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The Final Installment of the Silk Smart Phone Case

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Bead/Fiber Combination, Projects | Tagged , | Leave a comment

At last, I have finished the Silk Smart Phone Case.  And I am a little sad.  I really enjoyed the process and need to move swiftly on to a new one.  I loved the finishing once it was off the loom.  I took my time because I was going for as close to a perfect finish as possible.  Did I achieve it?  Of course not.  Perfection is not possible, but trying for it is!

The good news:  I used fewer than twelve bobbins of silk.  I started with twelve of the regular silk (not the silk ribbon) and then added two bobbins of the silk ribbon (which has only 12, not 24 yards, on a bobbin).  I still had the equivalent of two and a half bobbins of the regular silk left, which tells me that even if you are weaving a slightly larger piece (the final dimensions of my piece once all sewn together is:  6 inches tall and  3 3/4 inches wide.  Because of shrinkage, my piece before I took it off the loom was thirteen inches wide.  I also used up a bit of length by folding a the ends to the back.

Here are some pictures just before I took the piece off the loom:

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Remember back to the very beginning of this piece.  My first row was a row of beads.  But before I removed the piece from the loom I realized that I didn’t want that row of beads to be at the very edge of my piece.  I wanted some fabric that I could fold over for a neater edge.  So before I cut the piece off the loom, I turned it around and wove a few rows of silk. This is the piece on the back of the loom with the added rows of fiber.

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Here is the piece off the loom:  the back with all the hairy ends that need to be trimmed to from one to one and half inches; the front of the piece.

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Turn the top and bottom edges to the back and sew down with a whip stitch.  This stitch isn’t going to show so no worries about being too neat.  Just get the job done.

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Pin lining material to the back.  I’ve used silk fabric but you could also use ultra-suede.  Sew all around with small stitches (again, they will be disguised by a braid so they don’t have to be perfect, but the smaller the better).

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Fold the piece in two and sew the edges together.

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Next I took my 33 inch long braid and sewed it up one side of the piece.  I then sewed the other end up the other side of the piece.

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I then sewed the top part of the loop across one edge of the opening to that a loop was formed on one side.

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These are the braided tales at the bottom of the piece.

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That’s it.  A lovely little Silk Smart Phone purse to give to one of your favorite people or to keep for yourself and make another one.

Changing Seasons Wire and Bead Woven Bracelet

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Bead Weaving, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

changing seasons bracelet

When you move to Seattle they make you sign a contract where you agree that you’ll tell everyone that the weather here is terrible. “Rains all the time!” you have to say, because of the contract. And it’s a good thing they make you do that, because it’s one of the fastest growing cities in America right now and I’m not sure how much more growth we could handle! But I’ll let you in on a little secret… the weather isn’t so bad. Yeah, winter is kinda grey and  there’s this point in the springtime when you’re ready to move to Hawaii just for a glimpse of the sun… but summers are heavenly and it never really gets too cold in winter and autumn is usually pretty darn nice. Today, October 1st, is sunny and in the 60s, and that’s pretty nice.

But I digress. My point was going to be that in fall, I always miss New England. The colors, the smells, the crisp air… it all feels to quintessentially “autumn”.

This bracelet was meant to capture that time in New England when the trees are just starting to turn and the landscape slowly turns from green to orange.

It is made with crystals, beads, C-Lon thread, a glass button and SoftFlex wire and is made using the No Warp-Ends Kit!

I love using the SoftFlex here because it allows the bracelet to hang like a bangle. I also love how you

can see through the beads and crystals to the wire warp. I also used a green thread for the beads that you peeps through.

This bracelet is so fun to wear and so easy to make!

Now… what to do… Free Ebook? Projects+? Weave-Along? Kit?

What do you guys think?Let me know in the comments!

Update 10/10/2014: You can get the Projects+ ebook for this bracelet in our online store. Free for a limited time!

changing seasons bracelet changing seasons braceletchanging seasons bracelet

Product Feature: The No Warp-Ends Kit

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

No Warp-Ends Kitno warp-ends kitThe No Warp-Ends Kit is one of our best selling accessories here at Mirrix Looms.

And no wonder, it makes weaving small beaded pieces so fun and easy!

What does it do?
The no warp-ends kit eliminates the need to weave-in warp ends when bead weaving. When you’re done weaving, you’ll only have to deal with two ends!

It is perfect for using with any kind of warp material including wire.

Set up with the no warp-ends kit is very easy and once you have it in place, you can weave as many pieces as you want (as long as they are the same size) using the same set up.

What can I make with it? 

no warp-ends bracelets

No Warps to Weave in Bracelet Kit
Interweave No Warp-Ends Checkerboard Bracelet Package
Beaded Leather Cuff Bracelet Ebook

How do I get it?

You can purchase the No Warp-Ends Kit for your Mirrix Loom here.

Or, get a Loom and No Warp-Ends Kit Starter package here!

WeaveWith October 2014: Poetry

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in WeaveWith | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

weavewithOctober’s WeaveWith theme is: Poetry

What’s a WeaveWith? These events will be similar to weave-alongs, but without the same amount of structure. We’ll post weekly (an email will be sent out to everyone signed up) about whatever project/s we are working on (that fall under the chosen theme) and everyone participating can post on social media and in the comments section of the blog posts about their individual projects. This will be a great way to get inspired and involved with the amazing Mirrix community!


WeaveWith Email Dates: 

October 5th

October 12th

October 19th

October 26th

Sign Up for Our October WeaveWith Here:

Woven Silk Smart Phone Case

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Bead/Fiber Combination, Projects | Tagged | 5 Comments

I wanted to share my progress on the Silk Smart Phone Case.  I got distracted making braids and thin silk bands, but not so distracted to ignore it completely.

I wish I could tell you in advance how many hand-painted silk bobbins it will require.  I have used the twelve pack of hand-painted silk bobbins and still have quite a lot yet however I also still have a bunch to weave.  So stay tuned.

I am adding to this blog (although I plan to write a new one later today).  Just wanted to mention that I have been using double strands of silk in some places.  The sett is wide enough that it can accommodate two strands of silk and the color combinations can be really beautiful.

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Braids and Woven Trim for Your Silk Smart Phone Case

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

I love to embellish my small cases with braids and thin woven bands as well as beads.  It’s one of those “slow craft” things.  I enjoy the finishing and making all the seams and edges perfect.  Back in the day when I produced and sold many woven tapestry purses, I didn’t take this approach.  But now that I make them to give away or to design new products to inspire you, I have slowed way down.  And now I enjoy the weaving and the finishing just as much.

In this post I want to introduce you to weaving a thin silk band and making a braid.

Let’s start with the woven band.  I don’t even  use a shedding device, but you can.  Mine is ten warps wide.  I have used the Maysville Carpet Warp at 18 ends per inch.   I am going to weave as much as I can, which looks like it will be 28 inches.  I am not sure even how I will use it.  I imagine I will end up cutting it up into smaller strips.  But I will have to wait for the purse weaving to be finished.  I am also going to be making another smart phone case with silk sari strips, and I hope to have some left over woven band for that, but if not I will make some more.

The top middle is an example of pick and pick technique (alternating two colors) on top. Below that I have woven over double warps also using pick and pick.

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To there right and below is an example of weaving sumak (wrapping around each warp).

photo 1-3Below is an example of how I used s woven strip like this in a previous weaving (one that was all Soumak technique using silk sari strips, which is the project I will tackle after I finish weaving the silk purse . . . although maybe I will start it before I finish the purse!)

photo 2-7As for braiding . . . I love it.  And I especially love the portable kumihimo disks or plates that are really cheap and you can take anywhere.  I used the square plate and wove a flat braid.  There are two options with this plate: a ten strand or an eight strand braid.  I will show you examples of both.  The Kumihimo plate comes with instructions for both.  It also comes with four bobbins of silk and eight bobbins on which to wind the silk.  If you are using ten bobbins you will need to purchase some more.  I use the braids for straps as well as trim.

Here is the ten strand braid:

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This is an example of an eight strand braid:

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A braid used as trim.

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So next time you find yourself waiting somewhere, why not bring along a very portable kumihimo plate or disk to make those embellishment braids for your next Smart Phone purse.



Weaving circles with two shedding devices

Posted on by Janna Maria Vallee / Posted in Social Market for a Mirrix 2014, Tapestry Weaving, Uncategorized | Leave a comment


As soon I began weaving with two shedding devices a lightbulb went off.  I tend to want fine detailed work in my pieces, yet I often feel overwhelmed by the time those processes take, especially since having an baby – I just don’t have the time I used to.  So, weaving with two shedding devices (and therefore two different EPI) seems to be the perfect compromise:  I get my tight dense weave (which makes me swoon), but I can also whip off a circle or two during Sam’s nap and feel productive.

This piece is woven using Mirrix’s wool as warp and these naturally dyed yarns as weft, which is a bulky weight wool yarn.  The indigo weft is a double strand of fingering merino.  I set up the shedding devices to have one weaving tabby at 12 ends per inch and the other weaving basket weave at 6 end per inch.  The basket weave set-up is essentially tabby when woven since it is weft faced – the main thing is that it changes the ends per inch and therefore affords the weaver the ability to weave finely and not-so-finely in the same piece.  My design features mostly circles and I have just been picking the colors as I go.  I have been a little picky and even unwove one circle ’cause the color placement just wasn’t right.   I wanted to create one pill shaped to interrupt the repeat pattern and create some interesting negative space and more indigo (this is key! I love indigo.), as well quite a long slit which I’ll sew up before I take it off the loom – I just wasn’t into interlocking this time ’round.  There is also going to be an indigo worsted weight circle in there, probably closer to the top.

Okay now let’s talk weaving circles.  I, like Claudia, always draw my circle right on the warp and follow it precisely.  This means covering up the drawing completely.  I’m not super picky about my circles being exactly symmetrical so my stepping will not be the exact same on all sides, but I do want to point out a couple of things about the stepping on a circle.

1) You do not necessarily need to decreasing until you run out of warp threads.  If you operate under this assumption you may end up with points, of course unless you are making tiny circles (so this entirely depends on your ends per inch and the size of your circle.)  But if you’re weaving large ones, the top and bottom of your circle might be 8 ends each like mine (that’s talking in basket weave set up, so 6 epi,  since my circles are made using the second shedding device using the thicker yarn).

2) Similarly my circles have a middle area which have no stepping at all – they go straight up, mirroring the top and bottom – mine are 11 wefts (or picks) high.

3) If like me you enjoy the kilim-esque look of stepping and slits you needn’t read on, but if you require a nicely rounded circle you could try outlining your circle using the sumac stitch.  I recently asked Kathe Todd Hooker (who writes these great tapestry weaving books and will be also posting about weaving circles on her blog soon) about this and she put it like this “You can outline in sumac in the colour of the base or the colour of the circle as you go. Weave the circle and when you reach the top sumac in either the circle colour or the fill in colour around the circle.  It’s done while you are weaving. Also pay attention to whether you are moving up on a hill or a valley thread. The trick is to remember if you go up on a valley thread the weft sinks and the turn is lower. If you rise on a hill thread the weft pass stays higher. So you can jump up and pull the corner off of a stairstep and hold it in place by weaving lower then the stairstep”

Also, since using the double shedding device I also encountered the idea of going between my doubled wefts to make a smoother rounded edge.  For me this realization occurred naturally as I realized I wasn’t always going to be able to pick up two warps when filling in the indigo with my thicker circle shape.  Naturally this creates smaller steps.  You could do this with with one shedding device too, it will just require twice as much warp.  You would warp up with a spring that has twice as many dents as you want to weave with and when you install your heddles pick up two warps at a time for each heddle instead of one.  This way when you weave two warps will lift at once for each heddle and when you encounter curved lines you can be more precise and gradual by sometimes going between those two warps to make smaller steps.

Tomorrow I’ll be at the New York Handweavers Guild meeting demonstrating my Mirrix.  If you’re in the area, come say hi.

Janna Maria Vallee

PS there’s also this post about weaving a circle.



New iPhone? Weave this Case!

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Bead Weaving, Bead/Fiber Combination, Tapestry Weaving, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

woven phone caseSmart phones have gotten bigger and bigger and bigger.  Petty soon there will be smartphone suitcases to haul them around in.  The best way to keep up with the changes is to make your own.
I admit it, I am being forced to upgrade myself.  My iPhone 6 has not arrived yet, but to prepare for the arrival I am making a her an iPhone carrier. I made one for my iPhone 5, but the 6 is just going to fit.

This piece was created from hand painted silk and size 8/0 seed beads.  I used a ten dent coil, 41 warps across. The warp is Maysville Carpet Warp. I am using size D C-Long beading thread for the beadwork. The piece will be a tad more than 3 1/2 inches across and about 6 1/2 inches tall (which means I have to weave 13 inches).  It will be able to accommodate any of the iPhone 6 (I would make it a tad taller for the iPhone 6 plus) and other brands. It is lined with silk and embellished on the side and top with size 11/0 seed beads. The strap is also made of hand painted silk braided on a kumihimo disc.  Almost everything needed to make this piece is available on the Mirrix website.  Please see bottom of this post for resources.








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There are no set rules for this piece.  I will be playing with different colors silk sometimes building up straight lines between colors and at other times shading them together. I will be adding the occasional row of beads both for their decorative quality and because they are very helpful to keep the warp from pulling in and keeping the right spaces between them.

To begin, not using the shedding device, weave a row of beads.  Tie the two ends of the beading thread together on the right and then sew through the first bead so your thread is on the back of the piece until you need to use it again.

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Weave a strand of silk, remembering to bubble!  Use the shed where the side warps are raised so the tail of the silk is behind the weaving.

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Weave the first silk thread back and forth a few times before inserting a new threads.  I am working with two in the picture below

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In preparation to insert a new row of beads, bring the bead thread to the front of the weaving between warps one and two.

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Engage the shedding device to open up the next shed and insert a row of beads.  There will be two beads between the raised threads.

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After you’ve woven the beads sew through one bead to get your bead thread on the back of the weaving.

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Wrap the previous silk thread around the side warp thread twice in order to fill in the space the bead left on the side of the piece.

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In the picture below I am using thread silk wefts and blending them together by crossing into each other’s color area.

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I have added another row of beads.

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My piece thus far!

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In the next blog about this Smart Phone case I will show you how to do both the on-loom and off-loom finish work and show you how to make a square braid to use as the strap. You meanwhile need to find a pretty piece of silk with which to line it!

For great tapestry instruction where you can learn all sorts of amazing tapestry techniques to use in this piece check out the following:

Tapestry Weaving by Kirsten Glasbrook

Tapestry 101 by Kathe Todd-Hooker

The Tapestry Handbook The Next Generation by Carol Russell

Claudia’s Craftartedu online class

Rebecca Meezoff’s wonderful online class

Links to supplies:

Twelve Skeins of hand painted silk

Six Skeins of hand painted silk

Maysville Cotton/Poly Warp

8/0 and 11/0 bead soup

C-Lon Beading Thread

Kumihimo Plate with silk

Kumihimo Disc with silk

Tulip Beading Needles