It's Electric

Author

by Julie Holetz

Introduction

It's Electric - Crocheted Wire JewelryWorking with wire is totally addictive. Of course, it takes a little getting used to.  If you haven’t tried it before, read through the tips for beginners, find some cheap craft wire and experiment with some of your favorite shapes and stitches.

Tips for beginners:

You can find wire in most craft and bead stores.  Look for some cheap 26 – 30 gauge craft wire in the bead, or even floral, section of the store.   Once you get the hang of it, you can splurge on more expensive colored wires, gold, or even sterling silver.  Note that 24 gauge craft wire will be more difficult to work with than 24 gauge gold or silver wire.

The higher the gauge number the thinner and more flexible the wire will be.

Because wire is so stiff, it doesn’t show textures and patterns very well.  Keep to basic, simple stitches like single and double crochet.
 
Before making your piece, try working it up in some stash yarn or thread so you can avoid the possibility of a mistake.

If you do make a mistake, you can “rip” back a few stitches if you work slowly and carefully. If you need to rip back more than a few stitches, it’s best to start over.

Don’t use your favorite hooks. Use only steel or aluminum hooks. The wire will cut into bamboo and plastic hooks and will scratch the paint on colored metal hooks.

Working with wire isn’t exactly like working with yarn. You want to bend or “work” the wire as little as possible. Because the tension is already built into the wire, you don’t need to hold it the same way you would hold yarn. Don’t thread the wire through your fingers, either leave the working end free, using only your thumb and finger to control the wire, or loop it over just the index finger.

Don’t worry about imperfect loops and stitches as you go. You can stretch and shape the loops when it’s all done.

Materials List

Earrings:

  • 24-26 gauge wire
  • 16 (6-8mm) round beads
  • G/6 (4.25mm) metal crochet hook
  • Needle nose pliers (helpful but optional)
  • Wire cutter or scissors
  • 2 head pins
  • 2 earring hooks

Necklace:

  • 24-26 gauge wire
  • 20 (6-8mm) round beads
  • I/9 (5.50mm) metal crochet hook or Tunisian hook
  • Wire cutter or scissors
  • Needle nose pliers (helpful but optional)
  • 24” of 2mm leather cord or thin ribbon (velvet would be beautiful)
  • Clasp

Notes

Special Stitches:

Beaded Single Crochet (Bsc) – Insert hook into ring, wire over hook and draw up loop, draw one bead up to hook, wire over hook and draw through both loops on hook.

Beaded chain (Bch) – Draw bead up to hook, wire over hook and draw through loop on hook.

The Pattern

Crocheted Wire EarringsEarrings (make 2)

To begin, string 7-10 beads onto wire. (Note: if you are using smaller beads you may want to string more beads. If you use larger beads, you may need fewer. You will need one bead per single crochet in first round, so work as many or few as desired.)

Ch 4, sl st in first ch to form ring.

Rnd 1: Work Bsc 7 times into ring, do not sl st to join.

Fasten off, leaving about 3” of length to weave in. Weave in tail ends and cut excess wire.

Finishing

Thread one bead onto head pin. With bead centered in the middle of the earring circle, thread top of head pin through wire between beads and out the top. Make a loop about 1/4” (or desired length) above the earring and cut excess wire. Open loop on earring hook and connect to the loop you just made. Close earring loop. Using fingers or pliers pull the beaded loops to a uniform circular shape.

Gold earrings: used 7 beads.

Silver earrings: used 8 beads. These beads had a larger hole so I made little loops in the wire above and below the bead to keep in place.

Crocheted Wire NecklaceNecklace

To begin, string 20 beads onto wire, Bch 20, turn.

Row 1: The loop on your hook counts as your first loop. Working into the back loop of each beaded chain stitch, draw up a loop of wire in the second Bch from hook. Continue to draw up a loop of wire in each Bch stitch across until you have 20 loops on your hook.  Note: if you are using a regular crochet hook you may run out of room on the hook partway through.  Just remove the hook from the loops and continue to draw up loops to the end.

Finishing

Cut the wire leaving about 1” tail. Remove the hook from the loops. Twist the tail ends together, fold ends over behind the necklace discreetly and cut any excess wire. Using fingers or pliers and without pulling out the loops, gently shape the loops and necklace until it’s a smooth shape.

Thread leather cording or ribbon through the loops. Attach clasp securely.

Gold wire sample – the gold wire sample was knit on size 9 mm needles using 24-gauge gold wire. Simply cast on with one bead per loop, then knit the first row.  Remove the needle and proceed as directed for finishing.

Silver wire sample – the silver wire was crocheted using the pattern as directed and 26-gauge craft wire.  For the clasp, I made my own S Hook (you can buy these if you don’t want to make your own) out of 20 gauge wire. To make loops for S hook: Take one short end of the leather cord and fold it over 1”, wrap a 3” length of thinner craft wire around the two lengths of cord, leaving 1/4-1/2” of loop open at the top.  Try the necklace on to determine where you the other side should be.  Repeat directions for making the loop on the opposite end.  Cut excess cording.  Hook one end of the S hook to one side and pinch to close securely.

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