What's a Weave-Along?
A weave-along is a FREE online course. We will lead participants through a project woven on a loom. Every Sunday, participants will get an email going over what had been worked on the week before and giving instructions and tips for the week ahead. While this event is "live" in that weave-along participants will be working on each part of the project during the same week, don't worry if you fall behind or start late.
Participants are encouraged to ask questions and engage with other members of the weave-along via email and social media sites including the Mirrix Facebook Page, Mirrix Facebook Group and Mirrix Ravelry Page. This is a community event!
This Week: Warping/Weaving
December 10th - 16th: Finishing
Let's Get Started!
I've named this project after my mother Rosalie. Her genes gave me my gift of color even though she did once tell me that red and pink could not be worn together. To this day I vehemently disagree with that assessment albeit I revel in her sense of style, color and form. She was an elegant woman possessing many gifts. And so in honor of my mother, I give you the Rosalie Bracelet.
What I love about this bracelet is everything. I love the simplicity of weaving it and the elegance of adding my favorite clasps. This bracelet should take you no more than two hours to weave and finish. And although I will be providing the general instructions for it, you will use your creativity to make it your own. My hope is that you go on to make many, many more. In the future you can choose your own bead colors and make it completely your own. Wear it, give it away, sell it. It's your choice. But I bet, as the saying sort of goes, you can't make just one. In fact, our kit provides enough material to make two.
What you will need to make this bracelet:
-Any Mirrix Loom (you will not be using the shedding device)
-A beading needle like this one or this one
-A measuring tape or ruler
-A pair of scissors
-A bead mat
-A Rosalie Bracelet Kit which includes:
- C-Lon fine weight beading cord
- 11/0 seed beads
- 8/0 seed beads
- 4 mm fire polished crystals
- Size one inch and 3/4 inch elegant elements clasps
I will be showing you how to weave the wider piece (one inch). You can take what you've learned from that and make a thinner piece (3/4 of an inch).
Let's start with some important math:
My wrist is six inches in diameter. In order to comfortably fit my wrist, I have woven my pieces 6 1/2 inches long. The two end rows will be covered by the clasp. Take your wrist diameter and just add 1/2 inch. That will be your correct weaving length.
The concept of this bracelet is as follows: Three 11/0 seed beads, two 8/0 seed beads and one 4mm fire polished crystals fit in between the warp threads. You can mix and match bead sizes and crystals in a single row. The first and last rows have to be size 11/0 beads in order to be able to slide the clasp onto the ends.
I am using C-Lon fine cord as the warp and weft to carry the beads. It's thicker than one normally uses for weft, but gives the piece a nice weight and drape. If you are having trouble threading the needle, I suggest using a bead threader.
One other note before you get going: the size 11/0 beads for the most part can be used with the fine C-Lon. Every once in a while a bead arrives whose hole is too small and one cannot get the needle through it when sewing through it. Just discard the recalcitrant bead and find another one. During the course of weaving this bracelet, I encountered two such badly behaved beads.
Let's get warped!
The one-inch wide bracelet requires six warp threads and the 3/4 inch wide bracelet requires four warp threads. You can either skip using a warp coil completely or use the 14 dent warp coil going through every other dent.
In real time you can find warping instructions here!
To begin, place the warping bar in the clips which are placed mid-way up on the brass sidebars.
Tie the C-Lon thread to the warping bar using a square knot.
Bring the warp down to the bottom beam, wrap around it and head up the front to the spring.
Wrap around the top beam and head back down to the warping bar where you will do a U-turn and head back through the spring.
Keep going with this pattern until you have six warps going through the spring.
Place your finger on the warping bar to keep the thread taut while you tie a square knot.
Move the warping bar so it's approximately an inch and a half above the top of the bottom beam.
Put tension on the loom by rotating the wing-nuts counter-clockwise.
You are ready to start weaving.
Time to Start weaving
Before we begin weaving, a couple of notes. First, although I will be showing you exactly how to weave the inch wide bracelet, you don't have to follow my every move. In fact, although the beads and crystals we included with each kit are similar in color, none are identical. You might have more of one color and fewer of another color. But do not fear if you run out of a color I am using you will find something just as good in your pile. All the beads in your kit work together, so don't panic if you have a fear of color.
Secondly, you will notice that I am not a stickler for making sure every bead in a row of a similar color is identical. And sometimes I can very radical and just throw in, for example, three crystals the are entirely different colors. The point is to make the whole beautiful and not to suffer the details.
Thirdly, I will be showing you how to weave the entire one-inch bracelet. You are on your own with the 3/4 inch bracelet. You can steal from the ideas in the first bracelet or you can just go to town and let your imagination run wild. I am sure you will create something beautiful. So that being said, once you are done with the once inch bracelet, you can remove it from your loom and begin on the second one. Next week we will show you have to put the clasp on. I suggest you do the second one because it will keep you patient while you wait to find out how to put on the clasp! A week can seem like a very long time.
So on to weaving. The first and last rows consist of just 11/0 seed beads in order for the clasp to fit on properly. There will be three beads in between each warp thread for a total of 15 beads. This row, as in all starter rows, is a bit tricky but you'll get it.
I will show you photos of each subsequent row with an explanation of my thought process in choosing my beads and crystals. As I already mentioned, feel free to improvise and don't get frustrated if you don't have exactly the same color I am using. You will have something close and certainly something just as pretty.
One last note. I begin using a Tulip beading needle but finish using a Flex beading needle. This is just to show that you can use both so don't be confused by that.
Let's get started.
Cut a piece of C-Lon cord approximately two yards. Thread cord onto your needle. Tie the end loosely to the left sidebar if you are right-handed and the right sidebar if you are left-handed.
For your first row, choose 5 sets of size 11/0 beads totally fifteen.
Place the strung beads behind and in between the warp threads, with three beads in each space.
Push the beads so that the holes are available on top of the warp. Sew through the beads.
For my second row I've picked up 8/0 beads in two different colors.
Third two is also 8/0 beads in two different colors.
Now for a change, string a crystal, three 11/0 beads, a crystal, three 11/0 beads and a crystal.
See below how I alternate beads in subsequent rows so that I put a larger bead or crystal above a smaller bead and a smaller bead over a larger bead or crystal. This will make the rows layer on top of each other without any gaps.
To end your thread once it has gotten too short, tie around the side warp and then bring then sew through the bead until you get to the next warp. Tie around that. Continue doing this until you come to the end of the row.
To start a new thread, sew through the side bead and tie around the next warp. Continue doing this until you get to the next to last bead. At that point step up to the row above and sew through the side bead.
Trim the end and you are ready to start weaving again.
End the thread by knotting a side warp and then sewing through the top row, knotting round warps as you go.
Click here to download a .pdf with a detailed picture of the bracelet. Useful if you want to follow my pattern!
Next week we will address putting the clasp on. But in the meanwhile, loosen the tension on your loom and remove the warping bar. Your piece can then be removed from the loom. While you are waiting for next week's finishing lesson, let the first piece sit while you weave the second bracelet. This one requires only four warp threads. Enjoy and see you next week!
Remember, we encourage you to make this a community event by asking and answering questions, posting pictures of your progress and commenting on others' work on our Mirrix Facebook Page, Mirrix Facebook Group and Mirrix Ravelry Page.