In the past I have shown you different chain maille jewellery designs and I have continued to explore the vast range of designs that are possible. I find that purchasing kits from Weave Got Maille is a great way to get exposed to different patterns.
This time I explore a Double Orbital bracelet, a Tear Drops Necklace that builds on the Double Orbital design, and a Swirls bracelet that uses a repeating mobius unit. The Double Orbital (and Tear Drops) design are supposed to be a beginner’s weave and the Swirls is an intermediate level design. I have included them together in this post because, although they look relatively simple, I found it incredibly difficult to weave the rings together and impossible to get a good flow going as I have with all the other designs I’ve tried.
Double Orbital Bracelet
The Double Orbital bracelet kits is supposed to teach beginner weavers to view a weave from different angles and start to create more rounded designs. It is a very elegant looking bracelet and seems simple on paper but I really struggled to get the final ring of each unit into place- every time! You start by making a basic 2 into one chain and then lay it flat, off-setting the 2 rings and weaving another 2 rings around the centre of both of them. The first of these rings is absolutely fine but I just couldn’t get a system of getting the second one into place. I seemed to do better by making sure I went in behind the first ring but I always seemed to get the ring hooked up somewhere it shouldn’t be. Eventually I did get it completed and I really liked the design but it’s not one I’m going to try again in a hurry.
Tear Drops Necklace
The Tear Drops Necklace uses jump rings with different sizes and gauges. These are combined with cute colored tear drop beads that hang in clusters from the larger rings. Mostly this is absolutely straightforward to make but the design uses the Double Orbital weave to create the necklace chain and to hold the bigger rings together. It does look fabulous (and I persevered and made two of these necklaces) but I didn’t find it any easier this time to get the second ‘orbital’ ring in place.
Swirls Chainmaille Bracelet
Swirls is an intermediate level design that uses aluminium jump rings (and for some reason there is a note that the design doesn’t work with the enamelled copper rings that I usually use). I loved learning to create mobius units (a mobius strip has all sorts of weird mathematical properties and appeals to the nerd in me) and attach them to a larger ring to form the Swirls units. This weave uses 5 different ring sizes and 4 different gauges. With this design I always found it extremely difficult to get the last few rings of each unit into place: there was only just enough space to fit them all in together in the ring. I liked the process of assembling and linking the units but the difficulty in completing each and every unit took away my usual pleasure of weaving chain maille.
I like having a selection of different chain maille jewellery ready to give to people as gifts. They are very light (either as a kit or as the finished item) so are perfect to take if you are travelling and want to take gifts for people but have to watch the weight of your bag.