Tag Archives: Mirrix looms

Woven Women – Three Sisters

Three sisters of the heart- tapestry/mixed media pieces that I wove and fabricated this summer:

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On the left:  Woven Women- Asking for Miracles 36 inches tall
Center: Woven Women- Edith’s Song (no regrets) 31 inches tall
On the right:  Woven Women- Small Bird Sang and All Was Forgiven 36 inches tall

Woven on my Mirrix tapestry looms (16 inch wide loom and 8 inch wide loom).

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Update on progress in tapestries Oct 2012

Yesterday, I took a tapestry off my 16 inch Mirrix loom- it’s nowhere near being finished as I am going to be doing embroidery on it.

I thought that I would give an update on the tapestries that I am weaving for my solo show next summer.

So, even though NONE of these pieces are anywhere close to being done, here’s a quick little glimpse at the works in progress:

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And yes, I did plaster copyright notices all over them, as I have found that images have a way of getting away from you, so I want people to be able to follow them home!

The large tapestry is about a meter long – when you use extenders on the 16 inch loom, you can weave very long pieces.

On the music stand are 2 tapestries that I am just getting started on.

The 12 inch tapestry has gobbled up all my ‘s’ hooks, so I need to go buy some more.

I warped up my 5 inch Mini in a totally outside the box way….. totally outside the Scrabble box, that is!

I bought a couple of extra Scrabble games from the thrift shop so I could use the letters for my titles of my video tutorials.

I plunked the tile holders into a drawer and occasionally, I wonder what I will do with them.

Well… the other day, when I was puzzling over how I could warp the Mini when all my ‘s’ hooks are in use elsewhere, I had a flash of inspiration-

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I duct taped 2 of them together to make a cap to go over the Mini’s knobs at the top of the loom!

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This is the back of the loom, showing how I warped it continuously, going over the ‘Scrabble Cap’.

It works brilliantly!

I don’t like showing a piece before I have made some progress on it.

In November, I’ll do another update, and hopefully, I’ll have lots more to show you! 🙂

 

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Soumak Pouch Weave Along Part 7- Finishing techniques

And, so, the Soumak Pouch Weave Along draws to a close with a very long video on finishing techniques.

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Here are the chapters in the final installment:

1- Steam, Press and block the finished weaving

2- Overcast the straight edge of the inside front of the pouch

3- Making the point for the tip of the pouch

4- How to do the chain stitch embroidery

5- Cut out a lining

6- How to stitch the lining to the pouch invisibly

7- Stitch the side seams

8- Sew on the snaps

9- Stitching the edging cords to the pouch – in the video, I show how to add things like large beads at the ends and center of the cord, as well as the swivel clip hook. I also show how to stitch size 8 seed beads to the edging to embellish it.  You don’t have to add these extra flourishes, but I thought that it made sense to show you how to do it so you ~could~ do it, if you want to.

It’s the embellishments that make the pouch the truly individual statement of your creativity!

And, here’s the video:

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Soumak-Pouch-Weave-Along-Part-6-Edging-Cords

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Part Six of the Soumak Pouch Weave Along is all about the edging cords for the pouches.

You can use purchased braid like the Kreinik cord  on the edges of this pouch:

The edging is 3/8 ” trim:  # 170 Natural Pewter
http://www.kreinik.com/kshop/product.php?productid=17023&cat=0&page=1

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Or you can make  your own edging cord:

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Starting at the left hand side, the cords are:

Square cord spool knitted with 2 colors on 4 pegs,

Cord Spool knitted with 3 pegs

Kumihimo cords – the directions for how to braid the round cords come with the Kumihimo kit from Mirrix

Tubular Peyote stitch cord- instructions are available in beading books and when you google ‘tubular peyote stitch’.

And last, but certainly NOT least, and definitely the fastest, easiest cord of all to make is the Simple Twisted cord, using the method that I have developed, using a spool and a crochet hook.

You will need a cord that is about 15 inches (37.5 cm) long to go around the sides and upper edge of your pouch.

The instructions for how to attach them to your pouch will be in the final installment of the Weave Along: Finishing Techniques.

Here are some videos that I have made to help you make your decorative edging cords:

How to spool knit a cord with just 3 of the 4 pegs on the spool knitter:

How to spool knit a square cord with 2 colors on a 4 peg spool knitter:

How to make a twisted cord with a spool and crochet hook:

Hope your pouches are coming along nicely! 🙂

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Soumak Pouch Weave Along Part 4 Weaving Techniques

The video for Part 4 of the Soumak Pouch Weave Along is a really big one because it’s the ‘how to’s’ for the actual weaving of the pouch.

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Here’s what’s covered in this video:

  • How to weave the 4:2 Soumak border
  • How to weave the 2:1 body of the pouch
  • How to add more weft yarn when you run out
  • How to add new colors
  • How to change colors and make perfect joins between the color blocks
  • How to  step colors sideways in an outward direction
  • How to step colors sideways in an inward direction
  • How to work horizontal stripes
  • How to do the ‘Topsy Turvey Trick’ with the Mini loom
  • How to remove the weaving from the Mini
  • Please note that the pouches are woven with 1 strand of the yarn from the Mirrix Kit, or 2 strands held together, of the Lion Brand Bonbon  yarn

When I went through the video after the final rendering, I smacked my hand to my forehead a couple of times as my directional challenges clearly pop up in the video-  arghhhhhhhhh………. several times, I call the left hand side of the loom, the ~right~ hand side.  arghhhhhhh

And, at one point, I called the weft, ‘warp’………….   oh sigh…………. so please forgive me for the errors.

Luckily, pretty quickly, I do say the ~correct~ thing.   But still……….. arghhhhhhhhhhhh………….

And, no, I am not willing to re-shoot the video….. there are days and days and days of shooting, and so I am not going back to do it again.

Said in the nicest possible way, with really the minimum of snarls and snaps.  😀

Anyhow…. I hope that you will have a WONDERFUL time weaving your pouches!

Without further ado, here’s the video: (bugs and all- and dogs barking and rain raining and thunder thundering…. the dogs were freaked out by the lighting and thunder, so they were indulging in a LOT of vocalizing about the bad bad sky!)

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Soumak Pouch Weave Along Part 2-Design Notes

I am sure that everyone who is participating in the Soumak Pouch Weave Along wants to create a finished piece that is completely unique.

So, that’s why I am sharing a few design notes.

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In Part One of the Weave Along LINK   I posted my design for the Soumak Pouch.

How did I come up with this design, and how can you make it be a reflection of your personality?

I started the design process by thinking of the rug that was in my grandmother’s dining room when I was a little girl:

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I spent many a happy hour on that carpet, when I was a child, playing with my cousins.

The flowers became a deeply ingrained part of my ‘pattern language’.

So, when I was designing the pouch, it was natural to look at the flowers in the carpet and see if there was a starting point there.

Indeed there was, and I sketched and played with variations on carpet flowers:

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I  traced out lots of copies of the prototype pattern.

I find that tracing the pattern by hand is better for me than scanning and printing the pattern.

When my hand and eyes are quietly engaged in tracing the design, then connections are made that are really helpful in making creative leaps.

I choose aquarelles (watercolor pencils) that matched my weft colors.

Then, I colored lots and lots of variations on the theme, playing with combinations of colors and trying to push myself to use the weft colors in ways that I might not have considered.

I also would make little sidebar colorways when I was uncertain about a specific motif in the pattern.

And, then, when I was happy, I started weaving.

As I wove the prototype pouches, I discovered a few things:  OOPS! The weaving contracts when it’s released from the loom, so it NEEDS a header and footer beyond the pattern!

Also, I felt that making the pattern more geometrical would make it more weaver-friendly, so I re-designed the pattern to make it conform more closely to the warp strands:

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I felt constrained to stick to using only the colors of yarn that were in the various kits and packages supplied by the yarn companies.

I didn’t mix and match, BUT… you can feel totally free to use yarn from your stash to personalize your pouch.

The only exception to the ‘no stash’ rule that I was following was that, for the black and white checkered pouch, I did pull white wool from my stash (well, my daughter in law’s stash to be perfectly honest… bless her for her donation to the cause ❤ and 😀 )

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In this photo, you’ll see that I traced the pattern onto graph paper (4 squares to the inch or 2.5 cm).

(The photo of the pouch at the beginning of this post was woven with the Mirrix Soumak Pouch Kit yarns and this colorway.)

Graph paper is the top of the list of my favorite design tools…. it’s a weaver’s very good friend indeed!

Playing with graph paper allows you to try out all manner of interesting things.

So, in a nutshell, what are the key points of designing a unique project?

1-  Look for a starting point in something that you love or are inspired by.

2-  Be willing to make mistakes and to start over

3-  Trace, don’t print the extra copies of the design.

4-  Use colors in ways that you might not usually consider when you are experimenting with your coloring pages.

BUT… if you have signature colors, then, of course, feel free to use them.

5-  Make multiple color combination sidebars if you are uncertain about a part of the design.

6-  Use graph paper to work out colorways and patterns.

7- The ways that you choose to embellish your pouch will make your pouch TOTALLY unique, as the finishing and embellishment techniques are incredibly expressive 🙂

Here’s the Design Notes Video:

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Two more pouches for the Soumak Pouch Weave Along

I’ve been shooting videos for the weave along  that begins on September 2nd.

As I was shooting, I was weaving along on a couple of pouches.

Here they are:

A Stripey one, with some beads and other embellishments:

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and the back:

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I wove it with Lion Brand Bonbon yarn- cotton for the body of the pouch and metallic for the embellishment.

The size 8 beads along the sides are from Mirrix and the bone beads at the lower edge were in my stash.

The medallion on the back of the pouch is one that I snitched from a box of stuff that my daughter in law was going to give away.

(She gave it away, but to ~me~ instead of giving it to ‘anonymous’ 🙂  I can be shameless when it comes to pretty goodies! )

My daughter in law grinned at me when she saw the finished pouch, and said: ‘This one is yours, isn’t it, Mum?’

‘Yes! but how did you guess?’

She just laughed.

I guess it’s because I adore these colors and use them all the time!

I was concerned about this pouch:

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Why?  Well, because both my daughter and my daughter in law declared that they loved it and would love to have SantaMamma leave it in their Christmas stocking.

I didn’t want to make two pouches that were exactly alike, so I had to have a big old think about it.

And, I came up with the perfect answer!!!!!

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TADAH!!!!   I wove it up in the same colorway, but used wool yarn instead of cotton.

 

Here’s the back of the woolie pouch:

Kreinik supplied me with the gorgeous embroidery thread and edging cord for this pouch.

Here are the links for them:

The edging is 3/8 ” trim:  # 170 Natural Pewter
http://www.kreinik.com/kshop/product.php?productid=17023&cat=0&page=1
The embroidery thread is: Ombre: http://www.kreinik.com/kshop/product.php?productid=622&cat=0&page=1
1000 – Solid Silver

I love the combination of the soft loftiness of the wool with the sparkle of the metallic embroidery floss.

By the way, the embroidery thread is soft and lovely to work with. Some metallics can be barky and sharky.

This is soft and nooshy.

!AND! 

Happy dance!

and   ~whew~

My daughter in law (who happens to be an incredibly gifted and talented handspinner, so she is naturally inclined to be more drawn to wool),  likes the woolie pouch –

HURRAH! SantaMamma is so relieved!

My girls will have their lovely pouches in their Christmas stockings, and they are ‘sister pouches’…. similar, but each unique!
 

Alright… time for me to get back to editing video…..  🙂

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Mirrix Loom Weave Along Soumak Pouch- 1- Warp and Weft

In September, I will be leading a Weave Along, using Mirrix Looms.

I will be posting the  pattern, video tutorials, instructions and step by step photos for the Weave Along here on Tottie Talks Crafts.

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The project is a Business Card Pouch, which also works well as a cellphone pouch, woven in Soumak, embellished with corded edges and chain stitch embroidery.

I have designed it to be welcoming to entry level weavers, but also, with options that will appeal (I hope) to more advanced weavers, too.

Because it can take awhile to get orders cleared and shipped, I am posting some suggested warp and weft yarns, as well as the links for ordering them now.

Hopefully, your yarns will arrive before September first.

Here are a few photos of some of the Business Card pouches that I have woven so far:

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This is the first Business card pouch that I wove, using:

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Harrisville Warp LINK

and: Wool weft:  Harrisville Variety Yarn Pack: Brights LINK

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I wove the second  pouch with the Harrisville warp and for weft:

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Harrisville Variety Yarn Pack Jewels LINK

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I quite like both p0uches, but …. OOPS!

They are slightly too small for their intended purpose!  EEGADS! Business cards don’t fit in them!

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So, I went back to the drawing board, and altered the pattern.

By then, gorgeous yarn had arrived from Lion Brand yarns: LINK TO BONBON YARN

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The photo doesn’t convey the scale of the balls of Bonbon…

They are tiny, perfect little balls of loveliness. Each of them is 2 1/2 inches (6cm) tall.

The cotton is simply gorgeous to weave with.  I love it.

I wove these Pouches in Bonbon cottons, with Metallic chain stitch embroidery:

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I used the  ‘Nature’ colorway for the pouch in the photo above, and ‘Beach for the pouch in the photo below:

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The Metallic yarns come in six packs, as does the cotton. I used yarns from both colorways: Party and Celebrate, for these pouches.

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My daughter in law suggested that I add a swivel snap hook to the upper corner of the pouch.

I thought that it was a great suggestion, and so I have added it.

The swivel clip allows you to clip it to your bag, or the belt loop of blue jeans.

If your cellphone is one of the larger ones, you may need to upsize your pouch if you would rather use it as a cellphone pouch instead of a business card pouch.

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I used Lion Cotton for the warp for these two pouches, because I wanted to use yarns that you can order at the same time to make this all easier for you:

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I wasn’t sure if it would work for the projects, but it does just fine.

I don’t think that I would use it for tapestry warp for a really large project, because it has a cheerful slightly bouncy nature.

Warp for tapestry really does need to be made of sterner stuff 😀  None of that youthful springiness!

Speaking of warp- a couple of my Ravelry friends have asked if carpet warp would be okay for the Weave Along, and yes, indeed, it will work fine.

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I am going to weave some of the pouches on carpet warp, and also on the green linen that’s on that ginormous spool.

In my next post, I will show you the equipment, materials and tools that you will need to gather up for the Weave Along.

Here’s the link to  a post that has all the blog post links, to keep everything quick and easy to refer to : LINK

You are invited to post comments on the blog posts here on Tottie Talks Crafts.

CHECK LIST FOR WARP AND WEFT:

– warp

-weft

-optional contrast yarn for chain stitch embellishment

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Warping Mirrix Looms with Loom Extenders

Loom extenders for the Mirrix looms are sooooooo neat!

You’ll need to make a few adjustments when you are warping the extended loom.

Your best friends when warping the extended loom: Two chairs that don’t have upholstery or cushions:

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Place  the chairs as far apart as possible:

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This leaves a gap that allows you to easily pass the ball of warp around the loom.

You could use 2 small tables if you would prefer, but I like the height of the chairs.

The loom is still happily very stable when it’s extended.

Amazing, isn’t it?

That’s great design for you. 🙂

One of the other things that I have found while weaving on the extended loom is that the weaving can pull in on you.

So, to rectify this, take 2 rubber bands, and 2 paperclips.

Open the paperclips, fold the rubber bands around the side bars, and squeeze the shorter end of the paperclip closed.

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Hook the larger end of the paperclip through the selvedge, about a half inch below the fell line.

Make sure that the end of the paperclip is towards the back of the loom, as this makes it be less of a snaggle hazard.

Here’s the video:

Happy weaving! 🙂

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Setting up loom extenders on the Mirrix loom

Normally, I tend to prefer small looms, but I have just fallen in love with using  loom extender bars on the Mirrix loom.

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It’s really hard to convey how tall the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ version of the Big Sister 16 inch loom is when she’s got her stilts on.

With the extenders, she is 40 inches/1 m tall.

Now, that’s tall!

This means that you can achieve lots more weaving with one warp up.

(I’m working on some really fun stuff with my Big Sister Stiltie! So, stay tuned!)

My husband bought me the components for the extenders at the place he buys parts for our ancient tractor, so I didn’t have instructions on how to do this.

So, I had to figure it out for myself.

I found that there are a few tricks that make the set up easier when adding the loom extenders to your Mirrix loom.

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First, lift the top of the loom off the side rails and set aside.

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Unscrew the thumbscrews from the threaded rods, and screw them onto the extension rods.

I screwed them on so they were 5 inches/12.5 cm from the top end of the extensions.

Put the washers back on top of the thumbscrews.

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Screw the coupler to the top of the loom rod.

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Hot tip: Place the end of  a tape measure inside the coupler so you can watch to see that you have screwed it on so it is half way onto the lower rod.

I had my doubts about how stable this was going to be, because the coupler seemed wobbly to me.

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But, I went ahead, and screwed the extension rod in anyhow….

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And, then, when I tightened it up by hand, I was amazed at how it was suddenly rock solid!

WHEEE!

This is good!

Wobbly bad!

Solid- GOOD!!!

Repeat for the other side…

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Measure to be sure you have everything square, and put the top half of your loom back on.

Stand back in amazement at your loomie on stilts! Wowsa!

The best part is that the loom is still miraculously stable and works perfectly.

I find that resting it against the edge of the desk and having the lower edge sitting in my lap is the most comfortable way to weave with the extensions on.

Also, weaving standing up works well.

Having the stand for it would be sublime.

I made a video of the ‘putting it together’ process:

Happy weaving! 😀

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