February 9, 2015

Chainmail: Knitting with Metal

I learned some chainmail basics back in the 90s, and thanks to the collective resources of the internet, its never been easier to research new patterns and find suppliers. I hadn't done much for years, but wanted to make Kathryn some new jewelry and found that dealers now sell annodized aluminum rings which are not only easier to work with, but can come in striking colours that were very new to me, as when I started out it was mostly nickel or brass for colour.
 The photo above is of a bracelet I made for Kathryn in what is called "Byzantine Weave" which works really well with alternating colours for a rather striking pattern. The photo below is the belt component of a piece using a pattern called "Helmet Weave" which I only found on the internet and thought was a pretty neat pattern.
 Last of all, this is Dragonscale Weave incorporated as part of a tie I made from a kit for my future graduation/power tie needs. The steel rings are maybe 1/4 inch across and the black rings fit inside them, so the scale of the whole piece is a exaggerated by the power of the macro lens I used to take the picture. I mention that mainly to mention that while the rings here may look sloppy and unclosed, in real life it all looks pretty smooth. This particular piece has about 4,500 rings, and took most of my spare time in the 3rd term of school.

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