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.

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