January 27, 2010

PMP: European 6-in-1

Today's PMP homework: European 6-in-1.

The name pretty much says it all. 6 rings in each ring. I made this in 4 rows, instead of the more typical odd number rows, like 3 or 5. Looks just as fine, still symmetrical; the only difference is where the ends connect to the closure. Check out the slide show pictures for close-ups.

Rings are L18 from B3 in bright aluminum; I measured WD 1.2 mm, ID 6.7 mm, AR 5.58, takes 24 RPI for this 4-row version. Because of the even number of rows, I did the ends differently than in the DVD; I pulled the 2 middle row end rings together and threaded the connector rings perpendicular to the bracelet; seems to work OK, right?

January 26, 2010

PMP: Half Persian 4-in-1

Don't you just love those big loopy rings in chainmaille:-) They work up so much faster!

This is in 16 ga copper rings, P16 from B3, as part of the PMP kit for Weaving Silver DVD, Volume I, which uses a starter patch of European 4-in-1. Couple of sites talked about this, but I couldn't understand any till the video shows exactly how it borrows the parallel pattern in E_4-1's edge rings. Proves once again, a picture is worth a terabytes of words. btw, after working on thick gauge steel and titanium rings in last few weeks, I almost forgot how much softer the base metals are. Sure is nice to wake up in the morning without stiff arms...

Practice Makes Perfect: European 4-in-1

Finally went thru volume one of Spiderchain's video; lots to take in; watched it more than a few times; wish I could be in her live class to learn all the basics...

Anyway, here's my first PMP work (that is "practice makes perfect", not "project management professional", that would be boring...) A simple European 4-in-1 bracelet in H18 brass. So lacy, lays flat on the wrist, and holds its shape well. This bracelet was made following the instructions on the video. Next time, I'll try the CGMaille method, seems faster; I'll take any extra second I can save.

Just in case you watched last week's SNL, you may recognize this is the same pattern as the red/orange color chainmaille headdress the-whats-her-name was wearing... I found this blog entry that says it all :-) Yep, you could go crazy with this simple weave.

Caterpillar Necklace

Take 2 of the Centipede pattern from The Chain Maille Lady.

This time the rings are smaller AR than my first try, so the crystals stay in place. I skipped the no. 15 seed beads between the crystals; doesn't seem to need them in this necklace; the length of all bicones together is already pushing the maximum outside curve.

As a bracelet, the pattern stays put most of the time. But as a necklace, it doesn't seem to have enough width to remain in one direction. Although at 16.5", it wears more like a choker, which makes it somewhat manageable. I'm not sure about this exact pattern for a long necklace...

Rings are E18 in bright aluminum from B3; WD is 1.2 mm, ID is 3.6 mm, AR is 3.1, takes about 26.25 RPI; these rings come in a 500-ring pack for $9.50, so relatively inexpensive for doggie necklace. The crytals are 6 mm Swarovski bicones in 6 colors, 10 of each in Dark Indigo, Jet Hematite 2xAB, Crystal Metallic Blue, Montana, Crystal Medium Vitrail, and Black Diamond 2xAB, for a total of 60 crystals. The colors are not showing well in these pictures; they do sparkle a lot under the sun. As to the toggle, it's recycled from my Orbital bracelet, which is now ready for its "second incarnation" :-) The whole thing took me about 6 hours to finish; not sure why so much more than the first one. Maybe I should try it one more time, for good luck, as Spider would say.

Now I just need a french bulldog to model the necklace ....

January 14, 2010


Learn something new everyday, or every other day when it comes to Dragonscale. This is essentially 2 sets of European 4-in-1 trapped by each other. Sounds easy enough, but the execution is a totally different story.

I first read about this weave on CGMaille; its difficulty is listed at 2 out of 4. One would think this should be a no-brainer. Not true. This bracelet took me 2 days of neck-braking, eye-crossing, mind-boggling, intense, hard labor, not to mention more bruises on my hands. But the end result is worth it! I've not made anything so substantial yet still so comfortable on the wrist.

2 sizes of stainless steel rings: The large rings are from C&T Designs, 18 ga and 1/4" ID, I measured them at 1.2 mm WD and 6.3 mm ID. Note: I don't find this size on their website at the moment; not sure if they are out now, or stop carrying them. Very nice rings, sure hope they are just out for now.... The small rings are from The Ring Lords, 19 ga and 7/32" ID, I measured them at 1 mm WD and 3.9 mm ID. Body of bracelet is 7 rings wide, 47 rows long from point to point at center ring, making the total length at 6 1/4", 1/4" in thickness. Since each row is really two rows trapped by each other, so it's really 94 rows. The closure is 2 pairs of simple sterling silver toggles from my stash; way under sized and out of place, desperately needs improvement. I was so exhausted by the time I finished the body, just wanted to close it off and call it a day. So, there.

New toys

Goody, goody! Nothing beats getting new toys! These are from B3 (Blue Buddha Boutique).

The duck bill pliers are a big help in pre-closing tough rings, like stainless steel, titanium. Wish I had them before starting the dragon scale bracelet; but better late than never.

The digital caliper is great. It does inner and outer diameters, inches and millimeters, takes the guess work out of ring sizes.

Now the video by Spiderchain. Wow! This is excellent; I haven't finished watching the whole thing yet, already got so much out of the first 2 chapters! I highly recommend it, so much so that I'll go back to order Volume 1 too. Almost like learning directly from the master herself, almost.

January 11, 2010

Another Half Persian... This time, in Titanium

By now, I must have made at least half a dozen Half Persians, be it 3-in-1 or 4-in-1. I'm glad they all found good "homes":-) But I still don't have one for myself.... until now, after a tough (and bloody) battle with these "Rings of the Gods!"

Just for the body of the bracelet, this HP 4-in-1 took me over 6 hours of hard labor, all because of these little stubborn titanium jump rings. They are not kidding about this material is not for beginners. Titanium rings are tough, brittle, very springy. Aligning the ring ends is nothing compared to trying to close the gap. Good thing with HP, half the rings can be pre-closed before starting the weave. Can't imagine doing a JPL with these rings....

Rings are saw cut titanium from The Ring Lords, 18 ga, 7/32" ID; I measured them to be 1.2 mm thick, 6.1 mm ID, exactly as listed on their website. Body of bracelet is 6 1/2"; about 13.5 RPI; total length including closure is just under 7 1/2". The little butterfly toggle is store bought, a good buy from San Gabriel Bead Company's last quarterly sale! Don't know what material it is... probably not anything silver-ish, but very cute, and just the right weight and tone to go with titanium's light gray finish.

So, what have I learned about titanium jump rings? They are damn hard to work with!!! And they are light weight, yet very strong, corrosion resistent, no worry about scratches, won't tarnish, but cost more than twice of stainless steel rings, almost half of niobium rings. So why titanium rings (other than the "cool" factor)? I'd say, if I want some muted colors on the rings, Ti is the less expensive way to go than Nb. Otherwise, I'd probably stick with stainless steel or silver.

January 9, 2010

Full Persian

Sometimes known as Foxtail, an interesting pattern. For the longest time, I thought this is a variation of Boxchain... Silly me.

It's not a difficult weave to learn, given there's tons of info on the web and in books, magazines. But none is as good as the video on The Beading Gem's Journal. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be like a terabyte worth of words.

Stainless steel rings are from C&T Designs, 18 ga round, 1/4" ID; I measured them at about 1 mm thick, 6.3 mm ID; takes about 20 RPI for this FP 6-in-1. S hook is hand forged from 12 ga Argentium Sterling silver, salvaged from a failed experiment. Being green is a must when it comes to silver.

January 8, 2010

Caterpillar Bracelet

This is a chainmaille pattern from the Chain Maille Lady. Very cute, and rather quick to work up. I adapted a few changes to fit my stash of beads, etc.

Rings are stainless steel from The Ring Lord, 19 ga (1 mm), with 5/32" ID; crystals are SW 5040 in 8 mm Crystal 2xAB, spaced by size 11 Japanese seed beads in hematite. Store bought toggle (just a prototype, no need to fuss over the closure:-)

Joanna, what do you think? Will it look good on a Frenchie?