Saturday, December 3, 2016

AN EARLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT!!

I've always been interested in weaving, which probably dates back to the time my mother made rag rugs on a huge loom in my grandfather's barn! I never wanted to make anything THAT size and certainly don't have an extra room ... which you'd need for a loom that size! But over the years I've made small pieces, like mug rugs, coasters, and, as shown in a recent post, woven pendants.

A few months ago I purchased a class from Craftsy called Bead & Tapestry Cuff with Claudia Chase .... and was hooked! I dreamt about the Mirrix loom she was using, but the cost was just a little (a LOT!) on the high side. Incidentally, Claudia Chase is the founder of Mirrix Looms and her story of starting the company is interesting ... if you have time to go to their website and browse.

Anyway, on the past Black Friday weekend they had a sale and Rose Mary ordered her 12" Little Guy Mirrix Loom! It arrived a few days ago. I first had to do all the errands on my list so I would have uninterrupted days to explore my early Christmas gift! Yesterday I started viewing the videos again for warping the loom. It took several tries, but I finally understood the method. Anything is easy when you do it correctly!

So late last night I took a few photos of my project. Here is the loom shown full size with my "affinity" bracelet. The bracelet is 3/4" wide and I'll weave until it's 4-1/2" long. I have an inch to go! The loom looks huge, doesn't it, compared to the bracelet? But it's only 11-1/2" wide and 17-1/2" high.

And here is a close-up photo.

I have a choice of keeping the warp ends long. And after finishing the threads by braiding and knotting, you can tie it on your wrist or weave a peyote slider that goes on the long cords and slides to loosen or tighten the bracelet .... OR .... I could weave it longer to fit my wrist .... OR ......

Here's another photo of the first bracelet I made after viewing the Craftsy video.

It was made on a Jewel Loom. I tried to make the peyote slider with 11/0 seed beads, but found it just tooooo frustrating. Claudia Chase said the first two rows are the most difficult ... and I never got past that point, but will try again. Maybe today. For this bracelet, I finished the bracelet by knotting the threads close to the beads at both ends, cutting the threads, then applying glue to both ends and finally attaching the metal links. Then I added the chain extender and lobster clasp. I love this bracelet. However, I noticed when wearing it that some of my thread ends are showing. I think it is because there wasn't enough tension on the loom. We'll see how this next one turns out, as the warp threads could be strummed like a banjo before I started! According to the video, after taking the bracelet off the loom and letting it relax for a bit, it should shrink about a half inch .... that will definitely make it more difficult for those ends to loosen!

I debated about which loom to buy ... the 12" or 16" loom. There are smaller ones and larger ones. This 12" will weave 9" across and 24" long, which is plenty big for any of my projects. The great thing is, I could weave a bracelet on the left side and the right side at the same time! Maybe another one down the middle!

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