One of the items I bought recently was a setup I can use to make jump rings. Buying pre-made jump rings can be expensive and they only come in certain ring and wire sizes. Making and using my own jump rings means that I can make just about any size between 2.5 and 11mm inside diameter out of any wire I happen to have.
Obviously this means that I'll have a lot more flexibility and choice when it comes to incorporating them into my work. Using custom sizes will also make my work look different from everyone else's. More importantly, being able to make my own jump rings means that I can make my own chainmaille.
I've loved chainmaille for a very long time because it reminds me of lace-making and has a similar appearance. I've been doing some research on chainmaille and I've discovered that there are a ton of different types of weaves. Apparently there are four main ways of weaving, or linking rings, together: European, Japanese, Persian, and Miscellaneous weaves.
I'm particularly interested in Japanese and Persian weaves, in part because I'd never seen them before, and in part because I think they're pretty. I've made a list of the weaves that I want to try and I started today by making myself a short chain of Half-Persian 3-in-1. It took a few hours to figure out how to do it; thankfully, I found this video of a guy demonstrating the weave with shower curtain rings and I finally understood what to do.
I'm very excited about the prospect of making more jump rings and learning more chainmaille weaves. I hope to eventually use the knowledge to create my own pieces. Or maybe I'll just create samples and samples and samples and samples like my mom did with her knitting samples. We'll see what happens, right?