Viking knit jewellery is so named because it is thought to date back to the Viking era. Sections of jewellery made using this knitted or woven technique have been found dating back to the eighth century, and it is believed to have been used as currency at one time. Nowadays, Viking knit is a popular style for bracelets and necklaces, and can be either plain or decorated with beads and charms for a unique look.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Safety glasses
- Allen wrench
- 24 gauge fine silver wire
- Wire cutters
- Needle nose pliers
- Wooden draw plate
- Jewellery clasp
- End cap
Cut a length of wire three times the required length of your jewellery using wire cutters. Wrap one end of the wire around a ruler four times.
Slide the wire loops from the ruler and pinch them together to form one thick loop, with both the long and short ends of the wire running out from the bottom of the loop.
Pinch the bottom of the thick loop slightly to create a balloon shape with the rest of the wire running from the pinched end like the string of a balloon. Twist the base of the balloon shape once using needle nose pliers. Wrap the short end of the wire around the base of the twisted loop to secure it.
Seperate the four loops from each other by sliding them sideways, one by one, to form a four-leaf clover shape, with the long end of the wire running straight out from the base of the shape like a stalk.
Clamp an Allen wrench vertically in a vice with the bent section at the top, above the vice.
Position the centre of the wire four-leaf clover shape on the end of the Allen wrench and bend the leaves forward so that the wire wraps around the wrench like a claw.
Thread the long end of the wire (the free wire) through the loop on the top of the wrench. Pass the wire through from above the loop, and pull it tightly down and toward you without passing it through the new loop of wire you are creating. The wire should form the shape of a lower case letter "e" when it is tightened.
Rotate the clover shape toward you on the wrench so that the next leaf rests on the top. Pass the wire through this leaf from above as with the first leaf. Continue in the same fashion for the two remaining leaves.
Pass the free wire under the next loop where the wire forms a cross. The free wire should pass from the front, around behind where the wire crosses over itself, then be pulled tightly toward you to create another loop and cross of wire directly beneath the first.
Rotate the piece toward you and repeat this process, looping the free wire behind the previous loops. Continue in this fashion until you reach the desired length of your jewellery, allowing the knitted chain to come away from the wrench as you work.
Pass the free wire through all four loops at the end of the chain on the wrench. Slide the piece off the wrench, then pull the free wire up to bring the four loops together tightly and close off the chain.
Pull the chain through the largest hole it can fit through on the wooden draw plate, using the free wire to pull it through. Pull the chain through the other holes, working from largest to smallest until your chain is compressed to the diameter you like.
Thread an end cap on to the free wire and press it firmly on to the end of the chain.
Bend the free wire over into a small loop and wrap the end around the base of the loop as close to the end cap as possible to secure it. Attach a jewellery clasp to the loop. Cut away any excess wire.
Repeat steps 11 to 13 on the other end of the chain using a short length of spare wire. Do not attach a clasp to this end. Instead, use the loop as the fastening for the clasp to be attached to.
Tips and warnings
- Add beads and charms to your Viking knit jewellery for a customised look.
- Wear safety glasss when making wire jewellery to avoid eye injuries.
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