaving complement each other well.  

Why do you like Saori®-inspired  weaving?

Marilou: I will quote from the book, “Saori Self-Innovation Through Free Weaving”, by Misao Jo & Kenzo Jo to best speak to this. 





As soon as I read this I was hooked.  I just knew Saori® was for me.  I think it is what I have been searching for as I moved from craft to craft throughout my life.  Saori is like coming home.  Coming full circle in my fiber art journey.  

Do you have any anecdotes about your experience with Saori®-inspired  weaving on a Mirrix?

Marilou: A good friend had just passed away and I cleaned out her sewing room.  I found a couple of quill stilettos.  I thought one would make a nice hanger for the little piece I had planned.  I wove the quill in first thing thinking that would be the top of the weaving.  Throughout the entire weaving process I kept stabbing myself with the quill.  To make matters worse the quill end looked more appealing at the bottom.  I could have woven the quill in last.  

Thanks agin to Marilou Johnstone for sharing! 

Do you weave Saori® on a Saori® loom or do Saori®-inspired  weaving on a Mirrix? Let us know what you have to add in the comments! 

*Note: Some parts of this interview have been changed to note that, when woven on a Mirrix, this is Saori®-inspired weaving, not Saori® weaving. Saori® is a trademarked technique done on a Saori® Loom.

Our Nerdiest Contest Yet

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Contests, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

network banner

These past few years, my life has been a little crazy. Besides working at Mirrix full-time, I have been attending graduate school. In a few short weeks (assuming everything goes as planned), I will be done with my Masters in Digital Media Communication from the University of Washington. I’m pretty excited to have my evenings and weekends back and return to the world of reading novels instead of textbooks.

That said, I do love school and all I’ve learned.

Right now I am taking a class on networks. When I first saw the textbook, which was over 700 pages long and chocked-full of math equations, I wished I had chosen a different class. Now that we are nearing the end of the quarter, though, I am excited to put some of my new-found knowledge into practice. I want to start with what will certainly be Mirrix’s nerdiest contest yet. Are you ready?


Donate to The American Tapestry Alliance and Possibly Win Some Very Amazing Prizes

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Tapestry Weaving | Tagged | Leave a comment

It does not get any better than this.  Donate some extra cash to the American Tapestry Alliance before the end of the day, February 28, 2015 and if you are one of the seven biggest money givers you get to win one of these prices.  (p.s. mailed donations postmarked by this date are also eligible for prizes).  Let me show you what you can win.

Well of course one of the prizes is a Mirrix Loom.  It’s the Little Guy.  He’s just waiting for you to give him a big Valentine’s hug.


Want to learn how to weave tapestry? Well then this prize is perfect for you.  Rebecca Mezoff has kindly donated her amazing online class.



Not only can you win a one year subscription to this excellent magazine, ATA will throw in four of their exhibit catalogues.


In the mood for some tapestry on your wall.  Susan Martin Maffei had gone into hire gear, donating these two tapestries.  Sort of unbelievable that kind of generosity.  “Tribute to Tuck”, 29″ by 9″ is on the left and “The Audience”, 29″ by 9″ is on the right.





But the fun does not stop here.  Mary Zicafoose has donated her lithograph “Chat Indigo,” 25.5″ by 28.5″ unframed.


And last, but certainly not least.  We have one more tapestry by Michael Rohde entitled “House 19.” It is 14″ by 12″ and is framed.



If you missed the link the first time, here it is again:  American Tapestry Alliance.  And while you are there you might just want to become a member.  Oh, and did I mention that new ATA members get a 10% discount off their first Mirrix Loom?