The 1st step to making chain mail is to make a chain of rings. Start with closing 6 of more rings (in even numbers) connect 4 rings in 1 (the 4 in 1 pattern). Take 2 of the first 4 rings and connect 2 more rings with 1 ring. Continue this until you have your closed rings in a chain like fig. 1|
You will need to spread your chain out so you can add more rings. Note fig.2
After spreading your rings like in fig.2 your next step is to add the next column. Connect 1 ring into 2 of the rings (the red rings) the next column is made by connecting one ring into 2 of the red rings (the green rings) continue doing this until you have the chain mail cloth as wide as you want or need
To make your chain mail cloth longer connect 1 ring into 2 as the red one is in fig. 4
Continue adding rings until you have completed the row and keep adding rows until you have your cloth as long as you want.
You might like to make sections of cloth and then connect then (large sections of cloth can get heavy). You will also not see, as much progress in a large section as you will in a smaller one. 200 rings added to 200 rings will double the size of your section but 200 rings added to 2,000 rings only adds a small amount overall. I do this so I don't get disappointed at the rate the cloth grows.
Start by closing twice the number of rings needed for one row. If you were working on a sleeve for instance and it needed to be 45 rings per row close 90 rings.
After closing the rings loop 4 rings by 1 and spread them out as shown:
From the side:
Take another open ring and insert it throw two of the rings, and put two more of the closed rings on the open ring and close the ring.
After closing the ring spread the two new rings out as in Fig 1.
Continue doing this until all the rings you have closed are in the chain. You have now completed 3 rows of you project.
This method of starting a project is quicker for me. I hope that this starting method is helpful for you in your projects.
I also like to splice the ends together forming a circle. This allows me to just add rings row after row and not have to worry about doing an edge. When completed you can remove one column of rings for a flat section of chain mail if that is what you need.
I also like to make my sections in 50 columns by 30 rows and then splice the pieces together. This way I do not have to drag around a 30lb section of chain mail.
Have fun and good luck