My disclaimer here is that these are things I've learned from someone else, somewhere along the way AND that no one way is right for every person. Other than the actual "knit" the rest is up to personal preference. :)
Okay,so I hope that you have watched or know how to Viking Knit already. If not, head over to YouTube and watch this video by Blue Kitty Creations. There are also related videos on the sidebar, but don't get caught up or you will be on there for HOURS (like I was)!
Viking Knit Tip # 1: Reusable Petals
Create a REUSABLE petal set or sets. I used 20 gauge (heavy) wire to create this 4 petal set by wrapping the wire around a credit card, making the loops nice and long. Using my fingers was hard, as I made the loops too small and was hurting my fingers. ;) I do not cut these petals, and can re-use them as often as I want. I also have a 3 petal and 5 petal set to use in my craft box.
Viking Knit Tip #2: Sturdy Tool
Use a sturdy mandrel. This can be a wooden dowel, a crochet hook, a hex/allen key or whatever YOU choose. I personally like my crochet needle, which is 6mm. It has the flat part for my fingers and I like not being tethered to a vice & table.
Viking Knit Tip #3: Secure Your Petals
Secure your petals to the mandrel (in my case, crochet hook). You can use tape, but I prefer a small rubber band. This will keep the petals from sliding or twisting around as you knit.
Viking Knit Tip #4: Starter Bundle
Create a starter bundle of "cheap" wire that is about the same gauge you will be working with. I use mostly 24 or 26 gauge for my Viking Knit, so I use 26 gauge wire that I found at a "value" but turned out to be horrible for jewelry (color chipped, kinked and broke, etc.). You can make this as long as you want, but I typically go about 1" which can be 7 or so rows.
The reason for the starter bundle is to avoid wasting the "good" stuff on those first 1 or 2 awkward rows that tend to not look so good. If you already knit, then you may have experienced where your knitting gets even and pretty right about row 5. So, why waste those first 5 rows? Here is my starter bundle:
, where you will see how the first 2 rows are kind of 'messy'.
Also, when you are finished with your bracelet, you can simply cut the starter bundle row that is closest to the finished bracelet and not have to lose any of your good wire, PLUS you still have some starter bundle left for the next time.
Now you will want to add your 'good' wire, so all I do is "hook" the end in to the last knot I made with the starter bundle and proceed from there, looping around until I get back to the "hook"
|"Hook" good wire in to starter bundle. Keep a finger on it when you go to make your next knot.|
|Proceed to knit. Try not to pull too tightly.|
|This can get tricky... and the photo is the best I can do.|
If you find the place where the wire combined is too bulky, you can pull down on the ends of the wire to tighten it up a bit. But, don't stress! Remember the starter bundle will NOT be a part of your finished piece, and you can always snip the knot if it doesn't tighten down after the draw plate.
Now, the next thing I do is snip those end pieces to keep them out of the way. I first push them up a little bit, away from the mandrel so they are easier to see & cut. I simply take my pliers and cut them, push the tips back down to the mandrel and then continue knitting on....
I have SO much more to share!! Taking photos every step of the way tends to slow me down though. Part 2 I am going to cover Adding Beads to Your Viking Knit. I learned how by reading an article. And, I have read a lot of others comment on what to do and knot do (pun intended). What I will do is show you how I add beads to get a bracelet that looks like this:
|Available for sale at BraceletsByJoy.com|
|Close Up of beads|
Keep It Crafty!
Move on to PART 2 HERE