The Challenge, Barrel Weave

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I decided to skip the next weave in the book, the european 4-in-1. Although it is a nice looking weave I don’t see any jewelry project I’d like to use it for. For this kind of wide weave I much prefer the dragon scale weave which will probably be the last weave I will learn.

So instead of the 4-in-1 I picked the barrel weave. I got a kit and instructions from UnkamenSupplies on Etsy.

At first I had real problems figuring this one out and I found the instructions to be a bit unclear. It would have helped a lot if in the pictures the newly added ring would have been of a different color. I wasn’t sure what I was looking at and I thought, who is the sadist who came up with this weave?!
But after I figured out I had to add in the new rings from the back, it all made sense and I finished this lovely pair of earrings in rose gold.

barrel1

I ended up liking this weave so much I looked through my stash to find some small jump rings I could use to make another pair of earrings. I did find some dark copper jump rings but the weave turned out a bit loose so I decided to add in another jump ring “through the eye” for a total of 2 instead of 1. I guess the aspect ratio wasn’t ideal and I don’t know if this could technically still be called a barrel weave, but I like the result and I’m happy with the earrings.

barrel2

The Challenge, Spiral Weave

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Next in line for this challenge is the Spiral Weave.
I skipped right to the double spiral and made these earrings. They turned out to be a little heavy, there are 18 brass rings in each earring plus a little glass drop, so since these pictures were taken I have removed the ear wires and plan to replace them with a different kind of ear wire that balances better. The earrings aren’t that heavy you can’t wear them, they just tend to tilt forward.
I think this is a pretty and fairly simple weave.

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Double Spiral Weave

The Jens Pind Linkage is another 4-in-1 weave in the spiral weave family.
I bought this kit from UnkamenSupplies and made a nice chunky bracelet. Unlike the earrings this is super lightweight since the jump rings are made out of aluminum. The kit came with a starter tail but I it confused me more than it helped so I started fresh. This weave is a little more difficult but once you get started it makes sense and it seemed like it was impossible to get it wrong.
I think this weave is really pretty.

Jens Pind Linkage
Jens Pind Linkage

The Challenge, Byzantine Weave

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The first weave to master in my chain maille challenge is the Byzantine weave. And I believe I have done just that. It is really very easy to weave and yet the result is so beautiful. I have only made earrings with this weave so far but I would like to make a bracelet using the byzantine rose weave.

The problems I encountered had nothing to do with the weave itself. I just don’t have the hang of how much force I must use to open and close the jump rings. Sometimes the weave just goes flying across the table when one of my pliers (almost always the one in my left hand) slip off one side of the ring, usually leaving a nasty scratch on the finish of the ring.
DSCN1398With the thicker gauge rings it proved really hard to get a nice and seamless closure without marring the rings since it takes a bit of strength to open and close those rings.
But unless you go in for a closer look you can’t tell there’s a tiny nick on a few of the rings. The open space between the rings bother me more and is easier to spot from further away.

Hopefully these problems will go away with practice.

DSCN1479The Rainbow Spiral Hoops earrings aren’t made with the byzantine weave but I couldn’t resist buying the kits for them. The weave in this is just like a mobius flower, like the little rose on the ends of the byzantine earrings.

The instructions and materials for all of these earrings can be purchased from UnkamenSupplies. Or you can buy the finished earrings from me. 🙂

Next up is the Spiral and Jens Pind Weave.

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A New Challenge

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A year has passed since I started this blog and the 12 month challenge of completing every project in a beading book. My choice of book and challenge was
Little Bead Boxes by Julia S. Pretl. I enjoyed the challenge and I love the pretty boxes that came out if it.

Now it is time for another challenge.

This time I have decided not to pick one specific book but a specific jewelry technique that I don’t already know. The Little Bead Boxes are all made with peyote stitch which I had already mastered prior to beginning the challenge. So this time the challenge will be of technique rather than time.

This years challenge will be Chain Maille.
I really love the beautiful jewelry that this technique produce and I really look forward to learn all the different weaves.
I have made a list of weaves that I want to learn and with help of this book; Chain Maille Jewelry Workshop – Techniques and Projects for Weaving with Wire by Karen Karon, I have found the order in which to learn them.

My main source of inspiration comes from Unkamen Supplies. I love, love, love the designs that they come up with so I have placed an order of a few kits for earrings made with the Byzantine weave, my first weave to master.

DSCN1359I have also purchased a set of pliers from Unkamen Supplies that came with a sample of jump rings and wire. I was so eager to start that I made a pair of earrings with the random color jump rings I got for free. There wasn’t enough of any one color so I had to make a mix of yellow, green and pink. They look a bit clowny but I had fun making them. 🙂
The design is this one.

The challenge will begin as soon as my order arrives, probably sometime next month. Hopefully it won’t get stuck in customs which will force me to pay 20€ for them to release the package to me, as was the case with the pliers.

See you soon! ♥