I have just reached the conclusion that I have way too many crafting interests. It’s the only logical conclusion. And, as much as it galls me to admit it, hubby may be right in saying my studio is too small. Yes, I said it galls me, because he is always right, and it irks me to no end.
By special request from Aneira, I have bought the 28″ knitting board from Knittingboard.com at JoAnn’s, along with some skeins of really screaming loud, neon purple acrylic, which I am to use to make her a throw blanket. I have begun this. On the longest Knifty Knitter loom, there is yet another throw in the works, in two shades of purple (nowhere near as loud), for Bryony. On Talyn, there is a sampler. On the sock loom, there is my ongoing attempt at making a sock. On Anansi, there is a half-full bobbin of Siberian yarn. On Kaylee, we have another attempt at sprang. On Aeryn, there is an unfinished scarf.
Now, there is something new I’m trying out, only it’s not fiber-related this time. I’m talking about chain maille. Yup, yet another new craft. What can I say? This is another of those things I always wanted to try but didn’t know how to start. Lo and behold, one of my jewelry crafting classmates does chain maille. Yesterday, he wore a chain maille shirt to class that he had made. He took it off and let me really examine it. Fabulous! And heavy. It weighs roughly fifty pounds. And knights wore this under plate. My only thought was sympathy for the horse that had to carry the weight, on top of its own armor!!! And this is only one piece of a full suit of armor!
Anyway, my classmate is happy to teach chain maille, and started out by teaching me the European 4-1 weave, which means it’s a European weave where four rings are all attached to one ring. I had fun playing with that until class got underway. His rings are steel, and I had a really hard time closing them properly, but a great time playing with them all around. So I came home and pulled out the jump rings I’d had sitting here for months and made a much longer piece. Then I went to the websites he had given me and found other weaves with details on construction. Some of this work is really intricate!!
I went through almost all of my jump rings last night, doing the European 4-1 and then the shaggy loops weave. I had a ball, and have, of course, ordered more
rings!!! It’s great, because all you really need are two pairs of pliers and a supply of jump rings, and voila! You’re making chain maille! I already had the pliers, since I have a set of jewelry making tools, so I was able to immediately get started.
Looking at the websites was an education in and of itself. So many people have posted pictures of various weaves that are much more advanced than anything I can presently do. I didn’t realize how many different things you could do!
I turned my pieces into a necklace, for which I lack a clasp at the moment, as well as a picture, and by request of Aneira, it was done in both her favorite color and mine. I will have to buy more rings in those colors to make a necklace for her now. Thankfully, they aren’t that expensive!
So now my studio houses all the tools and supplies for weaving, spinning, knitting, crochet, naalbinding, loom knitting, Kumihimo, beadwork, and chain maille. The tiny workshop planned for the basement will hold all the supplies for hubby’s woodworking and stained glass. Clearly, I am never going to actually be bored again. And now I have more books I need to order, for chain maille now!!!
If you’d like to see some far better examples of chain maille than I can presently show you, check out the links section at cgmaille.com. They have a good list of resources like message boards and suppliers of rings, or you can make your own jump rings if you’re so inclined.