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Link 2001

Jerry Penner, The Chain Mail Guy

Authentic Armour - Cool Club Clothing - Gorgeous Jewelry

LINK 2001

September 2001 - How to clean galvanized steel.

October 2001 - How to clean aluminum.

November 2001 - Care and feeding of gold chain mail, and how to tell the difference between quality and cheap chainmail.

December 2001 - How to measure a woman without her knowledge!

September 2001

Greetings, LINK Readers!

Welcome to the September 2001 edition of "Link", the official e-mail publication of Jerry Penner, The Chain Mail Guy. Every month I'll bring you useful info on chain mail including care & feeding tips, knitting secrets, information on special offers, news on what I'm doing and where to find me, and perhaps even a cool link or two.


You are receiving this because you expressed an interest in the products of The Chain Mail Guy. Rest assured your e-mail addy will not be sold, loaned, or traded away. You are important to me, and I would never do that. It's just not nice. If you wish to be off my mailing list, reply with the words "Unsubscribe Link" in the subject line.


This publication contains text only. No Java, no Outlook macros, no attachments, not even HTML. There is no way your computer can get sick from Link. I'm here to provide information, not headaches.


If you haven't visited in awhile, take another look. There are a few pictures in the jewelry section (finally!) and more to come soon. Visit www.chainmailguy.com


After awhile galvanized steel gets that funny smell. How do you get rid of it? Hand-wash in warm soapy water with dish soap. Rinse with hot, clear water, towel dry, and hang to air dry for a day. The hotter the water, the faster the excess water will evaporate off. There's not much worry about rusting, because galvanized just doesn't do that. If you want to protect it anyway, give it a bit of a spray with WD-40 after it's dry and wipe off the excess.


The book "Chain Mail Basics" is getting revised after four years. The new edition will include more patterns and more funky knits for the same low price. Projected release date is mid-October.

Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy


October 2001

Greetings, LINK Readers!

Welcome to the October 2001 edition of "Link", the official e-mail publication of Jerry Penner, The Chain Mail Guy.

SEPT. 11, 2001

This date will cause a lot of people to grieve for many years to come, and we as a neighbour to one of the most powerful nations on the planet are wondering what we can to do help. I'm offering my own help in my own special way. 10% of all chain mail sales made directly through me (not through the stores that carry my work) will go to the New York United Way, who are currently dedicating their efforts to helping the families of the tragedy. I will do this until the end of the year.


Aluminum is a reactive metal and is not immune to the effects of acids and alkalines spilled on it. If you have bright aluminum, try not to spill soft drinks, coffee, fruit juices, or beer or wine on your garment. If you do spill, rinse it immediately with cold water. The acids in these drinks will react with the metal and cause it to lose its lustre. The only way to get it back is to replace the rings. If you have a garment that's dusted or anodized, your garment will withstand the effects of these drinks a little better, but you'd better rinse them quickly too.

Bright aluminum will start to darken and rub off black on your skin and clothes. To clean it, wash in hand soap and warm water with a vegetable brush or dish brush. Rinse with hot clear water, and rub dry with a towel. If the towel rubs off black, re-wash the garment.


The book "Chain Mail Basics" is in second edition! The funky new patterns include how to make French Rope, Foxtail, King Chain, and Knit-4-Drop-1. The new clothing patterns include a new dress, a pair of hoods, some belts, and a number of bikini tops. There are also some lazy-knitter's methods for cleaning sterling silver and brass. The book is published in a more readable font, and has gained an extra nine pages. Price is still $12.50


I just got back from doing a live exhibit at the Lambton Heritage museum outside Grand Bend this weekend. What a nice place! There is one room devoted solely to the medieval exhibit, and it houses a number of interactive displays and things for children to do, as well as the re-creation of the Bayeux Tapestry created by Prof. Ray Dugan of the University of Waterloo. This tapestry tells the story of William, Duke of Normandy as he becomes King William I of England. 220 ft. long, and about 2 ft. high, every thread hand-stitched matching the original. It took him 13 years to complete the work. And I thought what I did was tedious! If you have a chance go see it. Their website address is: www.timewellspent.ca/lambtonheritage.html

Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy


November 2001

Greetings, LINK Readers!

Welcome to the November 2001 issue of Link. This month I have some big news on a new ring style I can knit with, and I'll offer a description on how to tell the difference between good and bad chain mail.


The Chain Mail Guy can now knit in gold! The rings are .032" dia. wire, 1/8" dia. ring, 14/20 yellow gold-filled, and cost only a little more than sterling silver. I've found my supplier's supplier for this wire so I can purchase this wire cheaper. I'm not as greedy as storefront jewelers, so I can pass on this saving to you. Sterling silver rings of .040" wire 1/8" ring are $0.25 each, while the gold-filled are only $0.30 each. Have a look at www.chainmailguy.com/pricing.htm to see the custom pricing. Look at the jewelry page for new pictures of my finger rings and bracelets, coming shortly. The King Chain looks really nice, and I can mix sterling and gold in custom pieces for you.


Gold filled and gold plated both start out with a brass core. Gold plated wire has gold that's only a few atoms thick, giving the look of gold for a very inexpensive price. This ultra-thin layer however can wear off quickly and show the brass underneath. Gold filled has a much thicker covering of gold over the brass core, making for a much more robust piece of jewelry.

14/20 indicates two things. The first number tells you the karat weight of the gold, in this case, 14 karat. The second number indicates the fractional diameter of the wire that's actual gold. the "20" indicates 1/20th of the diameter of the wire (or 5%) gold.

Having a full 5% of the diameter as 14K gold makes for a more robust piece of jewelry than gold plate; something to consider when making jewelry where the parts rub together.


Not only does gold look pretty, it's pretty much indestructible. It doesn't tarnish, doesn't corrode, and requires no polishing.

Well, almost indestructible.

There is one element that will eat gold: chlorine.

During the California Gold Rush miners would pull ore out of the ground, put it in a wooden barrel, and flush the barrel with chlorine gas. This would turn the gold into a bluish compound that was washed out of the ore and saved. The chlorinated gold was then heated over a fire to drive off the chlorine and render pure gold for shipping.

Modern day sources of chlorine are household bleach, swimming pools, and to a lesser extent, drinking water. To keep your gold plated and gold-filled jewelry looking good and lasting longer, take off your rings and jewelry when swimming, washing dishes, or bleaching anything.


A few months ago I was talking to a fellow about a custom shirt, and after we discussed ring size and style, we got around to price. The T-shirt worked out to about $630.

"What? That's awfully expensive. I can get a shirt like that at the "Other Store" for $75.00."

I've seen the shirts they sell, and I was ready for him. "The shirts they sell are nothing like mine. Have a look at the rings on my shirt", I said as I picked out a ring at random. "Look closely at the joint. Hold it up to the light and try to look through it. Can you see light through the join?"

He held it up and looked. "No, I can't."

I put my hand inside the shirt and held it flat for him. "Now pet it. Feels smooth, doesn't it?"

He petted the shirt and nodded.

"That's the difference between good chain and cheap chain. With good chain you can't see through the ring joins, nor can you feel the edges of the rings. That means my work will not catch, pinch or pull hair. Have you tried that with the "Other Store" shirt?" I asked.

"No, I didn't." was his reply.

"Try it next time you're in, and then ask yourself if you want that against your skin."

"But I'm not going to be wearing it all the time. I don't need to spend that much money on a shirt." was his new argument.

"I've seen the shirt of which you speak. I looked at it, and as I picked it up to try it on, I heard a 'ting' as a ring fell out. This made me not want to try it on. I didn't want to be accused of breaking it and have them make me pay for it. As I hung it back up, I heard that familiar 'ting' twice more as two more rings fell out. Sure the shirt is only $75 compared to mine for $630, but if it won't stand up to the stress of being worn once without losing rings, how much value is it?" I countered.

"Hmph" was his response.

I continued, "And with my work you have the guarantee that the work is done entirely in Canada, not by minors working for slave wages in a Third World country. You also get the piece fitted exactly to you. Can the "Other Store" guarantee that?"

I didn't make the sale but I did get my point across. Superior service and attention to detail is worth the price you pay. Any commodity with a cheap price has to cut corners somewhere. I'm not cutting down another vendor; there are some instances where a really delicate low-priced off-the-rack chain mail shirt is called for. But if you want something that's going to last a long time you should inspect the work for yourself; look at the ring joins, pet the piece, and shake it to see if it comes apart. Quality will speak for itself.

Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy


December 2001

Greetings, LINK Readers!

This month I'm going to talk a little bit about how to measure a woman on the sly.


Picture this:

A fellow walks into a lingerie shop and tells the woman behind the counter, "I'd like to buy some sexy lingerie for my wife."

"Great" says the saleslady. What does she like?

"Ummm...... I dunno. She likes blue. What do you have that makes her look sexy?"

She gestures toward a rack in the store. "We have some nice teddies near the back. What size is she?"

"Ummm... about your size."

News bulletin: Guys, this isn't helpful.

You have to know some basic stuff about the size of your ladyfriend before you go shopping. Finding out without her knowing isn't that hard, as long as you keep your eyes open and use your head.


If you bring her a dress that's several sizes too big, she'll think you see her as fat. If you bring her a dress that's several sizes to small, she'll think you see her as thin, and she really *is* fat.

Finding out her dress size is as easy as looking in her closet. Look for the tag at the back collar of the dresses in her wardrobe, and make note of them. Make note of the manufacturer and retailer as well. Dress sizes are a variable thing; a size 12 at Store X can be a 14 at Store Y. Write all this stuff down. Next time she goes shopping for herself and she shows you her newest purchases, take note of the name of the store on the bag. Go there.

Some women are one size on top and another size at the bottom. Good swimsuit stores will allow you to mix & match tops & bottoms of different sizes, and I can't understand why all retailers don't do this. It doesn't make sense to buy two bikinis and throw away one too-big top and one too-small bottom.

The Chain Mail Guy avoids all this women's dress sizing voodoo and uses good old inches. To measure for a dress, get her bra size and hip measurement, and the length you want the dress to be. The rest is a style issue.

Styles: Make note of the colours and prints. Does she like bright and flowery, or is she a fan of beige & brown? Note the styles. Are the dresseS tight, short, long, flowing, puffy or plain sleeves? If you can get away with it, steal a dress for a day and take it shopping. The salesfolks will gain more info from that pilfered dress than you vaguely waving your hands around to indicate the size you're looking for. If you're going to go this route take something from the top of the drawer, the front of the closet, or from the clean-clothes-not-yet-put-away pile. The stuff at the back and bottom is not her favourite.


Same deal. Look through her underwear drawer, note the sizes and manufacturers. Note: The sexy underwear in her drawer is for you, the comfortable stuff is for her.

Panties: Does she like high-cut, low cut, white, black, neon, mesh, cotton, silk, boxers? Is there trim along the edges? As a general rule, thongs are uncomfortable. They were made to come off shortly after going on.

Bras: Stap, strapless, full support, flimsy support, white, black, lace, underwire? Take note of several bra sizes in her underwear drawer. One woman can wear multiple bra sizes for two reasons: first, women change shape during their monthly cycle. Second, a woman can juggle the cup/band size a little if she can't find exatly what she's looking for. Let's assume we have a lady with a 40C bust, but she can't find a 40C bra she likes. She can either wear a 42B, or a 38D. By going for a slightly larger band size she can go a bit smaller in the cup without losing support and fit. As a side note, most women don't know their own bra size. For detailed measurement information, go to www.chainmailguy.com/pricing.htm and look up the fitting and measurement info.

Heck, make a game of it. Tell your sweetie that you found this website that tells you how to measure a woman for bra size, and ask her if she's ever been measured. If she hasn't, offer to do it. Think of it as foreplay.


Shoes are a mystery. They involve a complete mental inventory of the woman's closet, her favourite combinations thereof, and a fashion sense identical to hers. Size you can get by pilfering a pair for a day of shopping, but you'll *never* get the right style. If you want to get her shoes, pick a nice place and get a gift certificate. Make sure you get a gift certificate for two pairs; she'll *never* be able to pick out only one pair.


First basic question: gold or silver? Look at what she usually wears and there's your answer. Does she have any metal allergies? Some women can wear only sterling silver, some can only wear 18K gold, most can wear anything. The Chain Mail Guy offers jewelry in nickel-plated and gold-plated brass, lab-grade stainless, sterling silver, and 14K yellow gold filled. 14K and 18K solid gold in yellow and white is available by special order. Name your style and metal and I'll work up a price.

I can also offer earrings with nylon earhooks. This gets around the metal allergy in a new way, and gives some women with nasty metal allergies a new chance to wear pierced earrings.

NECKLACES: Here's the basic sizing:

Tight Choker: 8"

Choker: 16"

Turtleneck Length: 18 - 20"

Cleavage Length: 22 - 24"

Lanyard: 28"

Again, look at the length(s) she usually wears and go from there.

The coolest clasp on the market is rare-earth magnetic. No fiddling, no breaking a nail to trip the clasp open, just show the two ends to each other and -CLICK- they go together. How strong are they? You need not worry about losing your necklace; these are strong enough to withstand even the most vigorous athlete. The price is a little higher than lobster and spring ring clasps, but doing away with the fiddling can be worth it. One caveat - it's not a good idea to give magnetic clasp jewelry to someone with a pacemaker. I have these clasps as an option on all my jewelry. Just ask & I'll put one on for you.


Bracelet size is a little more critical than necklace size. Typically, bracelets with clasps can be 7 - 8" in length, but measure her wrist to be sure. How? If she has a wristwatch with a non-expanding bracelet, measure that. Do not use your own thumb & middle finger to measure her wrist. I can guarantee you'll end up with something too small every time. If she wears bangle bracelets that slide on over the hand, measure that. For a clasp bracelet I'll just take it in a little. For a non-clasp bracelet, I can make it the same size as the bangle you measured. Magnetic clasps are available here as well.

Again, look at what she has, what she wears, the styles - big & chunky, small & delicate, plain, Japanese, Celtic, Roman. Does she like or collect animal figures or something else? Does she belong to a group that identifies itself with specific colours or patterns?


Rings are a tough measure if you don't have the right measuring tool. Every jeweler has a ring and finger sizer, and can tell you what size you need. These tools aren't expensive ($40 gets you both), but it's not likely that your neighbourhood jeweler will let you borrow his. Use her best friend. If she doesn't know her ring sizes, she is more likely to get her into a jewelry store to try stuff on without suspicion than you are. Remember that women's fingers swell and shrink with their monthly cycle, arthritis, heat and cold. When you buy a ring make sure you get a guarantee that you can bring it back for sizing if it doesn't fit. Getting the sizing wrong on a ring is less tragic than getting the sizing wrong on a dress. She doesn't expect you to know her ring sizes, because she doesn't know either.

On all my cast finger rings, what you see is what you get. Exchanges are not a problem with the receipt, but I may not have the size you want in stock. On the knitted chain rings sizing is no problem at all and I can do it while you wait. Because finger rings are a personal thing, you may want to think about a gift certificate here, too. I can better serve your lady-friend if her fingers are right there in front of me.

Toe Rings: If she likes toe rings, get her one. Or two. Or three. You can never have enough toe rings. They get lost in socks, come off at the beach, and another to take its place will always be welcome. Most toe rings have a split in the back of the shank so they can be adjusted to fit any size toe. These also make excellent rings for children or slim-fingered women since they are adjustable. My toe rings are all $10 - any style. Just ask and I'll e-mail you a picture of what I currently have in stock.


It's not too late to place your custom orders with me. I can still have a dress done by Christmas if need be. Start stealing her measurements now and think about what she would really like. Keep the measurements written down with her name on it in your wallet. If she happens to find your notes you'll win points with her for knowing her sizes.

Jerry Penner

The Chain Mail Guy