Weave-Along 7: Finishing Your Purse

It’s time to finish your lovely silk purse.  After having woven the header (the last few rows of warp material woven in as weft), cut your piece from the loom remembering to leave five inches of fringe to make tying them easier.
It ‘s time to finish your lovely silk purse.  After having woven the header (the last few rows of warp material woven in as weft), cut your piece from the loom remembering to leave five inches of fringe to make tying them easier.  Weight your piece with something so that while you are tying the fringe the piece is stable.  Take two warp ends from the left or right.  Tie the first part of a square knot (the one you use to tie your shoes before making the bow).  Make sure the knot is flush with the edge of your weaving. 
 Next, tie an overhand knot.  Stick a needle into the knot itself and then guide the knot to the base of your weaving.  Do this with the warps on the other side as well as the left and right warps on the other end of your piece.  This will prevent the weft from raveling.  Next, tie all the warps in this manner.
This is the back of the piece. You want to clean it up a bit.  Trim the weft ends so they are a half inch to an inch or so long.
So it looks like this.
Fold the header and footer to the back of the piece and pin down.  Use a whip stitch to sew it down to the back.
Lay your piece on top of the silk lining material.  Trim the material to look like below photo.
Pin lining to back of piece.
Sew lining to back of piece.
Fold piece together and sew and pin.
Sew two sides together.
Then use groups of three beads to sew all around the sides and top of the piece like so.
 Finished piece.
My iphone is very happy although I did promise to give it Elena.

Weave-Along 7: Continuing to Weave

Today we will weave the rest of the piece.  Next week we finish it.
Our first technique will be wavey lines.  They are simple to do and have a fun effect.  All you do is weave two passes of one color and then two passes of another color.  Keep repeating this pattern and you will get the effect of wavey lines.  Why?  Because, in tapestry, in order to weave an entire line, you need to weave two lines.  The first pass covers the odd warps, let’s say; the second pass covers the even warps.  And although you essentially have a line, it’s a staggered line.  So when you create sets of lines with different colors it creates a wavey pattern.  Hence:  wavey lines.
After weaving the two passes of pink, I add a blue weft.
The blue weft is woven twice.
Then the pink weft is woven tw ice.
Here you can fully see the effect.  It’s easy, fast and pretty.
Below, I have marked the warps to separate ten warps on the left, twenty warps in the middle and ten warps on the right. We are going to make a triangle!
The three wefts will be woven in opposite directions so that their joins are in the right shed.  Weave the right weft to the left, the middle weft to the right and the left weft to the left.
Weave each weft until they have passed around both their end warps twice.  The triangle is going to be stepped up two lines at a time.
Now it’s time to increase the outer wefts and decrease the middle weft.
Because the wefts were woven in opposite directions, you can encroach on the middle wefts territory and have your weft be in the correct shed.
Keep weaving this pattern making sure each weft passes around its side warps twice before increasing or decreasing.
Done with the triangle.  Kill one of the side wefts and take the other weft all the way across the piece.  Add more weft if you need to.
I then added some railroad yarn to the single blue weft.
I strung some beads on just the silk.  Wove the beads.  And then continued with the railroad yarn and silk.
Wove with just silk weft for a while and then added a new color of silk weft.
Added another color of silk weft.
Added some railroad yarn to the silk weft.
Below, I’ve marked the warps at ten, twenty and ten again in order to weave slit tapestry blocks.
The wefts were inserted going in the same direction.  They will not be crossing into one another’s territory so it was not necessary to weave them in opposite directions.
Just build up the individual wefts forming slits in between.
I buried all the weft tails. . .
. . . and started a new weft.
Added some beads and continued with the silk weft.
Just weaving single wefts and adding new ones when I ran out.
Added some railroad yarn.
Added beads . . .
Just follow the pictures.
Wavey lines again (or whatever you want to do).
Ended at 12 inches.
Wove a header.
Next week:  FINISHING your sweet little silk and bead purse!

Weave-Along Week Three: Weft Interlock

Time for some weft interlock.
Using some scrap yarn, divide your warps into roughly four evenly spaced sections.
Insert your four wefts going in the same direction, from left to right.  Then head back to the right starting with the weft on the right.  When you weave the second weft, catch it around the first weft and weave.  Do this with the following two wefts.  Essentially, the wefts, where they meet, loop around one another.  The line between the wefts will be in between warps making this very different from warp interlock, where you wrap your weft around the same warp.  With weft interlock, which is frequently used in Navajo technique, there is less building up of higher weft areas where they interlock making it a better technique for building up straight lines.  The best technique is obviously slit technique where there is no build up, but then you have those pesky slits to sew up.
Next weave back from right to left.  Your wefts are already caught around one another so you are just weaving back.
The next step is to weave from left to right, catching the wefts with one another until you get to the right side of the weaving.
Continue this process with the next wefts.   Weave until you’ve built up about half an inch.
End your wefts except for the far right one.  Weave that back to the left slightly and replace it with two silk wefts.

Add two silk wefts and weave for a bit.  Then replace with single silk weft.

Add a row of beads.

Weave a the silk weft.

For a bit!

Add another color of single silk weft.  Weave for another bit and then add another row of beads.

Continue with some single silk weft.

Add some railroad yarn to the silk weft.

Weave a bunch of it.

Add some single silk weft.  The double it up.

Weave some doubled silk weft.

Change it up a bit by replacing one silk weft with a new color.  Play!

Play with some of these techniques (maybe try those fun squares again) until you’ve woven another four inches!

Silk Purse Weave-Along Week 2 (Weave-Along 7)

If you have a bottom spring kit, as I do here, start weaving your header.  If you don’t have a bottom spring kit, cut a thread three times the width of your loom.  Engage the shedding device, weave it to the threaded bar, wrap it around the threaded bar, change the she and weave it back to the other threaded rod.  Tie the two ends tightly around the threaded bar.  This will serve as a base for starting your weaving.  Make sure the two threads make a straight line.  Arrange the warps so that they are evening spaced at ten ends per inch.   Then begin weaving a header.
Two weave a header:  cut a manageable length of warp thread and weave it back and forth for about a third of an inch.  This header will be folded over to the back of your weaving when you finish your piece.  Be mindful to not pull too tightly at the sides of your weaving but also to not leave loops at the edges.   Beat it down with a tapestry beater or, if you don’t own one  a kitchen fork.
End your header about six warps in and begin a weft of just silk where the header ends.  Remember, you always want your ends hanging to the back of the piece.  You will begin new threads when old ones end, if possible.  The back will not show.  It will be lined in silk.  So it can be a complete mess.
Thread a beading needle with beading thread.  Tie a knot so that it forms a loop.  Loop the silk weft into the loop and load your beads onto the needle.  They will easily slide onto the silk weft.  Place the strung beads into the shed (the space between the raised and lowered warps) and push them down into the V.  Pull tightly on the silk weft so that there is no loop at the end and it is wrapped snugly against the opposite warp thread.  The beads are hard so they will prevent your from pulling in at the edges.  In fact, if you warp was at all uneven, the beads will even everything out nicely.
Warp the silk around the warp thread to keep that last bead in place.  Change the shed and weave the silk weft to the other side.  Weave until your run out of weft and then begin a new color where the original weft ended.  Weave that color for two passes.  You are now ready to add a second and third color.
You will be inserting these two additional wefts in opposite directions.  The second weft (the salmon colored weft in my example) will head toward the existing turquoise weft.  The sage weft will be headed away from the turqoise weft.  By doing this, your wefts can cross into each other’s territory and still be in the correct shed.  This is a kind of difficult concept to understand before you’ve played with it.  So now that we’ve got our silk wefts in place, let’s play with them.
Weave the sage weft into the salmon wefts territory but don’t go past the tail of the salmon weft.  Weave the salmon weft back to meet the sage weft, wrapping around a common warp.  Weave the turqoise weft back to the right.  In this case, I’ve wrapped it around the next door warp but could have wrapped it around a common warp.
Keep playing with this method for a while.  I will show you pictures of each row I weave.  As I mentioned, you can either wrap around common warps or not.  For this technique it makes little difference although one does have a natural tendency to wrap around common warps.
You have just learned how to:
Weave several wefts in opposite directions.
Create shading.
Create shapes (note the salmon shape you’ve created).
To end the three wefts, first weave the right ones toward each other and end them by sticking their ends to the back of the weaving.  Then weave the left weft to the left warp.  Weave it until it is used up and then replace it with an entirely new color.  I used the color we began with.  Weave a few passes and then thread with beads and weave a row of beads.
Weave the silk weft until it runs out.  Add another silk weft and weave a couple of rows.
Add some railroad yarn to the silk and weave the two at the same time.  This will add both texture and some great color to your piece.
End the silk/railroad combination weft and replace with two different colors of silk also to be woven at the same time.
Next we are going to weave sections of diagonal shapes.  End the double silk weft by wrapping around the outside warp so it hangs to the back of the piece.
My piece is 40 warps so I will make each shape 10 warps wide.  The best way to guide yourself through this is to stick markers in the warp so you can see where you will begin and end a shape.  You are going to be weaving these four single silk wefts in the same direction.
Start like this:  The four wefts begin and end where the markers are.
Weave the right weft to the left first.  Weave the next three wefts in order to the left.

Next, weave the left weft to the right but weave over one more warp.  Do the same for the other three wefts.  The goal is to create a diagnol shapes by weaving over one warp when you go to the left and reducing by one warp when you weave to the right.

Follow the pictures.  Your left shape is gong to get bigger and bigger whereas your right shape is going to shrink.

At some point you can remove the guide threads as they won’t be necessary.

To end the left weft wrap around the end warp so it is hanging to the back.

Weave back all the other wefts.

Stick the ends of the other wefts to the back of the piece.


Insert a new silk weft.

Weave it for a few passes.

Add a second weft to the existing weft that is longer.

Weave until you run out of the first silk.  Replace with a new silk weft to add to the existing weft.

Weave until you run out of one of the silk threads and replace with railroad yarn.

End the railroad yarn and replace with silk weft.

Weave a couple of rows of silk weft.

You can continue to play with adding and replacing wefts.  I will be teaching additional techniques but they can be anywhere on this piece.  What we have just woven will actually be the flap of your piece.  Or you can wait until next week and weave along with me.

Weave-Along 7, Day One: Silk and Bead Purse

Welcome to Mirrix’s 7th Weave-Along! 

The first step to weaving this fiber and bead purse is to decide how big you want your purse to be. 

My piece will be just big enough to fit an iPhone and a few credit cards. If you are making this piece for another phone or for something else, you may want to make your piece a different size. 

For example, if you plan to use this for a different sized phone, measure the width of the phone and add another inch to the width of the piece.

Then, measure the height of the phone, double that, add an inch and then add two and a half inches for the flap or whatever you decide you want your flap to be.

If your phone is 3 inches wide and 5 inches tall your piece would be 4 inches wide and 13.5 inches tall including the flap. 

When you warp there should be about 10 warps in one inch. (So if your piece is 4 inches wide, you’d warp 40 warps across.)

My piece is warped 40 warps wide using a ten-dent spring. If you are using a twelve dent spring, you will warp the same amount of warps across but when you have finished warping you will loosen your tension slightly, spread your spring out where your piece is (until there are ten spaces in an inch instead of twelve) and then put tension back on the loom. This will make the twelve-dent coil act like a ten-dent coil. 

My piece will be thirteen inches long (including the flap). To accommodate this, the loom is set at about 14 inches high (measure from the bottom of one beam to the top of the other).

Now that you’ve figured out how wide and long your piece will be, it’s time to begin warping!

Have you never warped before? Don’t worry, it’s easy!

For this project we will warp for tapestry with the shedding device. We have detailed warping  instructions here: http://www.mirrixlooms.com/images/warpinginstructions/tapestry.pdf. 

If you have any questions about how wide or long your piece should be or how to do any of these steps, just ask us! Email claudia@mirrixlooms.com or elena@mirrixlooms.com.