Since the air conditioning was out yesterday, and we couldn’t leave the apartment in case the repairman showed up (he didn’t), I needed to find something to do to keep my mind and hands occupied. The sewing room was too hot, so working on the quilt was out. The thought of touching yarn just gave me hives. I wracked my brain, and remembered a project I’ve been wanting to try for a long time: knitting with wire. A quick trip to the hobby shop (thanks for staying behind, Mr. M!) and I had the needles I needed to start.
I have actually had this kit in my possession for close to FOUR YEARS. I bought it at Stitches Midwest in 2007, from a shop called Knitter’s Journey. The kit includes everything you need to make a knitted wire beaded bracelet, you just add needles:
You start by stringing the beads onto the wire in a random order. You don’t add beads as you go, so you may want to add a few extra, just in case. You can always remove any leftovers after you’re done.
Then, you cast on and start knitting. As for the needles, I highly suggest you buy separate needles for your wire knitting. The kit suggests metal needles, and I would have to agree. You definitely don’t want to use your nice bamboo or rosewood needles for wire knitting, as they may get nicked or chipped. I bought this pair of cheap metal needles (with a 40% off coupon) for about $2. Totally worth it to spare my good wooden needles.
I have never knit with beads before, but the instructions in the kit were very clear and precise. This method has you work the beads between stitches, rather than “on” a stitch. Basically, when you knit a wrong side row, just slip a bead up between the stitches. I also twisted all of my stitches to keep the beads in place so they wouldn’t wiggle around to the back of the work.
Really, that’s all there is to it – knit the wire in a basic garter stitch. Keep your stitches loose. Add beads between stitches as you knit the wrong side rows. Twist the stitches to keep the beads in place. Bind of as usual, and add a toggle. When you’re done, you have a pretty bracelet.
I actually had enough supplies left over to make another bracelet, this one a bit smaller and more delicate. I like it just as much as the first one.
This was the perfect project for a hot, sticky afternoon. I love having such a pretty finished object to show for the minimal effort.