Monthly Archives: June 2012

How to weave inkle bands on Mirrix looms part 4

This is the fourth video tutorial about how to weave inkle bands on Mirrix looms.

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A dear friend asked me: “Why are you spending all this time figuring out how to weave inkle bands on the Mirrix loom? You have inkle looms! ”

Yes, I do… an open sided one, a closed side one that my husband built me from upcycled pallet wood, and a mini.

And, I love them…. but, I find that the open side and mini inkle looms both kind of flop when I have one end on the desk edge and one end in my lap. This is the way that I like to weave with inkle looms, and I find the wobble/flop rather frustrating.

I really like how stable the Mirrix is when I have the lower edge in my lap and the upper edge against a workbench, table or desk.

Also, I love the precision of the tensioning on the Mirrix… those thumbscrews are sweet!

And, I also love the shedding device………. soooooooooo smooth.ย  ๐Ÿ˜€

Besides, the Mirrix takes up sooooooooooooo little room to store it- inkle looms do take up a chunk of space in the studio!

That’s four good reasons that have made this rather challenging learning curve worthy of the time I have invested.

Here’s the video for the finishing process of weaving inkle bands on the Mirrix loom:

When you have woven your bands to the point that the warping rod is sitting on top of the loom, you will need to remove the spring:

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Loosen the tension upย  a lot….

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Lift the spring rod out of the spring.

Release the ends of the springs from the knobs.

Gently, ease the spring out of the warp strands by spreading the warp strands out slightly and pushing on the spring to disengage it.

Continue weaving until the shuttle almost can’t make it through the shed.

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Weave one row.

Keep the shuttle in the shed, and place a darning or tapestry needle in the shed with the point pointing in the direction that the shuttle exits the shed.

Weave the next row, and repeat with a second darning needle.

The needles now point in opposite directions.

Weave one more row.

Cut the weft strand, and thread it into the first needle.

Pull it through, and remove the needle.

Thread the weft strand into the remaining needle and pull it through.

La de dah! you have finished your inkle band!

Wheee! ๐Ÿ˜€

I always weave the tail end in a little bit more before I trim it off.

Loosen the tension wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy off, and slide the warping rod out of the loops.

Trim the ends, and pull them through the heddles.

Congratulations, you’ve woven some scrumptious new inkle bands! ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Weaving!

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How to weave inkle bands on the Mirrix loom part 3

Part 3 of the video tutorial series on how to weave inkle bands on Mirrix looms is about the weaving process:

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Something that I learned as I trundled up my ever so steep learning curve with figuring out how to weave inkle bands on the Mirrix loom:

I started out by weaving one row on one band, putting it’s shuttle down, then picking up the second shuttle and weaving one row on the other band.

Sounds slow and clunky, doesn’t it? Well, you’re right.

The most efficient way to weave 2 bands at once is to weave as far as you can on one band, then set that shuttle aside, and weave away on the second band.

Oh… speaking of shuttles, here’s the tracing of my most favorite inkle shuttle:

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I designed this one several years ago, and I love it. Works like a charm.

Here’s the video that shows the weaving process:

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When you need to advance the warp, loosen the tension quite a lot.

Support the spring as you gently ooze the warp rod around and up the back of the loom.

Pat the warp strands back into the channel, and tighten up the tension again.

Remember, you do not need to have the tension as tight as when you are weaving a tapestry or beading.

You’ll find the perfect tension that suits you best.

Keep on weaving until the warp rod is sitting on top of the loom, and then check into the 4 th video in the series:

How to finish the bands.

๐Ÿ™‚

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How to weave inkle bands on the Mirrix loom part two

This is the second stage of the video tutorials that I made on how to weave inkle bands on the Mirrix loom.

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There are two bands on the loom, because in this video, I am working on the 16 inch loom.

When you work on the 8 inch loom, it’s okay to just weave one band at a time, as the warping bar doesn’t flop around.

But, on the 16 inch loom, you do need to either warp up 2 bands, or secure the other end of the warping bar with a cord so it will stay perfectly horizontal.

I tried weaving 3 bands at once on the 16 inch loom, and didn’t like it, as the center knobs on the shedding device got in the way.

Two bands are just great though.

AND…. if you want to weave longer bands, and have either a 12 inch or 16 inch Mirrix loom then the loom extenders will be your friend ๐Ÿ™‚

 

I use a crochet hook and a weaving stick to make the heddling process go quick like a bunny.

Here’s the video tutorial:

Start by placing a piece of cardboard between the layers at the front of the loom and the back so you can’t see the warp strands at the back of the loom.

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Place the shed changing device into the brackets.ย  Unscrew the little knob that holds the heddle rod in place.

Pull the heddle rod back so it’s about half way along the warp strands.

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Place the heddles onto the fingers of your non dominant hand.

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Look down at the warp strands that are at the lower edge of the front of the loom.

There’s a gap between the strands that have gone in front of the warping bar and behind it.

Slip your fingers into the gap and scoot them up to the shedding device.

Slide a shed stick into the gap.

Voila! (which is how ‘walla’ is really spelled ๐Ÿ™‚ย  )

You have shed one ready to heddle!

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Now, slip the crochet hook behind the first warp strand, pluck a heddle off your fingers, and pull it forward.

Catch the other end of the heddle loop and place both loops on the heddle rod.

Go slowly, and be sure that both ends of the heddle loop stay politely on the heddle rod.

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When you have all of the warp strands heddled, slide the heddle bar into position in the knobs, and tighten the lock nut.

Repeat the heddling process on the second set of warp strands for your other band.

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Push the first set of heddles down as you rotate the shedding device.

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Leave the shed stick in place, and use the crochet hook to pick up the warp strands for the other shed.

Take the warp strand from the back to the right of the one in front, and onto the hook,

take the hook over the front strand, and pick up the next strand and carry on across.

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Slide the weaving stick out of the first shed, and slip it along the crochet hook to transfer the warp strands from the crochet hook to the weaving stick.

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Turn the weaving stick on it’s side, and then pick up the warp strands one at a time and capture them with the heddles just as you did for the first set of warp strands.

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Repeat this process for the second band.

Check your heddles carefully to make sure that they are opening the sheds properly.

Ahhhhh! a warped loom is a thing of beauty!

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Attach the handle to the shedding device and adjust the tension by turning the thumbscrews.

Open the first shed, and insert a craft stick, then open the second shed and insert another craft stick.

Squish the warp strands together to establish the width of your band.

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Weave one row, leaving a 6 inch/15 cm tail.

Change sheds, and weave the next row.

Pull up firmly on the tail end and weave it through the same shed.

Repeat several times until the tail end is woven in, and the band is established.

Next video: The fun part! Wheeeeeee…. weaving…… ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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How to weave inkle bands on the Mirrix loom part one

I love weaving inkle (warp face) bands.

I useย  in dollmaking:

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Link to purchase pattern for Inkle dolls: Inkle Dolls

And, they are wonderful for trimming handwoven clothing:

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Link to post that shows how to shape inkle bands to make a yoke or other shaped pieces of garments: Warp pulling

Over the years,ย  I have also made hat bands, book marks, all kinds of jewelry, key fobs,ย  vests, bags, bag handles, the garters for the men’s kilt hose for my son’s wedding, shawls, freeform pieces that combine inkle weaving, knitting, embroidery, spool knitting and crochet, as well as rugs.

Yep. I love inkle weaving.

So, as I have been exploring the possibilities of weaving with my Mirrix looms, I had to give inkle weaving a try.

I found that it was quite challenging at first. But, I don’t give up easily ๐Ÿ™‚

I ended up spending waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more hours than I should have, experimenting and obsessing over making inkle bands on the Mirrix.

Well… I finally succeeded.

Since it was so challenging, I figured that I should share what I have learned, so that other intrepid inkle weavers can leap right in, without all the trial,ย  error and frogging that I went through!

There are definitely tricks to weaving inkle bands on the Mirrix looms, and I have made 4 videos to share those tricks.

Here’s part one of the video:

Here is the draft for the bands that I wove in the videos:

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To read the draft: Each square represents one warp strand.

You can check your warping by looking at each shed to see that it has the same number of strands, in the order that they appear in the line.

You will beย  putting a total of 8 green strands on, followed by 4 orange strands, 3 sets ofย  (1 orange, 1 green) for a total of 6 strands, then 4 orange strands and ending with 8 green strands.

At the top and bottom of the loom, you’ll see the full count of warp strands.

At the warping bar, the 2 sheds will be separated into their correct (we hope!) configuration for each shed.

The chart will give you bands like this:

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The upper band is the band on the right hand side of the loom in videos 2 – 4.

I only used the center of the draft for it, without the green border strands.

The yarn is Lion Brand Cotton.

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Setting up the loom for inkle bands is different than normal warping.

You need to have the warping bar at the front of the loom.

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Tie the green yarn onto the warping bar and take it up and around the loom, just the same as if the warping bar was in the back.

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You will need to cut the warp strand of color 1 to tie on color 2 at the warping bar, for EVERY color change.

WHAT?!?!?!

Yes. really.

It sounds insane, but this is the biggest key to making the whole inkle thing work on the Mirrix loom.

Trust me. You ~can~ twist your yarns around each other, and are welcome to, I’m sure, if that would make you happy….

BUT…. the quickest, easiest way to have problem free warping for inkle is to cut those little darlin’s and tie the knots between the colors.

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Yay! Warped!ย  Insert the spring rod into the spring to keep the warp strands locked into their notches.

This is sooooooooooo important!ย  (yep… voice of ‘oops’ experience here ๐Ÿ˜ฆ )

And in Part 2…. it’s on to the heddles.

I have a nifty, super friendly way of using a crochet hook and weaving stick to make the heddling process go like a breeze.

That’s coming up next…. so stay tuned! ๐Ÿ™‚

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How to weave Leno Lace on the Mirrix loom

I am fascinated by exploring allย  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 beย  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.ย 

That one came as a surprise…ย  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.

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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 aย  bonus free row that is cheerfully waiting for you, gratis! Whee!

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Leno can seem a little challenging at first, so I figured that a videoย  tutorial is a good idea.

Here it is:

Happy Weaving!

๐Ÿ™‚

 

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A slightly different approach to the ‘No Warp Ends’ on the Mirrix

I hate wasting yarn… so I really don’t like loom waste – who wants to toss their yarn in the trash? Really ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s why I love Claudia Chase’s ‘No Warp Ends’ technique for the Mirrixย  looms.

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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….ย  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 aย  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!

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Here is the video, showing how I warp the Mirrix Lani using the ‘No Warp Ends’ technique, with ‘S’ hooks:

Happy Weaving! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Darling little dolls to make with Inkle woven bands

I love weaving narrow bands – Inkle band weaving is one of my favorite things.

And, since dollmaking is also so dear to my heart, I have designed many dolls to be made with inkle loom weaving.

But…… I haven’t gotten around to actually making the pattern for Inkle dolls -until now!

Tadah!ย ย  3 Darling Dolls to make with Inkle bandsย  (or other narrow bands or ribbons)ย  LINK to order pattern

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The Inkle baby dolls are really quick and easy to make. They are the smallest of the 3 dolls in the pattern-

perfect to cradle in your hand or carry in a pocket.

If you want to wear her or him on your bag, hat, shawl or collar, just sew a pin on the back.

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The Inkle Baby is great for using up short lengths of woven bands ๐Ÿ˜€

Bebelle is the largest of the 3 dolls- at about 6 inches tall, but still fits beautifully in a pocket, or a dollhouse…

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And, I have to admit that the Inkle Dancing Doll is my absolute favourite. ๐Ÿ™‚

She’s a pin doll that is jointed, so she moves as you move… pin her to your hat, bag, shawl, collar or headband.

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She’s about 4 inches tall.

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When I was working on the pattern, I was thinking…. Oooh I just have to make more of these…

let me see…. my daughter will love one, and my mother and my sister and oh yes…. ME! I’d like another….

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I took careful step by step photos for all the dolls to make the pattern really comprehensive.

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I will be posting a whole lot more about Inkle weaving, so stay tuned!

Happy weaving!

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How to make a butterfly from woven hearts

I have been weaving up all kinds of sweet little hearts on the Dewberry Ridge Heart loom.

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You can use the butterflies to embellish all manner of things: Toys, dolls, scarves, stoles, shawls, hats, bags, stitch a pin on the back to wear it as a pin, stitch it to a pillow, towels, blankets, throws, wraps…. etc ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s the video tutorial on how to make the butterflies:

Happy weaving! Happy butterflies! ๐Ÿ™‚

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How to weave a tiny heart & make fun projects with them

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I have been having so much fun weaving tiny hearts!

I have been designing all manner of fun projects with the Dewberry Ridge Heart Loom-

What have I been using the hearts for? Well… things like a prayer flag:

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and amulet bags:

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and I fixed a placemat that had a frayed corner:

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I also made darling butterflies from the hearts. See this post: Link for a video tutorial on how to make them.

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ย You can use the hearts on stuffed toys, bags, hats, scarves, shawls, stoles, mittens, socks, sweaters, vests, placemats, curtains, towels, stitch a pin on the back and wear it as a pin, weave them with handspun wool and felt them and wear them as earrings – there is just no limit to the things you can do with the sweet little hearts!

I’ve made a video of how to weave heart using the Dewberry Ridge Heart Loom:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hywtLUKJ_Ts

The link to buy the looms is: HEART

Happy hearts to you, and happy weaving! ๐Ÿ™‚

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How to make yarn butterflies and upcycled wooden tapestry bobbins

Some people love weaving with yarn butterflies.

And some people (like me) don’t.

I love wooden tapestry bobbins and I love making each one a unique piece- and I especially like using upcycled wood to make them.

So, for those of you who like yarn butterflies, here’s a video tutorial on how to make yarn butterflies:

And, here’s how I make my one of a kind tapestry bobbins, which wouldn’t suit everyone, but I love them and find them to be a pleasure to use:

Start with a piece of cast off wood. In this case, a wooden plaque (don’t use chipboard or mdf ! This needs to be hardwood)

a thrown away plaque from a garage sale

Flip it over, and draw in the rough lines for the first cuts:

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next, saw them into rough shape:

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Working on getting more definition and shaping:

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All the wooden offcuts are going to be burned in the wood burning stove in the studio in the winter- nothing’s wasted!

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When the rough saw shaping is done:

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I move over to the belt sander:

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and I do a whole bunch of sanding (very carefully)

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Did I mention that this is a really slow, meditative process? Yup.

Go slowly… and pay attention….

Then, it’s off to work with a bunch of different small sanding drums:

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and files:

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And more sanding:

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and then, I draw faces on each one, and get out my wood burning tool and draw and burn faces and the year on each one:

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Here’s a closer look:

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I just listen to what each bobbin wants, and then I draw on their faces. Some of them crack me up.

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Like the ‘Get to the Point’ guy… 3rd from the left….ย  I know, I am easily amused….

And, here they are, all wrapped up and ready to weave!

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I hope that the photos will all open for you!

So, happy butterflies, and happy bobbin-ing!

Happy weaving! ๐Ÿ™‚

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