Step 3: Add Expansions and Finish the Base

Picture of Add Expansions and Finish the Base
Picture 1 - Row 2 - Expansion Rings
1. Panic at the sudden appearance of pink rings. Just kidding! ^_^ I'm using pink rings here so you can easily see where the expansions are. You keep using the green ones.
2. Take 8 rings and put one in between each of your previous Row 2 rings. Be sure to only go through one of the Row 1 rings. This is how expansion rings work, by adding extra rings to an established row. I'll talk a bit more about expansions at the end. You should now have 16 rings in Row 2.

Picture 2 - Row 3
1. Take 16 rings and thread each one through two Row 2 rings below it. As before, make sure all of your rings are overlapping correctly, and that each one is only going through two rings.
2. This is Row 3. It's not an expansion row, so once you get all 16 rings on there in the right orientation, you're done with this one.

Picture 3 - Row 4 - Expansion Row
1. Take 16 rings and add them on just like you did in Row 3.
2. You're going to expand by 8 more rings. Take the first expansion ring and put it between two of the rings you just added in. As before, make sure you only hook one of the Row 3 rings below it.
3. Skip two rings, and add in your next expansion ring.
4. Skip two more rings, and add in another expansion. Essentially, you are adding your 8 expansion rings evenly around the edge. Look at the picture. There are two rings in between each expansion.
5. Add in the rest of your expansion rings.  You should now have 24 rings and a completed Row 4.

Picture 4 - Finish the Base
And you're done! Well, not yet. This is a picture of the completed base.
You just have to carry on as you have been. The pattern is pretty simple. Even rows are expansion rows, and you will be expanding by 8 rings each time. Odd rows are plain rows, with no expansions. Make sure to add in your expansions evenly, and try to stagger their placement. If you add expansion rings right on top of each other, you'll end up with a visible seam and the base will be octagonal as opposed to circular.

Here's a row-by-row breakdown by ring count:
Base Ring
Row 1 - 8
Row 2 - 16 (Expansion rings have 1 ring between them)
Row 3 - 16
Row 4 - 24 (Expansion rings have 2 rings between them)
Row 5 - 24
Row 6 - 32 (Expansion rings have 3 rings between them)
Row 7 - 32
Row 8 - 40 (Expansion rings have 4 rings between them)
Row 9 - 40

We want to end up with 40 rings around the edge. "But Brandy," you say, "Why not make every row an expansion row? We'll get to 40 a lot faster that way!"
This is true, but if you do that you'll end up with a cone rather than a circle. This means your bag won't sit very well on flat surfaces and it'll look like some weird, squat green carrot hanging from your belt. You'll lose that pleasing round "pouch" shape, too, which is what we want. "No matter what you make, making it takes time, so you might as well take time to make it look good." Sage advice from my Grandpa Smith, a lifelong "Maker of Cool Stuff".

"But Brandy," you say, "I've finished my base and it looks kinda small. I don't think this is going to hold all of my dice."
That's okay! You can simply keep expanding it, using the pattern we've already established. Just use this handy-dandy Bag Sizing Mini How-To to figure out how big your bag needs to be.
1. Find a cylindrical container with relatively straight sides. Jars work great for this.
2. Put your dice in it, but pay attention to the proportions.  Do your dice pool along the bottom? Container's too big. Do they hardly fit? Container's too small. This is kind of hard to explain, but you want your dice to fill the container in a way that is pleasing to the eye, because the final outline of your bag will sort of conform to this shape, and you want it to look nice.
3. Put your dice-filled container on your base. You want two or three rows to be visible around the bottom edge of the container. This leaves space for the thickness of the maille, and to allow the "fabric" to move. If you see a few rows, your base is done! If your container covers your base, you need to add on a few more rows. Just make sure you finish with a plain row so our Triforce looks good later on. (Expansion rings can make the pattern uneven.)

If you're making your bag bigger, don't worry. The instructions to follow can be easily adapted to fit. I'll even include notes. ^_^
dzilis6 months ago

It looks like you switch overlapping directions between rows if that makes sense. Is that just for looks, or is there more of a reason behind it?

dzilis dzilis6 months ago

Nevermind, mine looks like that too. I think it just naturally happens. I'm not doing the triforce, but I'm so excited to finish this in the next few days!