Mirrix Looms.

Q: Has anyone used a 'Mirrix' bead loom, with or without a shedding device for beading? I am very new to loom beading, and I am considering purchasing one, but wanted to see if anyone has had any experience, good or bad, with this loom.

A: I keep seeing these looms mentioned, and I have never seen or heard of them. Would someone please post or E-mail me a location where I can check them out? I love my 'Mirrix' loom. It is expensive, but very easy to use. I've done both with and without the shedding device. Frankly, I find using the shedding device to be more trouble than the setup is worth. If you use a continuous warp and a blunt needle you can (theoretically at least) pull up the warp threads and only have to work in the two ends even without the shedding device. I hesitate to recommend it for new beaders, but only because of the price. It is well designed, a proper tool for the job. However, I wouldn't spend the money unless I was sure I was going to do a fair amount of looming. I've been wandering through the bead newsgroup, and fortunately, found your comments about the 'Mirrex' loom. Is it easy to tell me how the shedding thing works? I've done lots of looming, but can't imagine/figure out how to do the shed thing... not that I want to... it's just that I want to know the process. Instead of one warp thread between beads (and outside as well), there are two. One of those warps is attached to the first shed (one side of the device), and the other to the second shed (the other side of the device). (The process of attaching them is rather complicated to explain so I won't go into that here.) When you turn the shedding device one direction, it lifts one of each pair of warp threads, creating a > shaped opening as seen from the side. The row of beads is laid in between the warps and the shedding device is turned the other way, lifting the other warp of each pair. This locks the beads in place without the need for a second pass through the beads. Continue in this fashion until finished weaving. You should be able to pull the warps up and not have to weave them back in, except for the two ends. This also allows you to mix traditional fiber weaving with bead weaving. I have done one necklace using this method, and found that preparing the loom and dealing with the warps was more trouble than it was worth for me. If I ever do a large squarish piece, I might try it again, but I do a lot of split loom necklaces and it wasn't worth it for me, especially since I work with a blunt needle in the traditional manner and can pull up the warps rather than weaving them back in. However, I love the loom, and don't hesitate to recommend it to anyone. I know it is expensive, but it has a couple of features that are extremely nice - the vertical working surface, and adjustable tension are really wonderful features. I have the 16", and can sit it on my lap for easy working. It warps quickly and easily (at least for single warp bead weaving), and will fit in a pillow case to be carried.