Helm Chain Tutorial

A finished bracelet made from the Helm Chain weave, identical to the bracelet version taught in my classes. Finished with a hook clasp attached using the smaller rings.

These are the instructions given out for the chain maille classes I teach. I strive to provide the most comprehensive instructions that aren’t unnecessarily long. If you have a particular weave you would like me to provide, send me a message and I will do my best to create one. Otherwise, expect about 1 to 4 new weaves a month for the foreseeable future as a byproduct of my classes.

Helm Chain, also known as Parallel Chain, is an appealing, simple weave. Helm chain creates “orbitals”, or rings not linked to any other rings that are trapped inside the weave due to a sandwiching affect. These instructions are geared toward a beginner. The rings used in these instructions are 19 gauge (.04″), 5/32″ ID (Inner Diameter), and 18 gauge (.048″), 1/4″ ID bright aluminum rings, so the AR’s used are approximately 4.1 and 5.5 after springback. This is a beginning level weave with an ideal AR of the two rings of 4.0 and 6.0. To visit my etsy shop, click here: metalandmineral.etsy.com. Enjoy!

Step 1:

Close four large rings and open two small rings. Loop the two small rings through the four large rings one at a time and close them. Be sure that you don’t loop them through each other. Lay the rings as shown. (if you have difficulty getting four large rings onto two small rings, reverse it, and close the two small rings and loop the four large rings through them).

Step 2:

Open a large ring. This will be an “orbital” ring, so it will not pass through any of the other rings. Instead, loop it around the small rings laying between the large rings and close it. To do this, the ring will need to be opened relatively wide in comparison to typical ring openings.

Step 3:

With the large ring now “orbiting” the smaller rings, take the doubled rings to each side and flip one in each set, to each side; one to the right, and one to the left, so that they are positioned as shown in the lower picture. This can be a hard step to understand so here it is in other words: There is a set of two rings to each side. If you look, on each side there is one on top of the set, and one on the bottom. You are going to be taking those rings on top and pull their ends towards each other so that they almost meet, sandwiching the orbiting ring between them. You will do the same with the bottom rings, essentially splitting the pairs down the middle.

Step 4:

Open two small rings and link them onto the two right large rings as shown.

Step 5:

Open one large ring and loop it around the two small rings you added, and between the two large rings they’re joined to, and close it. It will not pass through any other rings. This ring will need to be opened a bit wider than usual to slip it through.

Step 6:

Open two large rings and loop them through the two small rings as shown, one above the large ring, and one below.

To extend the chain, simply repeat steps 4 through 6.

Finished piece of helm chain, 4 units long.

You have now learned Helm Chain!

 © Metal and Mineral

Celtic Visions Tutorial

A finished bracelet made from the Celtic Visions weave, identical to the class taught version. Finished with a toggle clasp attached using 18g,1/8 ID rings.

These are the instructions given out for the chain maille classes I teach. I strive to provide the most comprehensive instructions that aren’t unnecessarily long.

Celtic Visions forms a great chain for bracelets and necklace, and modifications to the weave, such as joining the ends together and adding certain rings, can create different things from stars, referred to as Celtic Stars, to complicated sheets of maille. Celtic Visions looks a lot like Celtic Knot work, hence the name! These instructions are geared toward a beginner. The rings used in these instructions are 18 gauge (.048″), 3/16″ ID (Inner Diameter), and 16 gauge (.062″), 5/16″ ID bright aluminum rings, so the AR’s used are approximately 4.1 and 5.2 after springback. To visit my etsy shop, click here: metalandmineral.etsy.com. Enjoy!

Step 1:

To start the weave, close two small rings and slip them onto an open large ring, and close it.

Step 2:

Close three small rings and slip them onto an open large ring. Slip that large ring onto one of the small rings from the previous step, and then close it.

Step 3:

Lay the pattern as shown, with the two bottom-most rings bottoms facing each other. Another way to look at it is that the rings are bowing out, away from each other. Open two large rings and slip one through the two bowed rings at the bottom, going up through one, and down through the other. Repeat with the second ring.

When done, it should look like this.

Step 4:

Be sure the weave is laying as shown in the previous picture. Take the top large ring of the two that were just added, and flip it over so that it is laying on top, as shown below. The small ring will appear as if it is “trapped” inside the larger ring.

Now flip the other large ring under, so that it looks as shown below.

Step 5:

Open two small rings. Arrange the weave as shown below or the previous step*.  Take the two open rings and link them through three of the large rings that are stacked together in a “sandwich”, one to each side. You are duplicating the pattern that you see at the top of the weave, in order to form a diamond, or “H” shape.

If done correctly it should look like this.

Step 6:

Now that you have completed one unit, expanding is pretty simple. Simply repeat Steps 2 through 5 as detailed. Below is a set of pictures displaying those steps carried out.

Step 2 repeated.

Step 2 repeated (continued).

Step 3 repeated.

Step 4 repeated.

Step 5 repeated. Now two units long. Pair of small rings left are for continued expansion of the chain.

To end the chain, simply close only 1 small ring and then join the large ring. This will make it so there is not a pair of rings left like shown above.

* The rotation pictured is not necessary, do not be thrown off by it

© Metal and Mineral