Saturday, August 17, 2013

This Week's WIPs: Viking Knit Necklaces

It's been a difficult week over here in Shinyland. I was cruising along pretty good until I tweaked myself and my neck started messing with my head and I found myself with a nice clip of a migraine. Those babies tend to put a serious damper on the shinies. And everything else.

While my brain was recuperating from being turned to rubbery mush, I had to put shinies on hold. My brain wouldn't think up shinies and my body was ok with that because it didn't want to play either. After a day or two of that, not making anything was driving me nuts and I decided to try to go back to the Viking Knit I was playing with a couple/few months back. Don't have to think up anything, just do the pattern. I wasn't expecting too much to come out of it, it was mostly just practice.

Practice went well. Vera well even :D

I've got a copper knit to pull that I think will make a nice bracelet of some sort. I got so excited about how it was coming out that I decided to switch gears and try my first silver viking knit. Maybe make a nice little bracelet. It was working so well in copper, surely silver would be a snap.

No. Not so much.

It still surprises me how different the metals are to work with.

With the copper, I had a nice little rhythm going. Smooth and even and not to many kinks to fight as I went. That's where I struggle the most. Twisting and kinking the wire. I think it's the natural state of things when knitting it like this, but if you don't catch it... you'll muck it all up.

Silver fought me all the way. So much for my nice little rhythm and having any control over the wire. Copper is softer, so it doesn't hold shape the same as silver. As it curls, it's easy to straighten back out. Silver behaves completely different. I'd make it 3 or 4 stictches with a beautifully smooth, straight wire then all of a sudden I'd be sitting in the middle of a 8-10' ribbon curled, twisted nest of a slinky. A ferocious attack slinky even! And nothing would straighten it back out. Not really.

Not to be out done by a piece of wire, or a slinky, I fought it out. A couple hours a night for a few/several nights and I had a sterling viking knit.


It didn't turn out to be a bracelet. It's been so long since I've done any Viking Knit that I couldn't remember how much it grows when it's drawn. And once it's drawn, it's done. No do overs. No adds. So I kept knitting.

Better too big than too small.

Last night I decided to stop and go for it. Hoping very much that I might end up with a length long enough to be a necklace. Then I added a smidge more, just for giggles, THEN went for it.


My very first sterling silver Viking Knit chain. :D :D :D Isn't it purdy?

I wrestled with how tight to draw it down. I really liked the lacy one, but... I don't know how the lacy one act when I anneal and work it. I would cry if it melted or smooshed flat. I've never worked a lacy version, only really tight copper. Never sterling, and just drawing it made me super nervous.

The deciding factor was that it didn't fit my pendants. Not even the new trees which are rather large and have bigger bails. So, I held my breath and drew it down more. And more.

And more.

And it worked! Nothing broke, nothing... I don't know, whatever else could happen. Never can tell what can go wrong with this figure it out as I go method I have lol.

Anyhoo, I spent the evening annealing it and working the chain so it's flexible and not lumpy or bumpy. Get it to drape properly. It's current length is 17", before ends and clasp. And it fits most pendants. Trees and medallions anyway.

I stuck a tree on it, and... tada!!

It works wonderfully!! With a pendant, or even without one. Makes a lovely chain all by itself. It just sparkles. Makes me think of woven tinsel.

And I made it all by myself :D :D \o/

Since I was on a roll last night, I pulled out the copper one I'd been working on too. It was ready, just needed antiquing. Pulled out the LOS and gave 'er a good antiquing, paired it up with my new Jade Medallion to see what it would look with that style pendant and....

I haz Viking Knit necklaces! :D :D

I'm pretty darned excited about that. I think I need to work the silver one a tad more, but they're pretty well done. The hard part anyway. My goal for them this weekend is to cap them and make special clasps of some kind and they'll be ready to rock.


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