I didn’t become interested in viking knit until I started the woven wire bezels class. After the instructor mentioned that she hangs her pendants from viking knit chains, I decided I needed to learn how to make it.
There are a bunch of free viking knit tutorials online. I found this video by JewelrySupply.com to be very informative, as she goes through all the steps. However, the setup was more complicated than necessary. I didn’t need most of that stuff. Instead, I used a never-sharpened pencil, and held it in my left hand, along with the weaving, as I worked. I’ve also used the end of a crochet hook, as they come in different diameters.
I had a whole spool of 24 gauge wire that I never used, and was glad to finally make use of it.
I don’t own a draw plate, because I read reviews of both wooden and plastic draw plates that said that the coating on the wire will come off. I simply stretched my weave with my hands. (I would recommend wearing gloves or wrapping your fingers with medical tape when doing that.) I know that the result doesn’t look as even as it would have, had I used a draw plate, but I didn’t want to risk scraping the color off the wire. If you’re reading this and have used a draw plate with colored wire, such as Artistic Wire, please let me know what kind of draw plate you were using and if the color on the wire came off.
I made my own end caps using this method found on gailnettles.com.
After I completed this necklace, I looked online for more ways to finish Viking knit. I came across this necklace that inspired me to use multiple colors. (It looks like it was double or even triple knit.) As a test, I made this bracelet from different colored pieces of 26 gauge wire. For fun, I decided to make the end caps different colored as well.
I am currently working on a project in which I am using thinner wires to create a chain. It’s extremely time consuming. More on that some other day.
Recently I learned about SilverSilk, which is a machine-woven wire chain. It looks so similar to viking knit and the price is reasonable that it made me wonder why am I’m even spending time weaving wire? It would take me 3 hours to produce a length that I could buy for $3. I decided to order some, to see how well it’ll work for the pendants. So far, my impression is favorable; it’s flexible, won’t stretch, and can hold the weight of the pendant. I’d much rather use it than weave my own chain. I suppose I’d only weave my own chain if it’s required to be handmade.