Tag Archives: Mirrix looms

How to Weave a Butterfly on the Mirrix Saffron Loom

I have been weaving a lot of butterflies lately, as a metaphor of hope, transformation, healing, creativity, community, and so much more.

These butterflies are ones that I designed to weave on the Mirrix Saffron loom.

I love the way that I can set up the Saffron to the exact size that I want….

The pink butterfly is made by weaving a full size triangle on the Saffron (see instructions in my book: Innovative Weaving on the Frame Loom).

And, the blue butterflies are made by weaving half size triangles.

Because the smaller butterflies are woven using a variation on the technique that I developed for the book,

I have made a video showing how to weave them.

The bodies are made on the loom, using the same setup as the wings, so you can weave away without having to re-set the loom. Yay!

Here’s the link to the Video How to Tutorial:

Mirrix looms are selling a wonderful kit that includes my book: Innovative Weaving on the Frame Loom, as well as the Saffron Loom and the Sandy Stand for it. It’s a great kit! Here’s the link for it:

In the video, I mentioned that I carved a chopstick to make the weaving hook for weaving the triangles.

Here’s the link to that video:

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“Imagine” Banner Weave Along: PART THREE: How to weave the triangles

To see all the links for the ‘How To’ posts for the “Imagine” Banner Weave along, please go to L I N K S

To order the loom, book and extras kit for the Weave Along from Mirrix, please go to K I T

HOW TO WEAVE THE TRIANGLES:

Make 2.

1: SET UP THE LOOM so it is 2 1/2 inches (approximately 6.25 cm) from the lower set of pegs to the upper set. Lock it into the ‘Sandy Stand’.

2: WARP THE LOOM: Following the instructions for warping the Triangle on page 82 of ‘Innovative Weaving on the Frame Loom’, leave 6 sets of pegs at both sides open so just the center 10 pegs are used: Begin at the right hand side.

With 2 strands of white yarn held together as if it is one strand, and 2 strands of pale blue yarn as if it is a single strand, put on 5 loops of white warp strands and then, 5 loops of blue yarn. Cut and tie a knot in the middle.

Diagonal:

Take the blue yarn around the lower left hand peg beside the warp strands up to and around the peg that is adjacent to the warp strands at the top right hand peg

Weave the end of the blue yarn around the lower left hand pegs, back and forth to secure it, then snip the end off.

3: WEAVE:

Follow the instructions in the book to weave the triangle, using a crochet hook. Repeat for the second triangle.

4: FINISHING THE TRIANGLES:

If necessary, pull up on the diagonal yarn end to pull the triangle into shape.

Steam the triangles on the wrong side with a steam iron, being sure to not touch the iron to the weaving.

Finger press the triangles to shape them into pleasing triangles.

Weave in the ends.

Trim any ends.

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“Imagine” Banner Weave Along: PART TWO: How to embroider the narrow band

To see all the links for the ‘How To’ posts for the “Imagine” Banner Weave along, please go to L I N K S

To order the loom, book and extras kit for the Weave Along from Mirrix, please go to K I T

HOW TO EMBROIDER

THE WORD ‘IMAGINE’ ON THE NARROW BAND:

NOTE: The embroidery is done while the weaving is still on the loom and under tension.

1: Print out a copy of the ‘Imagine’ letters so they are approximately 1 inch/2.5 cm high by 7 in/17.5 cm or use 1/4 inch graph paper to draw them out.

2: Fold the paper so the edge of the letters can be placed right against the 1 inch/2.5 cm high white center section of the weaving.

3: Place the straight pins at the upright lines of the letters, ‘I’, ‘m’, ‘n’, and at the outside edges of the chubby ‘a’, ‘g’ and ‘e’.

4: Use the pins as guides to draw the letters onto the narrow band using a permanent felt tip marker.

5: Following the instructions on page 27 of “Innovative Weaving on the Frame Loom”, embroider the letters with dark blue embroidery floss.

The photo on the lower left of page 27 shows how the running stitch is done.

FRINGE:

6: Lift the weaving off the loom and remove the 2 pieces of cardboard.

7: Cut the ends of the loops at the right hand side of the narrow band (it was at the top of the loom) open.

8: Trim the ends that were at the lower edge of the loom, now the left hand side of the band, to the same length as the warp ends at the other end of the narrow band.

9: Tie a knot (left over right and under, right over left and under) with each set of 4 strands of yarn across both ends of the narrow band.

10: FINISHING THE NARROW BAND:

Steam the narrow band on the wrong side with a steam iron, being sure to not touch the iron to the weaving.

Finger press the narrow band to make sure that the fringes behave themselves and line up politely.

Trim them again if necessary.

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Woven Women – Three Sisters

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

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay http://www.tottietalkscrafts.com

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:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

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-

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

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

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

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.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

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

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

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

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

Or you can make  your own edging cord:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

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.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

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.

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

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:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

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:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

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:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

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 😀 )

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

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:

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

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!!!!!

copyright Noreen Crone-Findlay

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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