I first started chainmailling almost five years ago. I dragged my mother along to the DIY Trunk Show and Blue Buddha Boutique (B3) had a make-and-take booth set up. You could make your own pair of earrings or a zipper pull. My mom and I were hooked. Although my mother was more interested in what I could make for her than making any thing herself.
B3 started my love of chainmaille but unfortunately, after 13 years, B3 is shutting down. The owner, Rebecca, has stated her very good reason for this very hard decision in this blog post. I understand her reasons but I’m still sad that a local chainmaille source is closing. The physical B3 store closed a couple of weeks ago and the actual website will close mid April.
Since the announcement, I’ve been to the store several times. Which is exhausting because it involves a bus and two subway trains to get from Logan Square to Edgewater. Since it takes an hour and a half to get there, I tend to stock up. I’ve bought a lot of kits and tutorials that I’ve always wanted to buy (except those duckbill pliers I’ve wanted for so long).
These are just some of the kits I got at B3
In honor of all that B3 and its artists have taught me and thousands of others, I’ve decided I’m going to learn 12 different B3 weaves kind of like last year when I tried to learn a different weave each month. I hope to do a better job than last year too.
It’s been more than a year since my first post. I’ve tried so many times to keep up this blog and keep writing. This is the longest I’ve kept writing and posting. There are gaps but that’s something I need to work on for this next year. But here’s a recap of the past year.
I was able to learn ten new weaves and add them to my repertoire. I didn’t reach my goal of twelve weaves but I don’t think I did too bad.
I’m slowly but surely adding more photos to my blog posts. Editing is still a pain in the ass.
I’m working on building an inventory of chainmaille. Now to add them to my Square Market store.
I prematurely finished my seasonal job by being hospitalized but six months later I got a more permanent job that I really like.
This past year was full of ups and downs but still good over all. Here’s hoping that this new year can be even better.
I love a weave that works up quickly. August’s weave of the month is called Ocean Waves. It is a pretty weave that takes no time at all to make.
I got the tutorial for this weave from a huge Facebook group for chainmaillers. I swear the only reason I’m on Facebook at all is to look through all the pictures and read all the advice that other chainmaillers post. I haven’t posted anything in the group yet but every once in a while I comment on something. (I need to get over this fear of interacting online).
The group is open for anyone to join; from maillers with years of experience to those who have never picked up a pair of pliers but can appreciate the love and work that goes into any piece of chainmaille.
The next weave I want to learn is Double Spiral. It’s supposedly simple but sometimes what looks simple is anything but simple. I’ll post that one as soon as I can. I’m running a bit behind on my weaves
I really let Jens Pind Linkage 3 intimidate me. I bought two tutorials to help me figure it out. In the end, I used this free tutorial and a kit from Blue Buddha Boutique. The kit contained enough rings to make a necklace and a bracelet.
Once I actually looked at the tutorial and started weaving, it went really quick. It helped that the rings were in three different colors. I enjoyed how fast it went and how good it looked.
I still don’t know what I want to learn for July’s weave of the month. I hope to have it by the end of the week though. That way I have enough time to learn it. Right now I’m working on taking pictures of my inventory and working on my shop. I’ll be Posting updates as they happen.
Sometimes the weave I want to learn is not the weave I set out to make. I know in my last entry I said that I was going to learn Jens Pind 3. I had unknowingly bought two tutorials to help with this weave. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the correct rings for this weave. I promised myself that I would not buy more rings until I sell some of the inventory I have already made.
So I chose another weave that has been on my list for a while: Vipera Berus. It is a design that looks a little like a basket weave. I’ve tried three times before this month to make it. The common ring size I’ve seen used is 18swg 5/32″ (a size I use a lot). I decided to save my eyesight and my sanity and try to make the kinged version. Kinged just means that I doubled all the rings (like checkers).
The kinged version uses 18swg 1/4″ rings. I have plenty of those and in different colors to make things even easier. It took two false starts, three viewings of this video, staring intently at this tutorial and about an hour before something clicked. I actually understood what I needed to do so that this weave did not turn into a mess.
I actually took a picture!
I’m still recovering from my surgery. I’m on the mend but I haven’t been very attentive to much of anything. I’ve spent most of the month working on custom orders that I had fallen behind on. But I did manage to complete my March weaves of the month.
Half Persian 3 in 1 (or HP3-1) was a weave that I had done before. I like making HP3-1 using rubber o-rings but I wanted to try and make it without the rubber rings. I did try it and I found that I didn’t like an all aluminum HP3-1 sample. I dont like uneven sides apparently, it doesn’t lay nicely. Ah, well.
Half Persian 4 in 1 (HP4-1) on the other hand, I really liked. It is a dense, slinky weave that feels good and looks great. After I made a sample, I decided to make myself a bracelet in two colors. It’s rare that I actually make something for me to keep but I loved the weave and wanted to show it off. I did need something to use as advertising.
These weaves were not so difficult to make. There are great videos on YouTube that are big help, especially with starting the weaves.
Now on to April’s weave of the month: Jens Pind 3. A deceptively simple looking weave that would make a great necklace.
I have no crafting news for this week. I’m currently in the hospital. I’ve been here since Wednesday but I’ve been in pain since last Friday. I have a condition called Hiddradentitis Supperativa. It basically means that every once in awhile I get abscesses (like boils) that get really painful and interrupt my life. I’ve had five surgeries before the one I had on Wednesday.
So my apologies for not having something fun and upbeat to post today. I’ve spent the week in so much pain but today it’s not as severe. So I guess that’s as upbeat as it’s going to get. Hopefully while I’m on the mend I can work on some things that I can post about next week.