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KLC - Expanding Link Method for Circular Elements

By David H. F. Coder

1)  This is the one of the methods I use to start coifs and projects with a circular element to them. You can make the starting chain any multiple of 2, but if you start with too low of a number the circle will be too tight, if you start too large it might bunch up a bit. For this reason, I almost always start with a chain 18 links long and 3 rows wide, as seen in the first picture.

For this project, I used 16 gauge 5/16" links. 

2)  Curve this 18 link chain into a circle, and attach one end to the other to form a continuous strand. Be careful not to flip one end over... this is actually quite easy to do. 
3)  Start attaching more links to the "inside" links. Attach one new link through two of the inside links from the original chain. Close this link...
4)  And continue taking two original inside links for every one new link added. Only do this to the inside of the chain, remember....
5)  Complete the "gathering" of inside links. For a chain 18 links long, 9 new links will be needed.
6)  Start gathering all nine of the new links with another new central link...
7)  And close it through all nine. You should now have a perfect circle. The middle link of this circle take a surprising amount of strain, so you may want to double it or use a heavier gauge wire for that link.
8)  On the outside of the circle, start gathering two links again, with a new link passing through two of the original outside links. I know I said you wouldn't do this, but I lied. Actually it's just easier to explain if you do one at a time.
9)  Complete the link gathering all along the outside. Again you will need 9 new links for the gather.
10)  This is a little tricky to explain... Put one more link through each of the two links gathered by the new outside links. This is seen on the right side of the picture.
11)  Complete doing this around the entire outside of the circle. This will require a total of 18 new links, counting the two added in the last step.
12)  Using the new row of links, add two more rows on the outside, in a normal 4 in 1 pattern.
The following expansion rows will all fall into a pattern. The next expansion row will begin as seen on the right. The link attachment can be thought of in numerical terms: the new links attach to one link, then two links, then two links, then one link, then a blank space, or (1 2 2 1 0). The first expansion row then, as seen in step 11, can be thought of as (1 2 1 0). To continue expanding, just insert more links between the singly attached link... the expansion row after this one will be (1 2 2 2 1 0), then (1 2 2 2 2 1 0), and so on. It's a little confusing, but if you spend a little time trying it, everything will be peachy in no time.

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Pages Last Updated on 12/26/02 - Updates