Crochet scale maille.
Have you ever seen the intricate armor costume pieces at the Renaissance Faire that are covered with individual metal scales? That's scale maille. Did you know you can crochet that? Oh yes, my friends, and I am here to tell you just how to do it.
First you'll need some aluminum scales. We got ours from UpScaleMailleSupply on Etsy. I recommend their Large Size (about 1.5 inches long) for use with worsted weight yarn.
Next, you'll need to know how to do the scale maille stitch, which is worked like so.
1. Scale maille stitch is worked over 2 stitches. To begin, work a double crochet as usual.
2. Carefully remove the hook from the stitch.
3. Thread the loop from the stitch through the hole in the scale, making sure the scale is concave side UP. Yes, the scale will be upside down.
4. Replace the hook in the loop and work a double crochet in the next stitch.
5. Remove the hook from the stitch again.
6. Thread the loop through the same scale that was attached in Step 3, flipping the scale so that it's concave side DOWN in the process. The scale should now be front side up.
Steps 1-6 represent one complete scale maille stitch.
Now, to use this stitch in a project, you will crochet like so.
Ch an even number of stitches.
Row 1. Dc in 4th ch from hook and ea rem ch across.
Row 2 (RS). Ch 3; turn. Scale maille stitch evenly across.
Row 3. Ch 3; turn. Dc in each dc across.
Row 4. Ch 3; turn. Dc in first dc, scale maille stitch evenly across to last dc, dc in last dc. (This ensures the scales in this row are offset from the scales in Row 2.)
Row 5. Ch 3; turn. Dc in each dc across.
Rep Rows 2-5.
- If you find that you missed a scale a few rows back, just tie it in with a bit of yarn and weave in the ends. No one will be the wiser.
- To speed up the process of adding the scales, slide multiple scales onto the hook at once, then slide them off as needed while you are crocheting (thank you, Amyfishgirl, for this recommendation!).