Viking knit chain is a jewellery making technique that uses a thin-gauge wire to form a chain of loops in the shape of a tube. The loops resemble the stitches made with knitting needles, and the resulting tube resembles a knitted I-cord, which is often used for handles on a bag or as an edge of a garment.
Although the technique has "knit" in its name, you do not use needles to make the stitches. Instead you manually weave the end of the wire around a tube, made by a dowel rod or Allen wrench, inserting the wire in and out of the previous row of stitches.
To manipulate the wire in such tight spaces as these stitches require, it must be malleable. Fine wire in the range of 24 to 28 gauge is commonly used. A higher number indicates a thinner wire.
Viking knit chain requires basic jewellery making tools, such as round nose pliers, chain nose pliers and wire cutters. You will also need a small Allen wrench to act as the centre form around which you weave, a vice to hold the wrench in an upright position and free your hands, and a wooden drawplate to mould the finished chain to a uniform width.
Viking knit forms a sturdy tube of linked loops that resembles woven cord. Jewellery artists commonly use fine silver, gold or copper wire to form bracelets and necklaces with this technique.
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