Weave-Along 6: Crystal and Two-Cut Bead Affinity Bracelet

Necessary materials: 
Warp:  Hand painted silk is nice but anything strong and beautiful will do
Beads:  We are using lovely two cut size 11/0 iris beads (www.caravanbeads.net)
Crystals:  any size 4mm round crystals will do
Warp your loom with the hand painted silk warp (or something beautiful).  You will essentially have six warps, but we suggest you double the end warps so that you have more silk to create the rope or braid at the ends.  You will also be leaving a space twice as wide as the other spaces between the two middle warps.  This is to accommodate the crystal, which is twice as wide as the beads.
String up six of the two cut beads and put behind and between the warp threads.  Sew through the front of the warp making sure to capture all the beads
 For row two, you will string up two beads, one crystal, two beads.
I have skipped a row, but what I am doing here is what you need to do with your first crystal.  Pick up two beads.  Bring thread in front of piece after warp three.  Sew through crystal.  Bring thread behind warp before warp four.  String two beads.  Then sew back through the two beads, the crystal and the remaining two beads.
 Weave two rows of just beads.  Repeat two rows with one crystal.
  Weave until you’ve woven fifteen crystals  Remove from loom.
Trim loops on end of warp.
Tie overhand knots in the pairs of warps.  For fun, we slipped on two glazed clay beads.  You must have something fun around your house you can slip on before creating the rope.
We made just one rope by dividing the warps in half, twisting in the direction of twist already in the warp and then back twisting on itself to create one rope on each end.  Recently, we’ve figured out that C-clamps come in handy for this operation.  Just clamp the body of your piece to a table to keep it stable while making the ropes.
For the cl asp, make a small rope with the warp material and then wrap it twice around the over-lapped warp ends and pulling it tightly.  Tie a knot.
Your bracelet is now ready to wear or to gift!

Weave-Along 6: Week Two, The Second Bracelet

This second Affinity bracelet is made entirely of seed beads (in this case we’ve used 2 cut 11/0 seed beads, but you can use just regular 11/0 seed beads.  The warp is  hand painted so we only used one “color” which turns out to be a lot of colors.

The supplies you need other than the warp and the beads include:  C-Lon (or some kind of) beading thread, a bead weaving needle, a tapestry needle and a scissors.

We used eight warps.  You can use as many or as few as you’d like, but we like this number of warps for this particular weave.

Tie the end of threaded C-Lon thread to side bar of loom using a slip knot.

Weave one row of beads.  Remove tied end from side bar and make half of square knot and pull so that the warp threads are arranged so that there is no space between the threads and the beads.

Sew in the tail end of the bead thread, tying a knot around a warp thread and sewing some more.  

Trim weft tail.

Start the gold thread.  We have used six strands.

On your return pass, catch the end of the thread so that it travels up the side of the weaving and is buried.  Use this same method to conceal the bead weft, so that it too travels up the side of your weaving.

Once you’ve woven six or so rows, trim the gold weft tail.

 Weave another row of beads, burying the gold thread along the side of the piece.

Wasn’t that fast!  We are almost done weaving.  See how tight and GOLD this piece looks.

Close up of that magic gold thread.

We discovered a way to keep the piece from  running all round when trying to finish the ends.  Just use a nice big C-clamp and clamp the body of your piece to a table edge.  Works great.  Do not break asn beads though.  You will notice that the piece we are finishing is not the one that was on the loom.  The finished piece uses size 11/0 seed beads.

Tie over hand knots in  half the threads.  Use your tapestry needle to push the knot toward the base of the piece.

We have braided our ends instead of making roes.

Make a peyote tube for closing.  Instructions for this are in Affinity bracelet One tutorial.

Now it’s time for you to explore your bead stash and make up new design to share with us!

The Affinity Bracelet Weave-Along Week One

Welcome to the Affinity Bracelet Weave-along Part 1.  In this lesson we will start and finish an Affinity Bracelet.  Because there are so many possibilities for the Affinity bracelets, we’ve decided to weave more than one.  The first bracelet will be woven on a hand-painted silk warp (or if you have not purchased the silk warp or the kit, you can use other embroidery silk or cotton for the warp . . . just make sure it’s not too thick while also being strong enough to withstand a good amount of loom tension).  For weft, we will be using hand-painted silk (or whatever you are using as a substitute) and size 8/0 seed beads.  The next Affinity bracelet will be woven entirely from gold thread and size 11/0 seed beads.  And if you are willing, we might just throw in a third bracelet possibly made just from a variety of beads.  We have some ideas!

So let’s begin with our first Affinity bracelet.  This is so much fun to weave and even to finish!

We have used to colors of hand-painted silk.  Each “color” actually contains about four or five colors, so this is going to turn out to be a rather rain-bowish piece because we will be using the same silk for he weft.  We have put a total of eight warps on the loom, which means the rows that contain 8/0 seed beads will contain seven beads.  Note that there is no need to use a spring because the first row of beads will create the warp sett and will continue to keep the sett correct as you add beads.  Plus we’ve found that even if you don’t add a lot of beads, the selvedges tend to stay straight as long as one is careful to not tug too hard when bringing the silk weft through the shed.

Our bracelet weaving is going to be 4 1/2 inches long.  The silk ends and clasp take up quite a lot of space.  You want the weaving part to curve around your wrist leaving a couple of inches of space on the back.  The great thing is you don’t have to be exact about this.  If your piece is a little too short, it will still look fabulous.  The silk warp ends are beautiful too.

Warped 8″ loom ready to go. You want to leave a lot of extra warp on either side of the piece.  We suggest about six to seven inches.  This warp will become part of the piece and will not be “loom waste”.

Close up of all those gorgeous silk colors.

Tie your bead thread to the side bar with a slip knot.

Pick up seven 8/0 seed beads and place behind and in between the warp threads.

Sew back through the beads but behind the warp, thereby attaching the beads to the warp.

Pull tightly so that the beads are snug against one another.

After adding a few rows of beads, thread the other end of the bead thread that was attached to the side bar and sew it half way through the bottom row of beads, knot around a warp thread, and sew through the beads to the end of the row. Trim end.
Begin a row of silk weft by threading your tapestry needle with the silk and weaving under the first warp, over the second warp, etc. until you’ve reached the end.

When you weave back going under the threads you went over and over the threads you went under,  remember to catch your bead thread inside your silk weft so that it will travel up the piece until you use it again.

Just like you caught your bead thread, you also want to catch the tail of your silk weft.  You will do this for a few rows and then later trim that piece.  This method gives you a two sided piece, which is necessary to make your Affinity bracelet look finished without stray ends hanging out on the back. 

A few rows into weaving our silk weft.

Another visual of how to catch that bead thread!

The yarn just sings with nice color changes!

Trimming the weft end.  Amazing how I was able to hold a camera and do this at the same time!

Add another row of beads, this time catching your weft in the bead thread to allow it to travel up the side of the piece until you are ready to use it again.

Back to the silk using all the same techniques of burying the thread we have mentioned.

A nice visual of catching the bead thread.  Look how neat the edges look.

Here we start a new silk weft thread the same way we started the last one.

Again employing the method of catching the weft tail and the bead thread to allow them to travel up the side of the piece.

Because we’ve used the second color of variegated silk, it looks like we’ve added a whole bunch of new colors.

Adding back the original silk weft color.

Almost there . . . our piece is going to be 4 1/2 inches long.

Our last row of beads.  Sew part way through the row below, tie a knot around a warp thread and continue sewing through the beads.  

Tying a knot around the warp thread.

Release tension on the loom and slip out the warping bar.  Trim the very ends of your warp so that you’ve cut the loops enabling your to tie knots in thread pairs.

Trimmed warp ends.

Our piece resting off the loom.

Weight one end of your piece so you can tie knots on the other end.

Tie the beginning of a square knot.

Snug the knot close to your piece.

Tie an overhand knot.  Stick your tapestry needle in the knot and push the knot toward the base of our piece.

Once the knot is in the correct place, remove your tapestry needle.

An overhand knot in exactly the right place!

A bunch of (fuzzy) knots.

All the knots tied.

Weight one end of your piece.  Take two pairs of paired warp ends and twist in the direction of the yarn causing them to over twist.

Then allow the yarns to twist back on themselves forming a rope.

Tie a knot leaving at least five inches between your knot and the base of the weaving.

Second two ties turned into ropes.

You can use a simple knot to attach your piece to your wrist or you can make a peyote tube out of seed beads and use that as a closure.

Beginning a flat piece of even count peyote:  string ten 11/0 seed beads.

Pick up a bead and sew the second strung bead.  Pick up a second bead and sew through the fourth bead, etc. until you’ve reached the end.

Keep doing this until you have a piece that snugly wraps around the silk ropes (photo of this a little later on).   In this photo we’ve taken the tail end and sewed it back into the piece, forming a knot and continuing to sew into the beads.

Knotting the tail.

In order to be able to “zip” your piece you will need the two sides to be staggered.  

For really clear instructions on how to do peyote stitch, we recommend you visit the beadworkabout.com http://beadwork.about.com/od/beadingstitchtutorials/ss/flat_even_count_peyote.htm

Wrap your piece around the four ties to see if it will be snug enough.  To do this, cross the two sets of ties.  The peyote tube will  hold them together, letting the  ties slide open to put on your wrist and then tighten to keep it on our wrist.  You want this tube to be as small as possible so that it puts pressure on the ties and  doesn’t allow the bracelet to slip off your wrist.

Just the right size and ready to tie on.  You can use the same number of rows as above if you’ve used the Mirrix silk warp.

Wrap the tube around the ties and start zipping it together.  Be careful not to catch any of the threads from the ties because they need to move freely underneath the tube.

Our finished tube!

Notice how one of the warp ends is too short.  Well, last night the piece was left on a desk and Maia the cat thought it would make a great chew toy.  She chewed off one of the ends.  This bracelet is a keeper because we can’t give it away now!

 There she is:  ready to wear and love.