Sunday, September 30, 2012
It forced me to weave regularly! Yes, that is a good thing :) I sometimes become lax when I've been working on something for a while. Having to blog regularly meant I had to have done something!
Lastly, I've (somewhat) conquered my fear of doing videos for YouTube. I really do hope the ones I did we're useful and helpful.
The one thing that I refuse to let beat me is beadweaving with the shedding device. Yes, that old chestnut. I WILL try until I get it. Lets hope that's sooner rather than later though! I become more frustrated each time I fail. I don't want to end up a mess lying in my own puddle of tears! Ok that is quite an exaggeration.
The good thing about the Mirrix is its' multi-purposeness. In future I hope I can do some (basic) tapestry weaving. For now I have plenty of projects I need to get on with. As a last show, I took the first half of the belt off the loom. The warps on the end are almost done sorting. The others will be needed to join this to the other section. I'm still debating whether to edge it or not. I hope to wear it on a week from the coming Saturday! Must. Weave. Fast! :)
It has been a worthwhile and fulfilling journey. Hopefully I can continue in the same vein. Thank you for reading, commenting and watching. And for providing motivation when I lost it sometimes. It doesn't end here - you cn check on me at http://brendakbeading.blogspot.com
Happy reading, beading, weaving and ciao all!
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Hmmmm.... wrapping up..... well.... I've been mulling over what I would say to sum up my 4 month long adventure exploring the possibilities of the Mirrix looms.
I've made 25 video tutorials, and posted 35 blog posts about the things I have discovered while working with my Mirrix looms.
I've figured out some new ways of working with the looms ( 's' hooks for the no warp ends techniques) and enjoyed trying out as many ways as I could think of to use the looms in innovative and creative ways.
One of the loveliest things has been connecting with other Mirrix aficionados and making friends with dear people.
So, even though I won't be posting here or on Elena's blog anymore (where all the Weave Along posts are), I will continue to share my love of weaving and my pleasure in using Mirrix looms on my blog: www.tottietalkscrafts.com
Cheerio my friends, tootle pip, and fare thee well!
Happy weaving, go gently, and be well!
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
I love to tat, crochet and knit lace.
And, recently, I have been experimenting with weaving lace.
Well... weaving leno lace and then embroidering it.....
By the way, this was woven on my 16 inch Mirrix loom, with loom extenders attached.
When I was warping up for my second embroidered Leno lace scarf, I made a video about the things I figured out while warping with loom extenders:
I got so overwhelmed with all the work for the Soumak Weave Along that I didn't have time to do much more with the embroidered leno lace.
I needed my 16 inch loom for a tapestry, so I wove off the blue scarf to get it off the loom, and will be doing the embroidery with the scarf being off loom.
I love scarves and wear them year round.
Leno lace scarves are light enough to be comfortable even in the summer, especially in the evening.
I am planning on working a twisted cord with beads on it for the fringes.
Leno lace is so wonderful and has so much design potential that I intend to continue experimenting with it!
Sunday, September 23, 2012
So, I figured I would Mae something that's a little more functional. I've got a little black dress (with a hint of white) that has belt loops. But I don't have the belt to go with it. The only one I have us cream, that wont work!. As mentioned before, I was in a bead shop for something else when I spotted the buckle. I hadn't thought about doing a belt, but did when I saw it.
All that remained was to come up with a design. Being just two colours, it was going to be easy enough. I first wanted to design for a scroll like pattern. I played (very briefly) in Photoshop but figured it's not how I want to do it. So I just went into BeadTool. I played with circles then diamonds before I settled on the final pattern.
I'd measured the length I need, and calculated five repeats of the design would give the required length. So far i have completed one repeat. And there is a (minor) MISTAKE! I could easily correct it but I'm not going to.
I'm making use of advancing the beadwork. The loom doesn't give me enough length to work the belt in one go, and I've yet to make extenders for it. So the beadwork will be moved to the back as I weave (bottom up). I'll work half the length then cut off and work the other half. Joining isn't daunting anymore so will be just fine.
Then it went wrong! I don't know why but one of the sheds just refused to set itself. I had to fidget with it, and even then it wasn't correct. So I cut it all off and went back to the usual method. I will try again, but with something narrower and not so important!
On another note, I went to a local bead shop hoping to buy more DB1765 for the fringe on the purse, but they don't stock it. I had to order it online (and it arrived on Friday). But, I did get a cone of black Nymo! That should keep me going for a while yet :)
In the meantime, today I'll be resting and visiting our friends. It's a miserable day but I'm feeling chirpy! Enjoy yours :)
Sunday, September 16, 2012
This is the result of my 'decision'. The plan I to have the same on the other side. I considered doing the opposite on the other side, but I'm very unsure and nervous about that. I'll see if I have the gumption to try it out before settling on the same look.
And to go along with that, is a video on how to do the twisted fringe.
I don't twist as much as I have read you should on my 'research' on fringing, but it is enough to give me the look I have. I hope you find it useful.
The Nelson Mandela bracelet is still on the loom. I'll have to study the closure I have to use once again. Best now than to wait till its needed and start panicking! The issue that is holding me back is the fact I don't know what size is needed. I'll try asking again. If I hear nothing back, I will think about taking it off the loom to make way for something else. and my next video will be a result of this :) I hope it's not been done before...*starts searching*
I have several projects that I want to work on. The camera strap for someone, the strap for this purse and another that has been languishing in the drawers for a while, and two portraits. One for my Husband and the other to match one I did a long while ago - my first one. And, a belt. While in the shop buying more of the Swarovski crystals I need for the fringe, I spotted this little thing.
I have a black dress that would do nicely with a belt. Probably white as the trim around the arm is white. But of course that would be too plain so perhaps white with a design in black. I wanted to try looming with seed beads, but don't have decent black ones. I'll seep what to do when get round to it.
For now, I have to start seriously planning for the portrait that as commissioned a few weeks ago. I did a rough draft, but have to sit down and look at the colours before I can proceed. I think start time will be next month.
With that, I must be off. Thanks for reading and have a good afternoon/evening/night.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
|Gorgeous Hand Painted Silk Fiber|
Prior to receiving my 12" Mirrix loom, I practiced for a brief time weaving Affinity bracelets on my little rigid heddle Cricket loom. As I’ve explained before, the Cricket works remarkably well however it really doesn’t stand up to the Mirrix in terms of ease, convenience and efficiency. Also I did not as yet have the wonderful fibers that Mirrix provides for the Craftsy course. And if you don’t think their unique fibers make a huge difference, I can tell you that you are wrong. As evidence, some of my earlier results can be seen below using a variety of bits and scraps that I already had in my stash.
From left to right, the first bracelet was woven using raw sari silk waste yarn as the weft and a matching cotton blend yarn as the warp. I've noticed that the size 6 beads that I used seem a little too large for this design. Second from left is a diminutive little girl’s bracelet using extra fine Finca no. 8 perle cotton with size 11 delicas and 4mm gold beads (although what little girl would want an all brown bracelet?) Third from left is a wool/silk DK-weight yarn with square-shaped size 6s. Huge. (And notice my wonky selvedges. Yikes. I can always say that it's a design feature though, right?) I especially like the fourth from left which uses another multi cotton warp and a matching boucle as weft. The rainbow design next was woven entirely from multicolored embroidery floss. Boring. C-lon macramé floss and railroad yarn with a bit of unskilled "advanced tapestry techniques" are used on the last bracelet. Hey, I was winging it.
The bracelet shown above was inspired by some bracelets that I saw on Etsy. I decided to get fancy by adding a little bling with a pin that I purchased at Michaels. (It’s not really a pin but a sew-on bead made by Bead Landing and is still available the last time I looked.) Although when worn it covers a good deal of the weaving, I couldn’t resist the way it matched the Araucania linen/ cotton blend yarn used in the bracelet. Perfect.
The Columbian Clay bracelet shown below is from the final bonus section of the Craftsy class. I really like how the clunkiness of the clay beads plays against the fanciness of the hand painted silk fibers.
The wonderful thing about Affinity bracelets is that you can never tire of making them and of course, you can never have too many. My high school aged daughter and her friends are smitten with them so I suspect I'll be making lots more or better yet purchasing another loom and teaching them to make their own.
Monday, September 10, 2012
I haven't done any more on the bracelet as I don't know what size is needed. I may be forced to guesstimate. Hmmm!...
So, Sunday I made a start on the fringe or the purse. This was after a lot of 'research' (read looking at eye candy) of fringes! I looked through some three books on looming that I have, and chose a style. I bought some Swarovski bicones last week to use in the fringe. I also went through my stash to make up the numbers. Now, yesterday evening I sat down to make a start. But then I had to choose the colours to use in the fringe. This took a while as I wanted to choose colours that would work with both sides. The fringe will be on both sides of the purse so they have to be matching. I'm not daring enough to try using different colours on each side!
So, I chose the colours and lay them out with some of the bicones. I made a start, held it up to admire and rapidly changed my mind. So, I was back to thinking about what to do again. In the end I went with my original idea, and here is how it is looking so far.
I'm thinking of changing it up a little, but hesitant. I'm not sure why. Partly because I don't know if it would work, and I don't want to undo and redo if that happens to be wrong.
My next project to go on the loom will be a portrait. I promised my husband a long time ago that I would make him a portrait of his (late) parents.
It's been more than a year since i promised, so I think it's about time I got on with it! I'm hoping to surprise him with it. It would mean I can't work on it while he is home. He doesn't look in the cupboard where I keep the loom so I wouldn't worry too much about him seeing it. I need to order the remainder of the beads so I can start. I was considering fireline for the warps but think will just buy the large bobbin of white Nymo. That will do the job just as well.
So still quite a bit to do. I think I may try and do a video on warping for wide pieces. The portrait will be about 150 wide. Delicas of course. I I had planned and saved I could have done it in 15s! They're a bit steeply priced but one of these days I will do a picture with them! Perhaps something with less colours :)
I'm off to decide how to continue this fringe. Happy reading and a good night when you get to bed!
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Pick and Pick
Wavy Lines & Lazy Lines
Finished on the loom
Weaving two at a time!
Well, as they say, practice makes perfect and I’m more than willing. My first cuff has attracted so much attention that I’m afraid I’ve already overextended myself gift-wise. This should keep me busy for quite some time.
If anyone needs me, I'll be weaving tapestry cuffs.
Saturday, September 8, 2012
But of course, they never leave home without a guitar
Because she's so portable, I was able to keep working on the Weave Along #8 as we were out and about on our travels.
I was weaving away on this pouch while we were away:
(It began life as a case for a drill that lives in a toolbox, so Jim gave the un-used case to me and I love it for Ms Mini!)
When we are on holidays, I tend to photograph the smaller things, like lichens:
This year, we only saw one:
But then, as far as I am concerned, ANY weather is perfect for weaving and making music :o)
I will be posting the step by step photos for the checkered Soumak Pouch on the 19th of September.
And, of course, the installments of the Soumak Pouch weave along will continue to be posted on Elena's blog, A Word From Elena, every Sunday and Wednesday through out September.
I hope that you had a lovely summer and that the sun shone upon you, and music swirled around you and that the yarn was sweet in your hands!
Right now, I'm working on the Nelson Mandela bracelet. After a worrying start (as usual!), it's looking fabulous - if I say so myself! The worrying start? Well, I split it into three sections. I was planning to start at the top of the head and work down, then go back up and finish the top. However, I laid out the beads for the bottom so have ended up working from the bottom up. It's not entirely 'comfortable' but I can do it if needed.
So onto the worrying part. I had finished weaving the hand, and was happy with it after making some changes to the colour choices. When I moved onto the face is when the worry set in. I continued weaving despite making nothing out. I figured if it was wrong I'd just undo it.
Yesterday when I stepped away from it to start work, is when all fear was dissipated and I have my OH MY moment!! The image was there!!! The relief was palpable!
So, last night I finished weaving the face. I've not got to decide what to weave above the head. The pattern stopped at that point, but I needed to shift it down. I'm sure I'll figure something out anyway.
In the meantime, I've began the handle section of the purse. And I think I made a good choice. I've got an image (of sorts) in my head for the actual handle. I'll see if I can get it on paper then weave it. I also better get thinking about that fringe too!!
So those are the two projects I'm concentrating on at the moment. I would like to get my late in-laws' portrait on next. This will be for my husband. To make a change from framing I'm thinking I could back it with ultra suede or something similar, so it's a hanging. I'll think on it while I order more beads
For now I'm resting and will continue weaving later. Have a good afternoon and apply weaving/beading!
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
I’ve said it before but these Mirrix Loom bracelets really do weave themselves. After years of painstaking pattern-following, row-by-row stitch count knitting, what a pleasure it is to obtain such instant gratification. In less time than it takes to watch an episode of Law & Order, another bracelet is woven and finished off. The only problem, if you could call it that, is what to do with all the resulting bracelets. (Another random note: I once started making handmade herbal soap as a hobby. Well, it was so much fun that I wound up with far more soap than I could ever use. The upshot: a fairly successful cottage industry with customers that included Bed, Bath & Beyond and HomeGoods. It nearly killed me though. Not again, please.)
The finishing...well, let’s see…the glue is a little messy. Be sparing. I would definitely use clothes pins or clamps to temporarily hold the three layers of tapestry, brass cuff and ultrasuede together while the glue dries. And while I enjoy the Zen-like process of sewing the three bead picot edge around the perimeter of the piece, I would definitely set aside some quiet time for this, and don’t plan it for too late an hour. It’s a little tedious for sure but the results, you must admit, are spectacular.
Freshly cut off the loom