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.

BRIGHT SHINY CLEAN SCRAP COPPER WIRE 24 POUNDS WOW
BRIGHT SHINY CLEAN SCRAP COPPER WIRE 24 POUNDS WOW
$55.00 (15 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 16h 42m
Tarnish Resistant Craft Wire 3 Colors 7 Gauges Jewelry Making Crafts
Tarnish Resistant Craft Wire 3 Colors 7 Gauges Jewelry Making Crafts
$4.79
Time Remaining: 28d 12h 13m
Buy It Now for only: $4.79
45 FEET ROUND ALUMINUM WRAP CRAFT JEWELRY WIRE CHOOSE COLOR SIZE
45 FEET ROUND ALUMINUM WRAP CRAFT JEWELRY WIRE CHOOSE COLOR SIZE
$3.96
Time Remaining: 29d 16h 51m
Buy It Now for only: $3.96
COPPER WIRE SOFT 24GA 1 LB SPOOL 818FT GENUINE SOLID COPPER
COPPER WIRE SOFT 24GA 1 LB SPOOL 818FT GENUINE SOLID COPPER
$21.90
Time Remaining: 9d 16h 16m
Buy It Now for only: $21.90
Eye Pin Wire Open For Bead Craft 100 Copper GA 24 Thin 2 100
Eye Pin Wire Open For Bead Craft 100 Copper GA 24 Thin 2 100
$5.29
Time Remaining: 9h 18m

« Previous12

Tin Copper Wild Wire 26 guage 60 feet 3719 Craft Jewelry Wire
Tin Copper Wild Wire 26 guage 60 feet 3719 Craft Jewelry Wire
$1.95
Time Remaining: 11h 47m
Buy It Now for only: $2.95
Silver Filled Wire Round Copper Core Wire Wrapping Bead Wrapping Gauges 14 to 26
Silver Filled Wire Round Copper Core Wire Wrapping Bead Wrapping Gauges 14 to 26
$7.16
Time Remaining: 24d 20h 48m
Buy It Now for only: $7.16
Tarnish Resistant Craft Wire 3 Colors 7 Gauges Jewelry Making Crafts
Tarnish Resistant Craft Wire 3 Colors 7 Gauges Jewelry Making Crafts
$4.79
Time Remaining: 28d 12h 13m
Buy It Now for only: $4.79
Silver Filled Wire Round Copper Core Wire Wrapping Bead Wrapping Gauges 14 to 26
Silver Filled Wire Round Copper Core Wire Wrapping Bead Wrapping Gauges 14 to 26
$7.16
Time Remaining: 24d 20h 48m
Buy It Now for only: $7.16
Silver Filled Wire Round Copper Core Wire Wrapping Bead Wrapping Gauges 14 to 26
Silver Filled Wire Round Copper Core Wire Wrapping Bead Wrapping Gauges 14 to 26
$7.16
Time Remaining: 24d 20h 48m
Buy It Now for only: $7.16

« Previous12

3 Responses to Finishing Viking Knit Chain

  • Rhonda says:

    I just started to learn to do viking knitting and what can I say I’m a blonde and I am having a little trouble understanding how to make the end cap. Have you thought about making a video something. I have read your website I don’t know how many times and I just can’t get it. Maybe I should just not do viking knitting.

  • Gail says:

    Hi Rhonda,

    Don’t let the end cap portion put you off doing Viking Knit — you can always buy a cap or a cone to use on the ends of the chain. :)

    Are you having the problems with only the spiral portion, or the whole thing?

  • Rhonda says:

    Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I kind of get the spiral portion its not very pretty. I just don’t get how to get it on the bracelet. I think I am just going to have to buy a cap or a cone. Thank you for your help.

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