I love the look and feel of chain maille, but the few times I have tried it, I was really put off by the opening and closing of the individual rings - it felt very unsatisfying. As I got better, it seemed that I only needed to manipulate half the rings, and leave the other half alone, but it was still boring and time-consuming.
I had read about bead maille, which is basically chain maille using rings of beads for some of the rings. I didn't know if I would like it, but then but then I saw there was a free pattern at Lark Crafts, and it looked very nice in the picture, so I studied it to see how to make it. In the pattern, the beaded rings are made first, then the over 200 jump rings are added. Ugh!!!! I looked closer and asked myself if the same pattern could be executed by adding the jump rings as I went along, before the beaded rings were woven shut, and yes, they can!
I also have to mention that as soon as my 23yo son saw it, he tried it on, and claimed ownership of it. It is a thrill to make a piece of jewelry for one of my boys! My daughter claims more than her share, it is nice to make something a man would like.