Monthly Archives: September 2009

Viking Knit Chain Photos

I know it's been longer than I had planned, to get you these viking knit chain photos, but I've finally had a chance to sit down and catalog what I had, and what you might like to see.

Viking Knit Bracelet (Click to Enlarge)

Viking Knit Bracelet (Click to Enlarge)

First off, I've been making mostly bracelets, along with some necklaces.  So far, no earrings (that's my next project).   This first bracelet looks rather plain at first glance.  But when you hold it in your  hand, it looks like copper lace.  And it's nice and light and oh-so-comfortable.

Next is a bracelet I decided a little more color.  So, I've incorporated seed and lampwork beads in this particular piece of jewelry.

Beaded Viking Knit Bracelet (Click to Enlarge)

Beaded Viking Knit Bracelet (Click to Enlarge)

I had a whole lot of fun with it.  Of course, I had to include some of my own lampwork beads while I was at it.  I've gotten lots of compliments on it, how it looks like the seed beads have been woven into a net.

(BTW, I have included instructions for a similar bracelet in my Intro to Viking Knit tutorial.)

OK, what next?  Hmmm, time for a necklace perhaps?

This particular necklace uses viking knit as the background, with the wire-wrapped pendant as the focal.

Viking Knit Necklace and Pendant

Viking Knit Necklace and Pendant

I have a blast doing these free-form pendants!  I've always had a problem with them though; they are substantial in size and need a chain that is equally substantial.  And viking knit fits in nicely!

But a viking knit chain doesn't need to be relegated to just the background, not at all!

Although viking knit can be a necklace all by itself, it can be equally intriguing when different gauges and styles of viking knit chain are incorporated in the same piece.

I have a work in progress there I've mixed 24 gauge single knit and 26 gauge double knit -- looks kind of cool so far!

So far I've used copper, artistic wire, brass and also am working in silver.  I have some gold-filled wire, but I haven't decided what to do with it yet (seeing as it's so very expensive these days).  I'm sure sooner or later an idea will come to me and I'll dig into my stash of gold-filled.

Viking Knit Bracelet -- Flight of the Bumblebee

Viking Knit Bracelet -- Flight of the Bumblebee

Here's something that I call "Flight of the Bumblebee" which turned out very interesting indeed!  You see, when I grabbed my wire, both the brass and the black wire were supposed to be 26 gauge.  That being the case, I figured I'd do some double-knit.

Well, if the brass was 26 gauge, I'll buy and eat a hat!  So my brass portions are thicker than the black (which really was 26 gauge).  At any rate, it's a cool look and it feels really neat!

In fact, I may dig into my small stash of gold-filled wire and do a mix of it with sterling silver.  Hmmmm......

That's it for the moment; more later!

Finishing Viking Knit Chain

Finishing viking knit chain, to turn it into a necklace or bracelet, can be daunting at first.  You have this beautiful chain you've carefully knitted and sent through the drawplate...but what do you do next?

(Don't forget, I have posts on directions for viking knit, using a draw plate, choosing wire and the relationship between dowels and petals.)  Not to mention my new tutorial Introduction to Viking Knit!

Deciding on Embellishments

First you need to decide if you want any embellishments on your chain.  For example, if you have a chain you've drawn down thin, do you want to put Pandora beads on it?  Now is the time, before you finish off the ends.

If you want to put on a pendant that is a close fit to the chain, you probably want to put it on (or at least put the bail on) before finishing the ends.  There are, however, bails that can fit over the finished ends of the viking knit chain if you'd rather not be tied down to one look.

Of course, you might want no additional embellishments; the chain alone is beautiful, just as it is!

Finishing the Ends

Finishing the Ends of Viking KnitThe ends of the viking knit present somewhat of a dilemma.  They are rather thick and may look somewhat funky, so you'll need to hide them somehow.  But how?

The answer is with an end cap.  This could be a purchased cone or one you make yourself; it all depends on the look you're after and the availability of the materials.

For your average viking knit chain, you want an end cap or cone that is at least 6mm in diameter on the large end.  It should also be at least 10mm tall.

In the photo, I made my own end caps.  It's a little trickier than buying ready-made end caps, but when it comes to artistic wire, it may be your best option.

Making End Caps

You'll need the following to make your own end caps:

  • Knitting needle, slightly smaller than the width of your drawn viking knit.
  • Wire cutters.
  • Round-nose pliers.
  • Flat-nose pliers.
  • Two pieces of 20 gauge wire; one should be around 10" long, the other around 4" long.

For my double-knit chain made on a 3/8" mandrel and 26g wire, I used a size 10-1/2 knitting needle.  You may need a knitting needle larger or smaller, depending on how much you draw it down.

Coiling the Wire (Click to Englarge)

Coiling the Wire (Click to Englarge)

Start by coiling your wire around the knitting needle, keeping the coils as close together as possible.  I put some masking tape on my knitting needle, so that the wire wouldn't slide around quite so much.

I make around 10 full coils, which ends up being around 10mm tall.

Once you have all your coils, cut off all but about 1.5" of wire.  You'll use this to make the top coil of your end cap.

Making the Top Coil (Click to Enlarge)

Making the Top Coil (Click to Enlarge)

Take a round-nose plier and curl just the tip of the extended wire.  Make a small closed loop for the best fit.

Make a spiral out of the wire, slowly and carefully.  I taped up the jaws of my flat-nose pliers so that I would not scratch the surface of the artistic wire, as the coating can come off if you get too rowdy.

Spiral Over the Coil

Spiral Over the Coil

As you get close to the main coil, gently ease the spiral over the main coil.  Try to keep the small closed loop as close to the center of the coil as possible, but a little off-center won't be too visible in the end result.

Finishing the chain gets a bit easier from here on!

Take a piece of wire around 4" long and make a little bend at one end, so that it kind of looks like a fish hook.

Threading the finishing wire through the end cap.

Threading the finishing wire through the end cap.

Using the long end of the wire, slide it through the top few loops of the chain.  Pull the chain so that it ends up snagged in the "fish hook" end.

Take your end cap and thread it into place over the long end of the wire.  Snug it down as much as you can.  Then, you'll need to make a wrapped loop to hold the wire in place.

And see that little straight piece of wire towards the bottom?  You can take it an gently curve it around (I use a fine pair of flat-nose pliers) and place the end into the viking knit wire.

This serves two purposes; you hide the end of the wire in the body of the viking knit, as well as snag it into the chain for stability.

So that's finishing the ends of the viking knit chain.  What's up next?  Why some examples of viking knit jewelry, of course, so stay tuned!

Want even more in-depth information on viking knit?  Check out my new viking knit chain tutorial called Introduction to Viking Knit.

Meanwhile, if you don't have anywhere near you that sells artistic or copper wire in the gauges you need, here are some ideas from ebay.

Pure Copper Wire Round Half Round Square 12 14 16 18 19 20 21 22 24 26 Gauge DS
Pure Copper Wire Round Half Round Square 12 14 16 18 19 20 21 22 24 26 Gauge DS
$6.57
Time Remaining: 18d 22h 40m
Buy It Now for only: $6.57
Copper Wire 999 Pure Round Dead Soft 10 12 14 16 18 20 21 22 24 26 28 30 Ga
Copper Wire 999 Pure Round Dead Soft 10 12 14 16 18 20 21 22 24 26 28 30 Ga
$4.99
Time Remaining: 11d 12h 48m
Buy It Now for only: $4.99
Copper Wire 999 Pure Round Dead Soft 10 12 14 16 18 20 21 22 24 26 28 30 Ga
Copper Wire 999 Pure Round Dead Soft 10 12 14 16 18 20 21 22 24 26 28 30 Ga
$40.99
Time Remaining: 11d 12h 48m
Buy It Now for only: $40.99
Copper Wire 999 Pure Round Dead Soft 10 12 14 16 18 20 21 22 24 26 28 30 Ga
Copper Wire 999 Pure Round Dead Soft 10 12 14 16 18 20 21 22 24 26 28 30 Ga
$35.99
Time Remaining: 11d 12h 48m
Buy It Now for only: $35.99
Pure Copper Wire Round Half Round Square 12 14 16 18 19 20 21 22 24 26 Gauge DS
Pure Copper Wire Round Half Round Square 12 14 16 18 19 20 21 22 24 26 Gauge DS
$20.68
Time Remaining: 18d 22h 40m
Buy It Now for only: $20.68

« Previous12

Artistic Wire 30 colors Round Copper Craft Wire REGULAR Spool
Artistic Wire 30 colors Round Copper Craft Wire REGULAR Spool
$6.75
Time Remaining: 27d 6h 48m
Buy It Now for only: $6.75
Pure Copper Wire Round Half Round Square 12 14 16 18 19 20 21 22 24 26 Gauge DS
Pure Copper Wire Round Half Round Square 12 14 16 18 19 20 21 22 24 26 Gauge DS
$6.57
Time Remaining: 18d 22h 40m
Buy It Now for only: $6.57
Copper Wire 999 Pure Round Dead Soft 10 12 14 16 18 20 21 22 24 26 28 30 Ga
Copper Wire 999 Pure Round Dead Soft 10 12 14 16 18 20 21 22 24 26 28 30 Ga
$40.99
Time Remaining: 11d 12h 48m
Buy It Now for only: $40.99
Copper Wire 999 Pure Round Dead Soft 10 12 14 16 18 20 21 22 24 26 28 30 Ga
Copper Wire 999 Pure Round Dead Soft 10 12 14 16 18 20 21 22 24 26 28 30 Ga
$35.99
Time Remaining: 11d 12h 48m
Buy It Now for only: $35.99
Pure Copper Wire Round Half Round Square 12 14 16 18 19 20 21 22 24 26 Gauge DS
Pure Copper Wire Round Half Round Square 12 14 16 18 19 20 21 22 24 26 Gauge DS
$22.14
Time Remaining: 18d 22h 40m
Buy It Now for only: $22.14

« Previous12