Thanks B3!

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).

B3 Kits

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.

Weave Ten: Double Spiral Complete!

I’m so fricking behind on these weaves to learn. I finally finished September’s weave of the month.

The color choices don't show off this weave as much as I'd like.

The color choices don’t show off this weave as much as I’d like.

Double spiral was not that hard to learn, I was just being lazy. I just got a new job last month and I guess I pushed everything to the side. There is not much to say about this weave. I used B3 (Blue Buddha Boutique)’s free tutorial and it worked up really quick.

The most time consuming part was opening all the rings but that’s what is boring for every one of the weaves I know. I used rings that I had around but I don’t really like the combination. I think the colors are too dark. Maybe if I had used a light green or maybe silver that might have worked better. Oh well, it’s done and I can cross another weave off the list. Next month is going to be another simple one: Cloud Cover and Four Winds. Two weaves in one go to try and catch up to my list. Watch out for that one soon.

Weave Eight: Shenanigans Complete!

I did finish this weave on time. I just got sidetracked by birthdays and I dragged in writing this up.

This weave was confusing. I used this tutorial. I have mixed feeling about it. Once I understood how to add rings weaving went quickly but I didn’t like the loose rings on the ends. I think I’m going to have to try this weave with larger rings.

Complaining aside, it is a pretty weave.

Complaining aside, it is a pretty weave.

So that was July’s weave of the month. I will be posting August’s weave in a day or two. That weave is called Ocean Waves. I’ll also write about those birthdays that sidetracked me.

Weave Six: Glass Caterpillar Complete!

The 28th was my 28th birthday. So I wanted to make a weave that I’ve wanted to do since I saw it. The Glass Caterpillar tutorial, designed by Kat Wisniewski from ElementalArtJewelry.com and sold by Blue Buddha Boutique. I love this design. It incorporates two weaves that I already know and adds color with glass rings and seed beads. I bought the tutorial last month and bought glass rings and seed beads in different colors.

When I first looked at the tutorial, I felt confused but once started the design just flowed. Once I made one bracelet, I made another and then another. I would have made another but I ran out of one ring size. I love the feel of the bracelet and the brilliant color combinations that could be possible.

I finally bought the right rings so next month I will definitely attempt Jens Pind 3.

Weave Five: Vipera Berus Complete!

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 actually took a picture!

Weave Two: Full Persian Heart Complete!

I’m just in time to post this in February. This weave caused me problems. Apparently I needed to relearn Full Persian. I was only vaguely familiar with this weave. All written tutorials confused me and there only a few video tutorials. Most of the video ones were not explaining the start of this weave clearly. I found this one to be the best. I could see what was going on and I could follow along.

Once I had Full Persian down, I needed to figure out how to turn Full Persian into a heart. The split and rejoin were difficult. I know I bent and scratched some rings. I was tempted to post a picture of me flipping off the mess of my first attempt. That’s how frustrated this project made me. After zooming in on this and this tutorials’ pictures, it finally clicked.

I think I did pretty well.

Next month’s weave is actually two: Half Persian 3 in 1 and Half Persian 4 in 1. They are two weaves that are worked in similar ways.

Busy Busy

I have twice weekly hospital appointments. I’ve been going since late November. Since then, I’ve sold three pairs of earrings and a bracelet to the others who come in there. It has helped me a lot when I was stressing on how to pay my monthly bills (not mention my medical bills). Last week I brought my little bag of sample weaves to one of the techs who work there. Suddenly I was surrounded by three people asking for jewelry. The most popular weave was my newly learned Vertebrae. Altogether, I received six orders – three bracelets and three necklaces.

Holy Crap!

This is on top of four orders I’m making for two coworkers – one necklace and bracelet set and two rubber bracelets. I had to order so many supplies just to keep up with demand. I also ordered rings to make February’s weave of the month: the Full Persian Heart. I hope I have enough time to make it in addition to my orders and working so many hours. I’ll post pictures soon.