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European 4 in 1: Expanding Circle
(Core Method)
Article © MAIL User: Aderamelech

1) To start a European 4 in 1 expanding circle, close several rings. Attach them all to another ring. How many rings you use depends on what size they are and what the size of the center ring. It should be enough to comfortably fit around the center, as shown.
Image: circle1.jpg

2) Insert a ring connecting two consecutive rings in the first row.
Image: circle2.jpg

3) Close the ring. Insert another ring into one of the rings from row one that contains the ring previously added, plus one new ring.
Image: circle3.jpg

4) Continue around the first row until you have connected all the rings. Make sure that you have layed them so that all the rings in the new row are going in the same direction.
Image: circle4.jpg

5) Insert two rings into one of the rings in the second row. These two rings should not connecet to any others except the ring they are held by.
Image: circle5.jpg

6) Continue around row two, adding two rings to each ring in the row. This is an expanding row.
Image: circle6.jpg

7) Begin to connect new rings as if you were making European 4-1.
Image: circle7.jpg

8) Continue all the way around until all the rings are connected.
Image: circle8.jpg

It is difficult to give exact directions for making an expanding circle. Each one is different depending on the ring size. You should experiment. Continue to add rows as shown here. Every few rows, where appropriate, add another expanding row. You may find that doubling the number of rings along the circumference (as shown here) is going too fast. In that case you can slow it down by adding two rings to every other ring, and just one to the rest. Or two rings on every three.

The object is to make a smooth expansion. If there are obvious visual discontinuities (rows of rings that stick up, bunching, etc) then it probably means you have expanded too fast or too slowly. However this is just for making a circle that will lay flat. If you want one that will tend to curve around a shape you will have to use more or fewer contractions, and that may give the circle an uneven appearance when it is sitting flat.

This method of making a circle is slightly different from the one seen most often as it departs further from a constant N-1 weave. Compared to the more standard method, this results in a cirlce with is less desnse and more circular, since all the expansion are very even. It will work just as well as the other methods, and I find that in a large piece one doesn't notice the deviation from the pattern. I think it is best used for peices were a very smooth circle is needed, or when you are using rings which are particularly small for the wire size.
Original URL: http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay.php?key=39