The latest Mirrix weave-along has begun! We're spending the first week making a beaded bracelet using hand-painted silk yarn for both the warp and some of the weft. I've decided to blog my progress to give you a glimpse of how Mirrix looms differ from other types of bead looms.
As always, the first step in the project is to warp the loom (i.e., attach the warp threads). For this bracelet, Elena explains that we don't need to use a warp separator coil; we'll simply wrap the warp thread around both flat ends of the loom frame.
The Affinity bracelet has seven columns, which means that we need a total of eight warps. Recall that we're using hand-painted silk yarn, which arrives in a little hank, like this:
For we beaders, who are used to having our beading thread and cord pre-wound into neat spools, this can seem a little daunting at first. To straighten out the yarn and keep it from tangling, I take a few minutes to wind it onto a card. Here, I just used an old business card that I sliced at the edge with scissors:
Next, we proceed with warping. What makes this process a little different from warping a non-upright loom is that we use a horizontal warping bar at the back of the loom to reverse direction with each pass -- rather than using a warp anchor, such as a screw or bolt. Mirrix has put together an excellent PDF tutorial and a YouTube video demonstrating this technique.
My Mirrix loom is the 16-inch model, but you can use any of their smaller looms to make the Affinity bracelet, as well. Visit the A Word From Elena blog to see a full view of a warped loom. Here's a cropped photo of mine:
That silver bar in the back is the warping bar I mentioned earlier.
Tip: When you watch the Mirrix warping video, you'll see that you need to tie the yarn tightly around the warping bar at the beginning and at the end. For the end knot, it helps to use your beading awl to tighten down the knot.
In my next weave-along post I'll share my progress beading the bracelet - stay tuned.
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