10 December 2008

Child's Play Recap

Wow. What. A. Night. It started horribly, but completely turned around once I arrived at the auction with my date. I swear, we are cursed. For the second time in 6 weeks we were in a car accident together. This one was worse, but everyone still walked away shaken up and unharmed. Driving down I-5, traffic came to a very quick halt at the Mercer exchange. We stopped in time, the car behind us didn't. Neither did the car behind them. On the second impact we tapped the car in front of us but there was no major damage to the front end of Ryan's car. The back looks like hell from being hit twice, but compared to the two cars behind us we came out okay. SO. After the police, fire and medics arrived and everything sorted out, we were on our cautious way to a glamorous evening.

Champagne and hors d'oeuvres plus the silent auction was great. By the time we got there everything was out of my price range, but it was fantastic to see everything that had been donated. My shirts were in the silent auction, and I'm disappointed to say that they only went for $600. I met the winning bidder and chatted with him and his date. He was very excited to have won them, and at such a great deal. When I told him how much work went into the shirts and everyone who helped, he asked me what the material cost was. The PA organizers wrote $850 on the bid sheet, so he promised me he would make the check out for that amount! So that, combined with the extra $275 in donations, we raised $1125 for CP this year. I had hoped for much more, but still. We raised over a thousand dollars for the kids. *hugs* to all of you for your help and support!

The live auction was equally exciting and elegant. Steak dinner, local wines and market fresh salad, and a decadent german chocolate cake dessert. The bidding opened with one of Gabe's Limited Edition cels, and I got the first bid in! My hand shot up and Groove pointed me out. The bidding was slow at first, and for a short time I thought I might actually win the item at a fairly low price (I stopped at about $300), but more hands shot up once the amount got to that point. There were some amazing items, and I really hope I can attend with more expendable money next year. It seemed like everyone was a little more reluctant to throw down the cash this year.

The afterparty was equally amazingly fun. Ryan and I took charge of organizing the TapHouse Enforcer run. After the live auction ended we got in touch with the PA crew and Wil Wheaton and invited them along as well. The party exploded with so many people in attendance, Kurtz was there, everyone from PA and their +1's, a few auction winners including Pete from Brawndo/Sex Panther (always fun talking to him), some of the Harmonix guys, and a whole lot of people I didn't know. I rocked out with Wil on Rock Band (wow, TapHouse needs to buy new instruments), had a few drinks courtesy of whoever was buying, shot some pool, and generally had an amazing time. Really, the only dark point of the night was the car accident, and even that went smoothly considering the situation. Wonderful, wonderful night. Easily one of the greatest highlights of 2008. Thank you, Penny Arcade.

Photos courtesy Quicksnap

24 November 2008

Gabe's shirt is complete!

AND it matches the Segway.

Technically Tycho's shirt is finished, but I feel like tweaking it and expanding the torso width a little. I'm going to do that now so it's ready for delivery tomorrow.

22 November 2008

Let's Pretend This Is Friday...

Pictures! Tycho's shirt is finished and Gabe's is well on his way. I am particularly proud of how Gabe's shirt is turning out, with the sleeves and the inlay.

14 November 2008

Placeholder for later!

I will be taking photos tonight during the maille party. If you didn't get invited, my apologies. I am trying to keep the numbers down and get a good rotation of many people through to help if they want. ANYWAY. I will have someone model the Tycho shirt tonight, as well as capture the scene as best as I can re: lots of maille noobs inhabiting my living room. I might even open up the bedroom wall to get more space.

If you DID get invited, bring food to share. Potluck woo!

12 November 2008


Better photo coming on Friday when I get someone to try it on at the House of Gamers, but this will do for now. I attached the sleeve on Monday, and finished the seam along the underarm last night. It is COMPLETE!

10 November 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year

The holidays are coming up, and that means gift season. I will be making another order with TRL soon to stock up on some nicer metals for nicer jewelry. I keep putting this off because life keeps getting in the way (student loans, car payments, lazy, etc.) but I want to be able to order by Friday.

If you have something in mind that you want, let me know. Right now I am planning on an ounce or two of sterling, a deluxe jeweler's kit, and some scales for a commission that has been sitting on the back burner for a while.

What I'm saying is, I am opening my commission list! Yaaayyy holidays.

Photo --> Deluxe Jewelry Kit @ TheRingLord.com -- includes stainless, copper, jeweler's brass, bronze, and nickel silver.

07 November 2008

A Real Update

Back on track! I am currently wearing Tycho's shirt. It is still missing one sleeve, but it is looking damn fine. Last night I focused on the more oddly shaped pieces of Gabe's shirt, including the top of the front 1/4 and one of the sleeves. I hope that, with the help of friends, I can get some of the more rectangular shaped pieces put together. i.e. start on the back of gabe's shirt (all yellow!), finish Tycho's sleeve, and work on the orange chunk of Gabe's other sleeve. They are great pieces for beginners because there is no major concern with particular pattern quirks, expansions or contractions, seams, etc.

Without further ado, here is Gabe's shirt pieces.

06 November 2008

"Getting Back on Track" or "A Peek Into Real Life"

I maille by night, but by day... wait, no. I work the evening shift. I promise, tomorrow I will get back to showing you progress of the shirts. My goal for this evening is to finish the front section of Gabe's.

I have not made nearly as much progress this week as I would have liked, but life has been crazy. For starters, I have still been dealing with car stuff, and insurance stuff, re: my wrecked 240. I also picked up my new car. Meet Skeeter:

He is an 8 year old Beetle with a turbo attitude. You can take two references from the name, depending on what type of geek you are -- 1) Rita Skeeter's animagus form is a beetle, and 2) When I honk the horn, it sounds like Skeeter Valentine from the old animated series "Doug."

Aside from that, work has been crazy. On Tuesday I worked long to cover the election - Yay Obama! - and yesterday I pulled a 12 hour shift in order to help out with the camera crew at the Seattle Auto Show. My station is dedicating a half hour to showing the best and most beautiful, and I have been getting as involved as possible. All the tween graphics are mine (interstitials, commercial bumps, and the intro!), plus I was able to help with the filming yesterday and stand in as an "attendee" in some shots.

It was a great couple of days, but I came home last night exhausted. Hopefully today will be calmer. I hope to get a lot of mailling done on my lunch break and after work. Pics tomorrow!

31 October 2008

No Pictures Today

After the events of last weekend, I have been spending the majority of my time this week on other things. Today I get to ride down to Portland and look at a new car to replace my mangled 240. As such, I do not have the time to take photos of this week's little bit of progress. Not that I made much... my mind was in other places this week.

I do have some good news though. The gold rings came yesterday and they are brighter than I could have hoped for. They will work just fine as a replacement for the yellow rings. I already started filling in Pacman's mouth and it looks nice. I also attached one of Tycho's sleeves last night. It is not finished - there is still a sizeable hole around the armpit - but it is the perfect length and size.

I am going to need a LOT of help to get these done, guys. I will keep you all posted on future maille parties. I am thinking... Friday. Check your calendars!

27 October 2008

What a weekend

The mailling party was a success. We got a full orange sleeve finished, plus much progress toward another and on the blue sleeves. There were SO MANY PEOPLE here that we ended up getting a noise complaint from the neighbor upstairs, so I think for the next few mailling events I will make them invite-only to keep the numbers down, and restrict hard alcohol consumption. I will post pictures from the party soon, but I have been preoccupied all weekend. Saturday was a d20 modern game in the morning and a halloween party in the evening. Sunday, my car got wrecked. Now I am in the process of cleaning up the mess, talking to insurance folks, and finding auto body shops around the area of the wreck. My car can not drive too far, so I am looking for nearby places that do not look too shady. Ugh, big mess. Glad no one got hurt, but I miss my car!

24 October 2008

Woppa Woppa Woppa

Pacman is finished! I have been running around today to get ready for the event tonight, and I think I am set. I have munchies, beverages, lots of extra pliers, lots of sitting space, all the maille is out and handy, and... somehow while I rearranged my furniture last night, I lost Pacman's power pellet. Oh noes! Luckily, I have lots of extra black and I can make another one. For now, I give you the completed inlay!

Gold colored rings should arrive on Wednesday. I can't wait!!

23 October 2008


Thanks in advance to everyone who has RSVP'd to my mailling party! I didn't expect so many people to chime in, so my apartment will be a tiny bit cramped. We might also be sharing pliers... I will be doing another craft store run tomorrow morning to snag what I can. For those who can bring your own pliers, PLEASE make sure they are Jewelry pliers and not your standard house maintenance tools. The difference? Teeth.

Bad pliers:

Good pliers:

The reason is that the teeth scratch off the anodized outer layer of the aluminum and makes for a less than pretty finished product. If you bring chompy pliers, I will make you set them aside even if we are short on jewelry tools. :P

If you have not RSVP'd yet and need my address, please email me at jules@knittedsteel.net!

20 October 2008

Things are looking up

From the look of things, TRL decided the could find another buyer for the 7 lbs of yellow rings because they changed my order to gold colored rings and shipped it today. I'm still a little apprehensive that something will happen. They'll send it to my old address or something, I don't know. Maybe I am just paranoid. In any case, I will have all the supplies I need to complete Gabe's shirt in time! So for now, I think I will focus my energy on getting that Pacman inlay finished and save Tycho's sleeves for this week's mailling party.

I hate to make a post without something pretty to look at, so here is another photo of the engagement necklace I made last winter. It will always be one of my favorite pieces, even though it is so simple.

17 October 2008

Maille Party! And Progress Report

I emailed back and forth some today with The Ring Lord and requested they change my order to gold colored rings instead of the custom order yellow. Thankfully, they did so. I was a little worried at first. ANYWAY. I should hopefully be getting the gold rings soon, which really look more like dull yellow.

And with that, I would like to organize the first CHAIN MAILLE PARTY! If you are a Seattle local and know me from the Penny Arcade community, and would like to learn how to do some basic chain maille and pitch in on this project, let me know! I will be having more than one mailling party, but I thought this would be a fun way to spend a Friday night.

What: Learn the 4-in-1 weave, eat some munchies, hang out and help on the project
When: Friday, Oct. 24th at 9pm
Where: My place!
Bring a snack or beverage to share if you want!

If you are interested, email me at Jules@knittedsteel.net - be sure to tell me your handle so I know who you are. Also, tell me if you have your own pliers or need to borrow some. I have a limited amount that I can lend out. If you really want, I can sell you a couple pair for future use. I cleaned out the supply at the nearby craft store. ;)

And now, huzzah! The progress report!
The torso is FINISHED. It just needs sleeves. (Guess what we'll be doing at the shindig next Friday eh?)

16 October 2008

Good News and Bad News

Good News first: Tycho's shirt is coming along very nicely. I am working on the first sleeve tonight, and the torso is completely finished.

Bad News: Unless I can fix a very messed up situation, I won't have Gabe's shirt anywhere near finished before the deadline rolls around. Or, for that matter, before 2008 is over.

I started this project on September 5th. On top of establishing the paypal donate button, I began corresponding with one of the owners at TheRingLord.com. I was told that if I custom ordered the rings right then, the next batch of anodized was due back around the end of October. So, I emailed them right then. They are ordered, paid for, and sitting in my account info right now. Naturally, I'm getting a little antsy and excited, so last night I emailed them again to get a status report. The response I got back: About 8 weeks.

8 weeks?! If taken literally, that means the batch will be back at the Ring Lord factory 2 days AFTER the dinner auction. I would probably get the rings around, oh, Christmas.

I knew it would be a frantic rush to get the shirt done in time as is. But I have yet to master the art of time travel.

Right now I am waiting to hear their response to my panicked question of "is there any way you can speed it up a little? I ordered these assuming I would get them when you said I would." If they can't expedite the anodizing, I think my best option is to switch from yellow to gold-colored rings. It won't look nearly as good. I am not happy. I do not want to compromise on this, but if it means getting the shirt done in time I'm willing to do it.

UGGGHH, I am not happy.

'Tis the Season

I am going to be making an order to TRL soon for a variety of metals. Nickel Silver, brass, bronze, stainless, and maybe sterling and one or two types of gold. Anodized titanium? perhaps...

If you have any ideas for holiday gifts to loved ones, friends, or yourself (hey, it's nice to splurge sometimes right?), let me know. If there is a specific commission you want, let me know. We can talk about it and I will include those materials into my order. I would rather buy a lot of shiny in one order and pay less in shipping/customs. Less cost for me = less cost for you! I am leaning away from aluminum, as I want to start making some classier stuff. Send me requests!

I will update on the Child's Play shirts on Friday. Hopefully more than the quick update I've had for the past two weeks. Life is slowing down a little, so I should be able to provide more.

Here's a little treat: some earrings I made for a Christmas gift last year. dark purple anodized aluminum and sterling silver shaggy loops (slightly modified) on french hooks. Can't remember the specs, but the silver rings are all doubled up and the purple rings are slightly larger.

12 October 2008

Beef Burgundy

Dinner with my family Friday night was a huge success. Living single, the most I've ever cooked for before was 2 or 3 people. This recipe is awesome. It easily fed 6 people and I have leftovers in the fridge for at least another two meals.


2 to 3lb.beef stew meat (or a roast) cut into bite-size pieces
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1/4 to 1 cup burgundy wine
1 can mushroom soup
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (or equivalent)
1/2lb mushrooms, sliced

Mix all ingredients together (you'll need a large bowl) and bake at 300 degrees for 3 hours in a covered dish. I served it over fettuccine pasta, but it also works well over rice. I also maxxed out the recipe. 3 lbs of beef, full cup of burgundy wine (don't spend a lot on this, by the way. I used Carlo Rossi and it still tasted amazing), and a little more than half a pound of mushrooms. The onion was big, so it covered a lot of space. It smells sooooo good while it's cooking, and the fragrance filled my entire apartment.


I'll be working on the shirt during today's Seahawks game. I hope to finish the bottom stripes, or at least make a lot of progress on them.

10 October 2008

Another quick update

Ack! My parents and grandmother are coming for dinner. I've spent most of yesterday and today getting ready, and oh man dinner's going to be delicious. But you didn't check in to hear about my beef burgundy. Here is Tycho's shirt!

Next up is finishing the torso stripes, then moving on to the sleeves. Ohhh the sleeves are going to take forever.

03 October 2008

Child's Play Update

I got a surprising amount of work done this past week, and I'm extremely happy with how this is looking. Short post today. Got a visitor that I wasn't expecting.

26 September 2008

Child's Play - Work In Progress

I'll be honest. I made a lot more progress than I thought I would. Here are two small chunks of Tycho's shirt:

The first chunk is part of the neckline. The blue will extend down past the bottom of the arms, and meet up with the large light blue stripe. Sleeves will attach to the angled edges with 45 degree seams.

This second chunk shows off more of how the shirt will look in the end. The lowest blue stripe makes the bottom 'seam' of the shirt with the stripes running horizontally across the torso.

No promises on how often I'll update with this project, but I will take photos whenever I have something awesome to show off.

25 September 2008

Quick n Easy

As much as I love doing the Big Projects - shirts, bracers, etc. - my most popular item is my simplest. It's a half-persian 3-in-1 bracelet in aluminum and rubber (16ga 5/16", big surprise). When I was one of the Mischief Makers in college, my roommate and I were browsing online and came across a geeky apparel store that featured the identical weave and materials in a series of bracelets. There were only three color combos, to reflect characters from a certain webcomic. One of those bracelets was called the Ninja Bracelet, and was all black. We liked the look of them so much, we yoinked the idea and called them Pirate Bands.

Not that it was really stealing. It's a common weave, and the products have been out of stock for so long that they've been removed from the website. We didn't just stop at three color combos, either. We tried all kinds of combos, and the bracelets have been a smash hit. Now, I can't wait to get my hands on that glow in the dark stock and explore the possibilities a bit more.

If you're interested, they're not too expensive. $10 for standard colors, $15 for glow in the dark.

22 September 2008

Chain Maille for Child's Play Begins!

I'll be updating on this project a LOT over the next couple of months. Today is September 22nd. The shirts must be done and delivered to the Penny Arcade office by December 1st. Maillers, keep your pliers at the ready!

18 September 2008


The Ring Lord now carries GLOW IN THE DARK rubber rings. That's right. My kandi is going to be so freakin awesome.

Who wants some? :D

10 September 2008

Brief Glimpse at PAX 2008

Wow. just wow. Not WoW, although there was plenty of that. just. wow. From what I've heard this was one of the most difficult years to run. I only have last year to compare it to, but my feet were definitely telling me how much I'd worked by Sunday night. I loved every minute of it. I only wish I'd had business cards. I think that'll be my next side project to kill spare time. Cards for Knitted Steel. Why? Because I was showing off my best bling at PAX. If you clicked on the link to Kemper in my last post, you'll have seen this picture:

Those are my friends, Kemper and Haikon. Kemper worked in Line Management and Haikon is personal assistant to the Enforcer Prime, PRD. The photo was taken and provided by the lovely PlusOne. Not an Enforcer, YET. Kemper is also my most awesome customer/model. The vest is blue anodized aluminum scales with steel split rings. It weighs in at just over seven pounds, and took me 115 hours to make. My first shirt! His bracers were new for this year. 16g 5/16" blue anodized aluminum and black EPDM. I used a half-persian 3 in 1 sheet 5 weave for this. In retrospect, I should have used the sheet 6 weave. I think that would have prevented the ends from curling. I'm still very happy with the way they came out, and so is he. That combo plus the hat got him so many compliments over the course of the weekend. It's difficult to see in the picture, but Kemper got MC Frontalot to sign the front of the shirt! HOLY CRAP AWESOME! Since the photo was taken he's collected a few more autographs on the back and shoulders.

I had a few other pieces wandering around PAX as well. Like any good convention, we wear our badges proudly on lanyards. Well, before I found out that this year's lanyards were going to be all cool and glow in the dark, I made a few of my own to give out as birthday gifts. I've yet to find photos of the lanyards on their newfound owners, so here's the one I made for myself to use at work:

Stats: 16g 5/16" (again. I had a lot of leftovers from a previous order) half persian 4-in-1, connecting it at the bottom with 3 in 1 sheet 5. I picked up the badge clip in a 12-pack at Office Depot. It is very sturdy and very comfy. The ones I made for friends were all black, and half black half blue. They work pretty well for holding decorative buttons, too.

There were also some bracelets and other goodies of mine wandering around PAX, but the ones I included here were the ones I really care to show. It was an amazing weekend, and I still can't believe that it is over. I wish it wasn't.

09 September 2008

Formal Attire

I will admit that I was 100% inspired by the 8-bit necktie when I decided to try some more scale maille work. Kemper's shirt (You can also see his new bracers) had come out beautifully, I had some blue leftover and The Ring Lord was experimenting with a new way of anodizing with the black. Well, how could I pass up an opportunity like this? Once I found a buyer, I was locked in for sure.

This took a LOT of experimenting to get just the right length, dimensions, and shape of the knot. For the neck band I used 16g 5/16" AA rings with rubber spaced evenly throughout for a bit of stretchy comfort. It's attached to the knot permanently on one end, and fixes with a hook on the other. More pics with closer detail can be found at my Flickr.

05 September 2008

For Great Justice

I'm just going to throw this out there: I love Penny Arcade. I love the comic, I love the people behind it, I love PAX, and I love the sense of community and family I feel whenever I am around the people I have met through Penny Arcade's influence. That being said, PAX is over, and Child's Play is quickly approaching.

For those not in the know, check out www.childsplaycharity.org. It is a wonderful thing. Each year they have an auction in Seattle that raises oodles of money for sick kids in hospitals. I got to attend last year, and the experience was awe inspiring.

This year I want to contribute more to Child's Play in my own special way, and include the Penny Arcade community as well. I can't do this alone. I need your help.

I want to make two shirts.

Each shirt will weigh in at over 14 pounds, and the materials will cost me about $720 total. There's no way I can foot that alone, and I don't want this to just be my project. I want this to be a community project. When the auction approaches in December, my goal is to give Penny Arcade the Gabe & Tycho shirts along with a certificate that lists the names/handles of everyone who contributed. A copy of the certificate and photos of the shirts will be given to the PA crew for their office. Any excess money donated will go straight to the child's play paypal donation link.

This project can be EPIC with your help. Whaddya say?

MAJOR UPDATE! I can't believe you guys. Really, I was so touched when I checked my paypal account this evening to find that in less than 24 hours, I exceeded my goal. You guys are SUPER AWESOME.

IF you still want to donate, the excess money will be given to Child's Play and your name will still be written on the certificate as a donor to this epic project. I will be ordering the materials on Monday with hopes of getting most of them in a few weeks to begin work. THANK YOU ALL!!!

04 September 2008

PAX 2008

My head is still spinning! Believe it or not, I have some updates to make about my maille and PAX. I just need to find photos first...

The event was insane. So much happened, so many people, so full of awesome. I can't describe how amazing it was to see everyone and do it all again. I am absolutely exhausted.

More to come later. This is more of a placeholder for future goodies.

12 August 2008

Wedding Bells are Ringing

No, not mine. Two of my friends got married this weekend and I was flattered when they contacted me to make matching necklaces for the bridesmaids.

I should start earlier. Mateo, the groom, got ahold of me around 6 months ago with an idea. We were in IRC and he was looking for a good place to buy a silver chain for a charm he bought. We talked, he sent me a pic of the charm, and came up with a plan. The result was a sterling engagement necklace, and soon after he announced his engagement to the beautiful bride to be.

That is by far the most sentimental thing I've done in my four years of mailling, and I was SO happy I could be a part of such a happy thing. Then Jenn, the bride to be, emailed me about ideas for the wedding. We finally settled on matching necklaces for the bridesmaids. They're helm chain, in bright aluminum.

This was my first time working with helm chain, and I ran across a problem almost immediately. After seeking advice on a mailling forum and ordering the rings, I soon found out that the AR's of the smaller and larger rings didn't quite fit right. Well, I wasn't going to let that stop me! So each of the smaller rings has been lightly pinched into an oval shape. I loved the weave so much (despite the challenge) after finishing the necklaces, I plan to make another one for myself. Maybe a matching bracelet. When/if I get a bit more spare time I might tinker with making something with a helm sheet.

TL;DR - My maille made a significant appearance in a friend's marriage, and I'm so happy for their new life together.

Photo sources:
The Non Sucky Wedding
GSpeezy's Flickr Set

24 July 2008

You take the high road

I was commissioned a while back to help a friend out with his sporran, and just recently got the chance and materials to complete it. The belt he has for it is nothing special - a simple chain attached to belt leather with a buckle in the back, and two clasps attaching to the pouch. Understandably, he wanted something with a little more personality.

I honestly do not remember the stats on these rings, so I am going to take a guess with BA 18ga 5/32" ID. The two clasps are taken from the old belt, and the weave is box chain with a few byzantine flourishes.

22 July 2008


This blog used to be something different entirely. It had no direction, organization, or anything of interest really. Now I'd like to try something different.

Chain maille is one of my most favorite hobbies (I have a lot of hobbies!), and I'd like to share it with you. I will post my own creations as well as other maille-related stuff I happen across on the internet.

So, a little about myself.
I've been mailling since 2004. I was in college and needed a hobby to fill my limited free time and help me keep my sanity between classes. There was someone else in that town who mailled, and I was fascinated as I watched him do it one evening during a game night. I bought a bracelet from him, and a few pair of pliers from a local art store. Took it apart, put it together, took it apart, put it together, took it apart... looked up some different weaves online and tried those until the rings started breaking. Yeah, I stressed the aluminum rings to the point of breaking because I played with them so much. I also realized that I couldn't do all the weave patterns I wanted with a small batch of 14g 3/8" rings, so I made my first order to theringlord.com. I don't have that first bracelet anymore. I think it got recycled into 5 smaller pieces.

A month later my roommate caught on to the same obsession, and we became a 'business.' We called ourselves the Mischief Makers (inspired entirely by the shenanigans of Rowling's crafty duo Fred and George Weasley), made and sold jewelry to friends, showed off our talents on deviantArt, and got a booth at the school's annual holiday craft faire. It helped us pay for college and gave us something to do. This year, I graduated and moved to Seattle. She's moving to California. Our days as the Mischief Makers ended.

Now I am calling my art Knitted Steel and going solo. I still love making maille and couldn't possibly give it up. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Enough of that. Here's something simple as my first post: A commission for a friend.

16ga 1/4"ID Bright Aluminum, Copper-clad Aluminum, and black neoprene.