Viking Knitting is an ancient technique of making woven wire rope. Thankfully we can now make it the (relatively) fast and easy way using the Lazee Dazee Viking Knitting tool. You can find a full set of instructions at the Bead Hold’s How To pages as well as the tool, wires, and findings.
Basically you weave wire around looping it around the loops on the previous row trying to keep it fairly even – that’s not as easy as it sounds. Once you have a length of ‘rope’ you stretch it by pulling it through one of the holes in the tool-gauge and then rolling it in a cloth. This makes a surprisingly good job of evening out a somewhat messy looking rope.
I found that the wire you choose can make a big difference on how easy or not it is to weave. I made my first bracelet out of non-tarnish brass artistic wire to give me a gold colour but it was extremely difficult to manage. I kept getting tangled and it was hard to keep even. But I persevered and completed a bracelet that I was very pleased with.
I decided to make some longer pieces of ‘rope’ so that I could make some different jewellery and chose the silver artistic wire and was blown away by how much easier it was to handle – I could happily weave away with much longer bits of wire without getting so tangled up and it was easier to keep the stitches even (and I’m pretty sure that wasn’t just because I was getting better at doing it). I made a long rope and a short rope and took ages trying to decide how I was going to make them into a jewellery piece. In the end I cut both of them in two, put end caps on and put a flat bead between the pieces at one end and attached a clasp at the other.
Rather than cutting it them in two, another option is to use a fancy clasp and incorporate that as part of the jewellery design as Nia has in this beautiful coral necklace she has for sale at the Bead Hold (I copied the photo from her website).