Wednesday, June 30, 2010

More Soumak lines, warts and all

I have decided to set myself on a course of study within the parameters of things that I want to weave on the Mirrix. Below is a bad picture of some soumak lines.Soumak_lines

As you can see, there are a few problems with my practice so far—all fixable in the future, but not in this weaving. I’ll start with the vertical line in the center. First of all, there should be no gaps like what you see in the picture. Second, I forgot the direction of my wrap for the soumak and got a crooked line. On the left, there are two lines of soumak, back and forth. On the right, in the center of what should have been purple, there is a row of unlocked soumak, two picks of weft, then another row of unlocked soumak going the opposite direction. Now for my favorite one—the yellow triangle. I wove the angle, then a row of soumak along the angle. Kathe calls this soumak something on the order of the fixer because it hides the unevenness of the angle. That one row of soumak looked really good, and is something that I will use again, but then I decided to fill in the whole triangle with back and forth locked soumak. That section feels thicker, but really does not look thicker. The texture of that section is different from the rest of the cloth, though.

Just ordered three metal temples from Dawn MacFall. Better price than what I have paid before. I want to build up my size collection so that I can use a temple on each end of a piece (after cutting off the loom) to help with the draw in that results from needle weaving the ends back in to the cloth. I keep working on that, hoping that at some point I will have done the needle weaving and have a perfectly aligned piece! Yeah, like that’s gonna happen!

I am also seriously considering a skein winder from Crazy Monkey. I have been asked to dye some yarn for someone, so will need to make skeins. Skein-making is a seriously time-consuming task.



Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What's going on at Mirrix these days?

Mirrix has moved west! Well, part of it. Our marketing department (aka Elena) has finally settled in at her new place in Seattle. Hopefully this means Mirrix will be more "on the move" as this separation of departments warrants travel and lots of it. We are very excited for this and to spend some time getting to know the tapestry and bead community in Washington State.

In other news, we have just developed a new program called "Mirrix-Ware" that is detailed a few posts down. We hope it will allow future customers to see and experience the Mirrix Loom before buying and allow current Mirrix owners the chance to earn credits towards purchases in our store. The philosophy is that in-person meet-ups resulting from online meet-ups are the future of networking.

We have a new product in our store! $45:

Mirrix Tapestry iPod/iPhone (or any phone) Purse Kit

"I got the purple, greens and blues"
Kit comes with:
Ten 20 yard skeins of beautiful wool/mohair yarn (you might be able to squeeze a second kit out of it); a 100 gram tube of Navajo wool warp (enough for at least a second project); beads for embellishment; c-lon beading thread; lining material; instructions with color photos

Purse in photo is final project and not included in kit.


I will try to keep these updates more regular!

Happy weaving and happy beading!

This feature is [one of] my favorites!

I finished my 'braided cuff', using my 'weighted warp method', as I shared in earlier posts below and will share photographs shortly, but first I'd like to mention how much I enjoyed one of the Mirrix features!

In the photo on the left, I show one side of my 16 inch Mirrix Loom. There is a threaded portion that fits inside of the upper copper portion and rests on a very large 'wing nut'. The 'wing nut' allows you to tighten the tension on your warps by turning both wing nuts, (on each side), at the same time! I am a 'tension bead loomer' so this option is valuable.

I'll bet this feature would be perfect to 'tension loom' different sized beads, not a design known for bead looming! In other words, loomed beads cannot be loomed with various size beads or the looming will show too much of your warps and the stability of the looming is compromised. This feature 'may' allow a design to include smaller beads and larger beads, just by adjusting the tension of the warps, either right or left, depending on what is needed.

This idea came to mind, while looming my first piece on this Mirrix. I haven't had a chance to work with this thought, yet, but will keep it in mind for my future looming projects. There is so much more to think about, but this could be another way to get the ball rolling for "taking looming to another level"!

I love this feature and used the wing nuts to loosen my warps for an edging technique I included in this same braided cuff. Now I want to work with arranging the tension of the warps more, at my discretion, and see where design ideas can take me!


I’m getting a little bored with these squares, so I’m just going to get them done with as little fuss as possible. And I decided to experiment with a vertical line. From Kathe Todd-Hooker’s book Line in Tapestry, I found the vertical line section using soumak (page 46). Now, I have used soumak for ages, but usually as a base to start a piece and as a device to help hold the weft in place when it is cut off the loom. Also, since I am basically a rug weaver, I have not wanted areas of high texture, which might wear—probably not a problem since no one puts them on the floor anyway!

Below is a picture of the way I usually join a section with a dovetail. Since I weave across the whole of the cloth (not building up sections), each color goes around the “up” warp. Because of the weft going around the same warp thread, there is sometimes a problem with buildup in that area. To counteract that, I may alternate going around the common warp thread and NOT going around it, forming a teeny slit area. Dovetail

I decided to start my experiment with a vertical soumak line at the dovetail join area. In the picture below, the white line indicates the usual dovetail section. The green line shows the vertical soumak line. (You can also see the regular soumak line along the bottom edge of the color sections.) The orange yarn on the right is the tail of my starting spot, then the line, which looks just like a piece of yarn laying on the piece in this picture, then the tail of my working orange yarn. Right away I noticed a problem with doing soumak in this way—I have to remember direction. If you change the direction from which you go around the warp, you will get a wavy vertical line. At this point I don’t care about that, but it might be important later.


This soumak could be fun, so I will experiment with some of the other soumak types while finishing these squares.



Monday, June 28, 2010

Amy and her new Mirrix



Amy is a member of the Fort Worth Weavers Guild and a fairly new weaver (but you couldn’t tell it from the weaving she’s doing). She contacted me a couple of weeks ago about the Mirrix, and now she has her own brand-spanking new Mirrix 16-inch loom. While waiting for the heddles to arrive, she decided to do some bead weaving, which she has done before.  Below is a quote from Amy. As you can tell, she also had a little trouble with warping, but she has used a small loom before with some similarities.

OK so I figured out the warping for the Mirrix for bead weaving. It is very different from regular weaving. I really like it and am making some plans for bigger pieces, but the planning is complicated and going to take some time so I will start a regular weaving for a little purse and see how that goes. I do love this loom. It is just much more solid than …

Amy already has quite a collection of looms. We went to an estate sale of sorts to see some looms that had been closed up in the house for a few years. She got some real jewels from the son of the weaver.

Look at some of the bags that Amy has been making from all kinds of materials, including the bags that newspapers come in here. Here are some other weavings she has done. You can see larger pictures here.

image image

Here is Amy’s Facebook page.

I have been thinking about buying the heddles also, but will wait and see how Amy likes them.



Friday, June 25, 2010


Blues I dyed blues on Monday and took a picture today. Even though I’m not happy with the picture, you can still get the idea. The ones I dyed are on the right, but in real life, the skeins are a really deep, rich blue. Usually, the standard is to mix a 1% solution for dyeing the yarn. In the picture above, the blues are, left to right, 1/2 of 1%, 1%, and 2%. My plan is to use the 2% yarn for an ikat project. After the pattern is wrapped, the overdye process will bring the unwrapped yarn to around 4%. I hope that won’t be too dark, but there are some things that just can’t be totally planned out in advance. I always think I can weigh my yarn in advance, wrap the ikat pattern, then weigh any remaining yarn, estimate the percentage of the yarn that is covered in ikat tape, and dye accordingly. So far, this has not been an exact science! But I keep trying…

I ran across this blog which has an article about Interactive Textiles. And then I read Lynne Bruning’s Weavezine article about clasped weft weaving with conductive thread and LEDs. Lynne is truly a “textile enchantress” and very generous with her help. She put me in contact with another weaver, Marie. All of this brings me to a new Weavolution group: eTextiles. I want to do some LED lights on a small piece on the Mirrix. Next week I will begin to search the resources and order some materials. Time, time, time!imageWhile poking around on Weavolution, I also discovered a dyeing group that will be using the Munsell Student Color Set to train the eye to see colors and combine that with dyeing. At Convergence 2000, I took a master dye class with Michele Wipplinger of Earthues.

image The first part of the class was combined with Karren Brito (of Shibori fame) for the general discussion of color. We used the Munsell sheets to place the colors in the correct location. I learned that I can definitely use some practice in that area! The large group then broke up into two groups. I was in Michele’s natural dyeing group. After that workshop, I bought the student color set, but have yet to work with it. There is no answer key, but when I asked about that, Karren very wisely suggested that I place the color chips to the best of my ability, then come back the next day and check it, rearrange if necessary, before gluing down. I probably will get re-positional glue, if there is such a critter.

All in all, I’ve got a busy rest of the summer laid out!



Thursday, June 24, 2010


The following is a description of our new Mirrix-Ware parties and individual sessions. Please email the form below if you're interested in participating!


Location (town and state):
Email address:
Twitter account:
Biography: (This should include your experience level with the Mirrix,
experience weaving, inspirations, a brief career and/or artistic
history, and any additional information you wish to provide.)**

*By sending this form, you agree to the following:
Mirrix Tapestry and Bead Looms cannot be held responsible for any and
all incidents occurring during any Mirrix-Ware parties or individual
meet-ups. Each individual facilitating any kind of meet-up is fully
responsible for said event.

**Mirrix Tapestry and Bead Looms reserves the right to edit
information provided for consistency, spelling, grammar, etc.

Mirrix-Ware Individual Sessions: A New Way To Experience Mirrix

We are offering a new program designed to educate future Mirrix customers and help current Mirrix owners earn "Mirrix Credits."  So often we are asked:  "Where can I see a Mirrix in person?" And so often the answer is:  "The nearest store that carries it is in another state."  We want to change all that and you can help and earn Mirrix Credits at the same time.

How is this going to work?  We will maintain a comprehensive list of all participants on the Mirrix Loom Website including contact information such as email, Facebook, blog and/or website addresses, general location, a bio and at least one photo (or more) of work created by the participant on the a Mirrix Loom.

What happens next?  Our potential customer finds a participant who lives nearby and contacts that person.  The two work out where and when to meet.  The participant spends a little time with the customer showing her/him all the bells and whistles of the Mirrix Loom. If the participant loves their Mirrix, they will be a natural at this.  And our potential customer will have much more confidence about working with the Mirrix Loom. When you see the Mirrix Loom at work in person the fear factor vanishes.

If our potential customer does buy a loom after visiting with the participant, they will earn "Mirrix Credits" equaling 15% of the price of the loom he/she purchases*.  Here is the math in case you don't feel like doing it:

These are the credits the participant will get:

Loreli loom: $17.25 credit
Laniloom:  $23.25 credit
Little Guy Loom: $34.50 credit
Big Sister Loom: $37.50 credit
Zachloom:  $48.00 credit
Joniloom:  $64.50 credit
Zeus loom: $81.00 credit

What exactly is a Mirrix Credit?  A Mirrix Credit can be applied to any Mirrix purchase. We will keep a data base of your credits that can be used at any time on any Mirrix website sales.

What are the checks and balances?  Once a participant has met with a potential customer, they will email that person's name and email address to us. They will also ask the customer, if she/he makes an order, to email us stating that she/he met with them.  Once the sale is complete, the participant’s Mirrix Credit will be entered into our database or, if they like, they can simply use it right away.

Mirrix-Ware Parties: Share The Mirrix Love

Mirrix-Ware Parties are hosted by Mirrix owners who love their loom (or, oftentimes, looms) and want to share their love with their friends and, perhaps, with complete strangers. As a reward for all their hard work, party hosts will get 15% of every loom sale that is made as a result of their party. They will be given literature they can print and pass out and suggestions on how to make their party great! Everyone who attends one of these parties will receive a free bead pattern as a gift for attending!

If our potential customer does buy a loom after the party, the participant will earn "Mirrix Credits" equalling 15% of the price of the loom he/she purchases*.  Here is the math in case you don't feel like doing it:

These are the credits the participant will get:

Loreli loom: $17.25 credit
Laniloom:  $23.25 credit
Little Guy Loom: $34.50 credit
Big Sister Loom: $37.50 credit
Zachloom:  $48.00 credit
Joniloom:  $64.50 credit
Zeus loom: $81.00 credit

What exactly is a Mirrix Credit?  A Mirrix Credit can be applied to any Mirrix purchase. We will keep a data base of your credits that can be used at any time on any Mirrix website sales.

What are the checks and balances?  Once a participant has met with a potential customer, they will email that person's name and email address to us. The participant will also ask the customer, if she/he makes an order, to email us stating that she/he met with the participant.  Once the sale is complete, the participant’s Mirrix Credit will be entered into our database or, if they like, they can simply use it right away.

If you are interested in participating in either of these programs please send an email specifying which program you are interested in to the following two addresses:

We will email you the application form for becoming a participant in your chosen program.

We will start setting up the website page as soon as we have a few participants.

We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Mirrix Performed Outstanding!

I have completed my base pattern, for this cuff, which includes my personal technique of a 'wavy loomed edge'. The Mirrix did an outstanding job and is designed perfectly for this method of beading.

No finagling with the weighted warps, as I have with other set ups trying to complete this same method of looming. Depending on the pattern, each of the weighted warps move up in various lengths. This is where the suggestion of a 'bobbin' comes into serious thought. However, I did 'swap out' the outer right two weighted warps, when my right indent was the furthest inward. Notice where the bobbins lay now, opposed to an earlier picture, below, when I started.

I'll be including finer details of the finishing process, in other venues, but I do want to share one detail that may make your looming better if you know ahead of time. The outer weighted warp is shorter because that warp has a tendency to be 'pulled inside' of the end bead. The picture below shows how the warp is 'inside' the end bead, when my needle has it's final 'pull', securing a row.

So if any of the warps are in need of a bobbin, it would have to be the 'outer right warp', for any pattern. Don't pull the warp so far into the bead, or your looming will 'ruffle' along this edge. Logically, with movement of your loomed piece, while wearing, the threads loosen up. Therefore, having too much 'warp inside', it will work its way out eventually. I offer a finishing technique that finalizes this 'weighted warp method', and limits the amount of 'slack' caused by the outside warp.

The base pattern is complete. Here is a picture of the cuff, titled "Ruppunzel"! (This was originally just a braid of rattan, but my friend Ness, from across the pond, mentioned she can't help but think of this story, when she sees it!

Not much more till this cuff can be worn, but these details will be offered later.

The Mirrix Loom is a sturdy, well built loom. I have realized there are techniques that can be performed with this loom, unlike any other. My usual mode is to use a 'horizontal' resting loom, but I have enjoyed the option of the 'vertical' design, the Mirrix offers. I have a few more new and different techniques to share, again best performed on a Mirrix. I'll be sharing them in pictures soon!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

'Weighted Warps' with a Mirrix Loom

I have recently purchased a Mirrix Loom with much anticipation to use a well crafted, assembled loom which can handle some unique techniques I have been perfecting. One of these techniques is called the 'Weighted Warp Method'. This method allows a 'wavy edge' to be loomed, as opposed to the standard thought of 'straight edges only'. The Mirrix Loom is perfect for this method, because of being vertical, but also because of the accessories which can be purchased. I am talking about 'Tension Bead Looming' and not the 'Heddle Bead Looming' method.

To create the wavy edge, you will be stringing up the warps with 'weighted warps' on either side of the your loomed width. String up the loom as usual, but do not include the number of warps needed to create an 'indent' or 'wavy' look to your looming edge. You much keep the number of indents to an even number, as these warps are 'looped with a weight' to keep them taught, yet movable. Here is a close up of the weights attached to my four outside warps.

The spring you see in the upper portion of that photo, is actually an additional spring, stretched to hook onto a clamp of the lower warp bar. (I suggest purchasing an additional warp bar, when you purchase a Mirrix Loom for Tension Looming, so you won't have 'two layers' of warp thread, which only ends up in waste. The cost of a second warp bar is much less then the cost of spools of thread.) Here is a close up of that center spring, used to center and stable the 'weighted warps'.

Notice the rod running inside of this spring. This too is an addition to your Mirrix Loom, which hold the weighted warps from moving out of the 'spring grooves' while looming this particular method.

Here is the outcome of looming with 'weighted warps',

Notice the indentations and increases on each side of this looming. To accomplish this look, it is necessary for the warps to be 'weighted' or 'movable' on each side, as I pictured above.

Once the loom is strung, for tension looming, and the weights are in place, loom rows of your longest point to stabilize the rest of your work.

When the pattern calls for the 'indent', you will add the beads to your needle, leaving off the end bead. Loom as usual, but when you run your needle back through the row, be sure to loop the weft 'around' the end warp.

When you pull your weft taught, to finish this row, you will continue to pull until the loop is gone and the weft is now pulling the end warp snug against the last bead in the row. The weighted warp, as seen in pictures above, is what allows this warp to comfortably move 'up and inward'. The center spring, also pictured above, is what will keep your warps in line, for future rows.

You will be keeping track of each 'weighted warp' so you can not only indent, like that above, but also 'increase'.

As you continue, you can also use the 'weighted warps' on the opposite side of your looming, to 'increase and decrease'.

There are some fine points to discuss, about this method. For instance, be sure to keep your end beads, of each added row, very loose, till you can add that bead to your needle. Don't allow your warps to twist and stay in line with how you strung them, or wait till the further decrease is complete to swap out warps. Claudia Chase, of Mirrix Looms, even suggested using 'bobbins', similar to what you purchase for Kumi Looming, or 'Kumihimo'. This way, your 'weighted warps' could be 'unwrapped' as you need the length. I haven't tried this means and wonder if bobbins would be heavy enough to 'weight' the 'warps', as needed.

Right now, I am enjoying my work with this Mirrix Loom.

Weaving and dyeing

June21_squares In this picture, strips of index cards are holding the spaces that will not be woven. This really does not work very well, so I am going to try cutting a couple of pieces of cardboard to hold the space. Or maybe plastic bag strips, something that will be “gripped” better by the warp. By the way, has anyone bought index cards lately? They’re now only slightly heavier than copy paper. Very disappointing. I would be interested in knowing what others do to hold space in a weft-faced weave structure. Ideas, anyone?

You can see my marking of space with the Sharpie (think I misspelled this yesterday), which I do instead of using a cartoon. The square above the blue one is going to have wavy diagonal stripes. I might practice clipping a cartoon on with that section so that I can see what works best for me from all of the suggestions that I posted yesterday.

I got some blues dyed yesterday. I decided to use a 2% formula for these yarns that I will then use for ikat. When I overdye, I am hoping that the tied portion will be a good 2% while the overdyed portion will be an even more intense blue. When I dyed the yarns for Peruvian Mask,Peruvian Mask I had to try several formulas to get the colors that I wanted. I ended up using a 2.5% red and a 4% red.

How do you keep your cartoon in place? I forgot to ask that in yesterday’s post. I also meant to look up the link for rare earth magnets. Here it is.

Sherri Woodard Coffey



Monday, June 21, 2010


June21_squares On my large loom where most of my work is done, I don’t usually use a cartoon. Everything is drawn to scale on graph paper, and I work from that. I also mark lines and shapes with a Sharpee, as seen above. Occasionally, with curvy pieces, I find that a cartoon is more practical, but I still just hold a small portion of the total design in place and mark with the Sharpee pen. With some of the pieces that I plan to do on the Mirrix, a cartoon will be necessary. So, I was glad that the topic came up on the Yahoo group. I have found that weavers use lace, vellum, or interfacing to draw the cartoon in order to make it sturdy enough to stitch onto the warp. Other ideas for attaching the cartoon:

From Lany:

I've found binder clips (in various sizes) to be the duct tape of tapestry.  I've also used lapel pins and earrings (pierced, no dangles) to hold things in place.

Many years ago when I first started weaving and I still do on my Shannock I hold the cartoon ion lace with wine corks and thumbtacks.  With my designs I really need to keep the cartoon where I can see the outlines and make sure there is no shifting of the cartoon. I have never found a method that holds better then stitching through the vellum I use for my cartoons.

From Karen King of Aubusson House:

Someon in this discussion mentioned the problem of attaching cartoons on a mirrix loom.  I have been using rare earth magnets, which can hold a cartoon to the inside of the upper  or lower beams, or when used in pairs can hold a cartoon directly to the weaving.

I bought the 1/4 inch from Lee Valley Tools.  I have the 1/2 inch for my big loom, but you need strong fingers to use that size.

From Shelley

One of the things I do to help me with my cartoon is I pin it to the hem.. Carpet pins are great.. Recently I have been using packing tape on my transparencies to stabilize the weave structure before I pin the cartoon to the piece..

From Kathe

I can't get my fingers between the two warps either without messing everything up. I stick something solid- half inch  thick  a piece of 1x6- between the two  front and back warps-not sheds  and use a curved needle. It isn't the easiest thing to do, but it gets easier with practice.  If it's a particular bad day I can use the board to shove the cartoon against the back of the tapestry so I can catch it with the curved needle. The board gives me something solid to push the curved needle against as it grabs the distance of the stitch. . I also  use really big curved needles because I have trouble with one finger grabbing and holding tight as I grab the curved needle. My longest part of the stitch is on the back, which is easier then doing all the smaller stitches evenly.

I have been known to start the stitching through a button and use the little clippers that you find at homed depot to hold the cartoon in place while I start the stitching.

Bottom line—we all have to find what works best for us. At least these ideas are a starting point for finding out what what method might be best.

I definitely plan on buying Kathe’s book So Warped.image I think it will have much useful information. And, as we know, I’ve definitely got a warping problem when it comes to the continuous kind! I couldn’t get the web page to load this morning, but do a search for Fine Fiber Press to find the book.

Sherri Woodard Coffey



Saturday, June 19, 2010

One A Day Bracelets

I have finished 3 days of loomed bracelets for my One-A-Day challenge. I am playing with colors and patterns. It is taking most of the time to replace the bead charts with beads I actually have instead of buying more, which don't get me wrong, any excuse will do to buy some, but alas, the wallet says 'you're not going anywhere or calling anyone and don't bother trying online ordering either' LOL So this is a case of making due with what one has already ;)

Wednesday's bracelet:

Thursday's bracelet:

and Friday's bracelet:

I have a cool idea, I think, on how to finish these off and look forward to my grand attempt LOL See you soon with the rest, off to work on Saturday's ;)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A break

image I have small houseguests for the rest of the week, so will be taking a small weaving break. Instead I will be doing things like finding cardboard to make Ancient Greek props, going to the pool, seeing kids’ movies (who knew there were so many new ones right now), discovering the new MOLA herpetarium (and seeing Iggy), and going to the Museum of Science and History for the Da Vinci exhibit. I’m hoping to squeeze in a little time for measuring ikat and other small weaving work, but if you remember, children are quite busy all the time. Plus, the boys have been asking to weave, so will need to get the little loom set up. A busy week!

Extreme Beading

After a brief hiatus, I am back. Sometimes it is just necessary to hang back a bit instead of going full throttle. I hate being human sometimes, I just really don't have time ;) I have called this project 'Extreme Beading', but have changed it to 'One-A-Day', like the vitamins.
I took all 16" of my loom and warped it for 7 bracelets. I will work them all up, one a day for a week, and then cut them all down and finish them. I know I still have to finish my brow band as well, but figured since the rest of that work is off loom, I will do that in 'down time', hoping to finish that by this Sunday (crossing fingers). Here is a pic of the seven loom designs. I did not run out and purchase the bead colors they show, I used from my stash this time around.

This next image shows the loom all warped and ready for me.

and this is the first piece, still on the loom

I have my next one all ready with the colors from my stash, so I will post it tomorrow. Have a wonderful Wednesday! (PS-I think I came up with my next project all ready! Maybe...)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Working Small

Peruvian Mask Peruvian Mask, hand-dyed wool tapestry, 47 x 79.5 inches

I’m a rug weaver. Or at least, that’s what I started out weaving, but nobody will put them on the floor. And rugs are big—at least 36 x 60 inches. So I’ve started trying to think smaller, but for me, that still means about 30 x 30 inches. Today while weaving on the Mirrix, I was thinking about how different it is to weave in a small format. The logical part of my brain doesn’t think it should make any difference, but it does. All movements are small and constrained compared to weaving on my large horizontal loom. I am not saying that’s a bad thing, but it is an adjustment. The Peruvian Mask piece at the top of the page is big. I had many more butterflies going than I usually do, and I was standing while weaving, just trying to get this one finished. This one talked to me until I wove it, but I though I’d never get it finished. Of course, the fact that some health-related, family issues were happening at the same time didn’t help!

Now, for a total change of subject—did you think you’d ever hear the words “Elton John sings at Rush Limbaugh’s wedding” used in a sentence? Evidently, it’s true. He’s 59, she’s 33, hmmm… it’s like coming from different countries.

Creativity--I love the creativity and innovation that artists have. Take a look at the jewelry of Kate Cusack, if you haven’t already. Zippers! What I want to know is where she finds metal zippers!

And from Eye/Hand you have these Oaxacan Wonders.








I have a couple of these that I bought in Oaxaca many years ago. Mine are not the mythical creatures shown here, but the common, everyday animals made mythical with their bright colors and geometric designs. The ones show here are by Jacobo Angeles Ojeda and Maria del Carmen Mendoza Mendez.

Sherri Woodard Coffey:      Website   Blog

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Yippee! It worked!

I advanced the warp that I wrote about in today's post, and it actually advanced! I have several small itty bitty unintentional samples, but it looks like I am going to get all the way on this one. Now I am going to try and publish the post from Live Writer. We'll see how that works, hmmm...

Trapezoidal Cube?

TrapezoidIt seems that I am weaving a trapezoidal cube, which I’m sure is not possible, but we’ll see. Maybe I can call it a freeform cube. At any rate the above is my current experimentation with the Mirrix. The turquoise oval is made using 2 strands of Paternayan yarn. It is amazing to me how different yarns weave. The Paternayan yarn seems to have a mind of its own. Since this is the first time for using this yarn, I am not sure if there are different varieties of the brand or not. The small square is woven of some cotton that I found at Joann’s. I have also woven in some index card strips to the left of this trapezoid to hold the empty space for what is going above.

It will be time to advance the warp, so I am hoping that, finally, I have a correct warp in place. The picture on the right is the one that I’m working with now. Fingers crossed!Not-this2 CorrectWarp

Our local arts organization sponsors various classes for artists, one of which is using Photoshop Elements. Elaine Taylor did an excellent job teaching the class, as always. It’s been a long time since I have looked at that program, but it’s a lot more robust than the original one that I tried out. My Photoshop program (the full version) is very old, and I’m sure that if I buy a new computer, it will need to be replaced. It is also very expensive, so Elements may be the way to go. The regular Photoshop also has way too many bells and whistles that I never use and don’t want to spend the time to understand.

Monday, June 7, 2010

After not feeling very well for a week, I am back to the loom and working, and experimenting with some of the yarns that I wrote about in the previous post. Tomorrow I will have some pictures of what I hope is my correct warp. After this evening I will need to advance it, so we'll see.
Sherri Woodard Coffey

Yarns, Yarns, and More Yarns

Sherri Woodard Coffey

imageI see what is posted from “real” tapestry weavers about the yarns they use, and the one most often mentioned is Paternayan wools. Since I dye all my own wool, I really hadn’t paid much attention to these mentions, other than to notice the word—after all, it IS a pretty unusual word. One way that I hope to use the Mirrix loom is to experiment with a pictorial tapestry, something I’ve never done before. With that in mind, I made a little trip to my local needlepoint shop, The French Knot. This is not the needlepoint store that I remember from many, many years ago; it is NOT your mama’s needlepoint store. The type and variety of yarns now available is astounding! Besides the amazing number of silk, metallic, cotton, and Paternayan yarns, there are also some others that seemed quite interesting. Below are pictures of the types that I bought, but not the colors. I included a color chart for Gold Rush, so the variety of colors can be seen. imageimageimage


The yarn below from the Thread Gatherer comes in a very small skein. It’s 100% kid mohair. You can see the colors that this yarn comes in here.imageAnother mohair yarn that I got is from Gumnut Yarns, an Australian company. It's what they call their Tulips selectionimageJ. L. Walsh Yarns-silk/merino 50/50 blend. I couldn’t find a website for the company, but I did find this information from Caroline’s Thread and Canvas:

J. L. Walsh Silk
We stock Silk/Wool, a 5-ply 50/50 blend. It is an over-dyed thread with subtle richness and color variation. We currently stock the 50 most popular colors.

This yarn is overdyed, so there are color variations as one would expect. In fact, that’s one of the things I like about my own hand-dyed yarns—the little inconsistencies in the color. Those fascinate me and keep me engaged as I am weaving.

All of these yarns are worth experimenting with in a small way. I would not want to count on them for one of the big pieces without this experimentation, so I’ll throw them into whatever I’m doing on the Mirrix in order to test sett, feel, and appearance.

Friday, June 4, 2010

I really am still beading

We moved, and of course things got all discombobulated. I kept my beading front and center though, just not able to bead as extensively. Here is my latest project, moving along, at a much slower pace but still progressing. Notice the pics of my workspace, how I lay out the beads, I read the pattern on a magnetic board with a magnet strip, and my forever faithful blue plastic piece of a plastic folder.