20/02/2009

Viking knit

viking braceletWhen it comes to making jewelry I tend to like classic and elegant designs and seem to be very attracted to ancient techniques. From Celtic knots to Egyptian coils, chain maille or viking knit, designs and techniques that have been around for ages and are still just as beautiful as when they were invented, these are the kind of things that fascinate me the most.

I find it interesting to make something pretty much the same way it was made before electricity was ever invented and eventually finding new variations for the same ancient designs.

I had tried spool knitting some time ago and I liked the result but I didn't like working with the spool at all. Viking knit is not the same as spool knit even though it created the same kind of wire sleeve but the result is tidier and it doesn't require any specific tools. All you need is wire and a mandrel that can be anything from a pencil to an allen wrench.

Viking knit also allows the incorporation of small beads into the weave, something that I always find positive because I like a bit of color in my jewelry.

The hardest thing to figure out with viking knit is the length you need because since you pull it through a draw-plate at the end, it stretches a bit so it's easy to make it too long. But since you can always cut the excess, the only problem with that is some wasted wire (that you can probably use to start a new piece if you leave a longer tail at the end, so that's OK too.

It does take a lot of time to make a bracelet or necklace in viking knit but I think it's beautiful enough to be worth it.

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