Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Mailling We Will Go (Off Topic)

I mentioned in my last post that I "discovered" a new art. When I say discovered, I mean that I discovered its existence, but you knew that. Before I go any further, I'd like to mention that I won't be tatting for a week or two. I cut myself at work, again. This time on my thumb (left hand), which makes tatting very painful. Especially with the size 80 or so thread I was trying to use. The last time I cut myself, the cut healed in about a week, so I'll be back to tatting in no time (hopefully). Anyway, enjoy my new art!

It all started a couple weeks ago when I was browsing Etsy. I had just purchased the book and thread from Marilee and I was just browsing some of the other stores. Well, that's when I found these:

These are stitch markers, made by Etsy seller Faking Sanity. These are made using the technique of chainmaille (or chain maille, chainmail, chain mail, maille, whatever you want to call it). I was fascinated. For those of you who don't know what chainmaille is, chainmaille is the technique of weaving metal rings (jump rings, for the jewelery makers out there), to make sheets or chains of interlocking rings. By the time I received my stitch markers, I had a couple basic weaves (that what chainmaille patterns are called) down pat.

This is the first weave that I learned:

This is called Byzantine (make sure you click on the picture to see the weave better). This is a pretty easy weave to learn, and is the same as the stitch markers. I'm not sure what the metal is that the jump rings are made of. The signs at Michaels listed them as silver, but I think they may be silver plated at best. Probably silver coloured. Not sure how to tell though. I guess I'll be Googling later. Anyway, I plan on making this chain into a bracelet, perhaps for myself (I'm not sure about it yet). I don't think I want to give it away as a gift if I don't know what the metal is.

My next piece of chainmaille is one that is common in making the chainmaille armour that the knights of Medieval times would have worn.

This particular weave is called European 4 by 1 (European 4-1, Euro 4-1). This weave was a little harder to learn, but still one of the easier ones. I would love to make a belt and/or a watchband using this weave. I had been talking to Sharon about making a tatted belt and watchband (for myself) but I think I like the chainmaille approach better. Of course, I may try the tatted versions just for kicks though. I like the idea; I'm not sure about the execution. The belt and watchband aren't the only guy friendly chainmaille options for me. I bought a new wallet in January, which has a metal ring attached to it. I would love to make a chain for it, to clip to my pants' belt loop. There are many other guy friendly chainmaille uses out there.

I'm also fortunate that just a few kilometers out side of Saskatoon's city limits there is a major chainmaille supply company called The Ring Lord. I haven't ordered from them yet, since I wanted to see if I liked making chainmaille before order a bunch of rings. I should note, the TRL has the best prices among the various chainmaille suppliers out there. And I can arrange to pick up any orders I place with them, which is nice. I don't really want to pay $10-$20 for shipping within the same city. Well, that's it for now. Thanks for reading about my new art. Hopefully I haven't bored any of my tatting (and non-tatting) friends out there. I'm gonna try to make the next post tatting related, but we'll see how my thumb is. Till next time.


  1. your new art doesn't look simple to me, but interesting.

    sorry to hear about your little accident. hope the thumb recovers soon.

  2. Very cool! Next thing you know, you'll be ordering a Wig Jig to make all sorts of beautiful lacy metal pieces! (I have one, but haven't taken the time to learn how to use it yet!)

  3. Oh, this is the new fun thing I've seen on the bead sites. I follow that bead site that you talked about once here. There are some cool chain mail patterns out there.

  4. Very cool Jeff. I am the proud owner of a few pieces of chain maille jewelry. A friend of mine is really in to it too!

  5. That's a cool new hobby! I suppose I never thought about this craft before. How lucky there's a local supplier too!

  6. Thanks for stopping by everyone.

    I guess everything looks difficult until you try it, Valerie.

    Maybe I will Diane. But I'm just going to stick to the basics for now.

    Yes, TattingChic, there are a lot of patterns for chainmaille out there.

    That's so cool Sherry. They are very pretty aren't they?

    I've never really thought about chainmaille before either Gardenista, I guess that's why I'm so fascinated by it right now. It is nice to have a supplier nearby. I'm so used to having all these cool suppliers for my various interests located in other provinces/countries.

  7. Jeff
    You might be interested to know that a class in tatted chain maille
    was done at Palmetto's last year and I believe there was one at Hector this year also (I didn't get to go this year). I made a few links and it was wicked awesome.
    Connie A.

  8. Thanks for mentioning that Connie. I have the CD from last years Palmetto's Tat Days. I will have to try that right away.

  9. Hey Jeff can you send me an email and tell me where you learned how to do the chain Maille. It looks facinating. And I love what you did.