One of the challenges many new maillers struggle with is starting the Half-Persian weaves. I've heard suggestions such as using yarn or extra wire to hold the rings in place until it becomes stable. While these ideas work perfectly, I try not to use starter chains or anything of the sort. I find it helps me understand the weave if I watch it fall apart when I drop it like a clumsy cartoon villain...
What I found after a project involving way too much HP 3-1 was a way to start a chain without trying fumble with those first three closed rings to get them in the right place. Experienced maillers will know exactly what I mean, and if you don't know, trust me, you're better off never attempting the Half Persian slide.
So, as promised (seems I say that alot, usually later than I intended) I have the following visual tutorial for HP 3-1. Lefties, you'll probably want to work from right to left, you freaks already open your rings the wrong way, might as well do everything backwards.
We'll start with an equal number of pre-opened and pre-closed rings. I've 10 each here.
Place two closed rings on an open ring, and close it, you'll have a simple chain of three rings. If you hold the center ring you have something like the image below. The notations on the image are to show you what I'll call the outside of the two hanging rings. You want to weave an open ring through the outside of the first ring only, then again through the outside of the second.
Going through the first ring.
The apparent mess after going through the second, don't worry, it will come together and start to resemble the intended result very soon.
Our friendly, if badly-drawn, arrow has a secret to tell you, he wants you to take your newly added open ring, marked in green, put a closed ring on it swing it around to the top of the chain beside the old center ring of the simple chain.
Setting it down a second because I promised the arrow a beer for helping out, we can see the open ring in place and the new closed ring kindof lazing around on the end.
If you look now, you see you have a sequence of two rings on top, and three rings on the bottom. Notice how they stairstep. On the top row each new rings goes on top of the next, but not through it, on the bottom row. Close the open ring and kick that bottom row ring underneath the one next to it. The eye between the last two bottom rings is where you'll weave the next open ring, add a closed ring, and close it.
After a repition or two, it starts to take shape and becomes more stable. Keep repeating the process of passing an open ring through the eye, adding a closed ring, then closing. Now, that floppy ring on the end, when your chain is as long as you need it, add the last open ring. Remember that we started with an equal number of each, used two closed rings at the beginning, so the final open ring is added the same way without bringing a closed ring along.
This is the end of a HP3-1 chain right before closing the final ring, notice floppy is on vacation.
Close it, and... is there a less pretentious and lame word than "viola" I could use?
There you have it. HP 3-1 without the annoying ring twist or guide wires, or duct tape, or throwing it against a wall in frustration and deciding to make something from Byzantine instead.