Here’s a simple piece of knitting which makes a great gift. Well, I say simple – the first time you knit with wire, you have to learn a slightly different way of knitting, but whilst it’s easy to drop a needle it’s almost impossible to drop a stitch.
All you need is a spool of 26 gauge silver wire (I bought mine from Michaels), two thin double pointed needles (I suggest old ones so you don’t ruin some expensive needles – this is a good time to visit the thrift store), some small beads; and some wire cutters are useful too though not essential. These little cutters came as a part of a set of five tools for handling wire and they have come in very useful when I make earrings.
I strung about 60 beads on to the wire before I started. Then I cast on three stitches to one of the needles. Use the most basic cast on possible – three backward loops (e-wrap). Don’t make them tight. Now you’re going to start knitting i-cord, which means that you will knit the three stitches, but do not turn to knit back the other way. Instead, slide the stitches from the left hand end of the needle to the right hand end – the wire will be coming from the far left – you will then knit the three stitches again, bringing the wire across the back to knit the first stitch. When you knit the second stitch, put the tip of the needle into the stitch, slide a bead up to the back of the work, and knit the stitch. Then knit the third stitch. And so on and so on, until the bracelet is the length you want.
I found a little clasp on an old silver bracelet that I was able to use to fasten this particular bracelet. You could find packs of these clasps at Michaels, but if you’re not going to make lots of bracelets then a thrift store might come in handy for one of these too.
When it was long enough, I looped the cast on tail around and “wove” it through the knitted loops, using a tool to curl the end so that it won’t stick into the wearer. At the bind off end, I snipped the wire, threaded it through the three live stitches three times to make a loop for the clasp to grab onto, then wove it back into the work and curled the end over.
Remember to keep your stitches loose enough to knit – pull the wire through far enough, because you can be sure you’ll get stuck if it’s too tight. And you can reshape the work slightly as you go, if any of the wire loops are sticking out a little messily. Have fun with it!