Wire is one of many innovative materials that you can use for crocheting. Wire is a fantastic material to use for crocheting jewelry, but you can use it for many other creative projects too.
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What Wire Should You Use for Crochet?
Thick wire is challenging to work with; you don't want to put your hands through the strain of crocheting with a wire that is too heavy. So with that in mind, you'll want to work with thin wire--perhaps in the range of 26 to 28 gauge. You can also use a 24 gauge wire.
Wire comes packaged in many different ways. Sometimes you find it packaged on spools, as pictured here. Sometimes you can find value packs comprised of much smaller spools of wire. Sometimes you find packages of wire where the wire is simply coiled; it isn't on a spool at all.
All have their advantages and disadvantages.
So far, a crafter's favorite is the larger spools pictured at left. There's enough wire on the spool to make most projects you would want to make, and it's easy to unwind wire as needed.
You may also love working with the smaller spools from the wire value packs, but they only work for projects where a small amount of wire is needed. Also, there tends to be quite a bit of waste in proportion to the amount of wire present. After crocheting a project with one of these spools, you may find that a piece is left over at the end that's a significant length of wire yet it's too short to do much of anything with.
Also, there is an excessive amount of packaging with this type of wire, which could potentially have an impact on the environment depending on what you do with the packaging afterward. Keep the used-up spools so you can use them for winding more wire or embroidery floss later, so the spools aren't wasted.
Most crafter's least favorite is the loosely coiled wire without any type of spool. It's problematic because it can tangle and become challenging (or impossible) to sort out. A good tip is to keep empty spools after you've used them up, and then wind coiled wire onto the empty spools as needed.
The wire packaged in this way does have a couple of advantages. One is its lower environmental impact (more wire, less packaging.) The other is that they tend to give you a lot of wire for the price. It's a pretty good value, assuming you don't lose too much of it to tangles and snarls.
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Which Crochet Hook Should You Use for Wire Crochet?
Wire crochet is excessively hard on crochet hooks. Therefore these two characteristics make the perfect wire crochet hook:
- The hook must be sturdy.
- The hook should be one you don't mind damaging or breaking altogether, in case something goes wrong. Do not use a hook that has sentimental value or significant monetary value. You could end up regretting it.
When yarn creates friction against your crochet hook, it's unlikely to cause any significant damage. You can't say the same for a wire. When wire chafes against your hook, it could peel off any coatings or paint that may be present on the outside of the hook. It's possible that a delicate hook could crack or outright snap and break.
Good options to use are either small steel crochet hooks or cheap aluminum Boye hooks for wire crochet.
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Which Beads Should You Use for Wire Crochet?
You don't have to use beads when you crochet with wire, but beads do combine nicely with wire to make jewelry and other projects.
There are so many types of beads available, and so many things you could make, that it's hard to give a definitive answer about which ones are "best."
We love the effect of stone bead chips when paired with wire crochet techniques. You can see examples of this in the rose-pink beaded wire crochet bracelet (pictured at left) and the stone bead chip necklace with a dichroic glass pendant.
Freshwater pearls also look great with wire crochet. You can see an example of how they look together in this freshwater pearl necklace.
With both of these types of beads, the bead shapes are not uniform; they're all different. With that in mind, you could try experimenting with bead mixes where the bead sizes and shapes are different, and that might also give you fantastic results.
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Which Beads NOT to Use for Wire Crochet
Don't use any kind of bead that has a coating on the outside that could come off--like these metallic seed beads by Darice. These are not good for wire crochet, for all the reasons explained in the product review of the beads.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Wire Crochet Napkin Rings
You could crochet napkin rings using wire, or combine wire and other materials to make your napkin rings or other projects. Pictured here is a napkin ring that's made using a combination of wire and pull tabs that were harvested from cat food can lids. This effect is achieved by crocheting wire into the open spaces of the pull tabs. Pictured at left, you can see the napkin rings holding a rolled vintage cloth napkin. You can get the free napkin ring pattern and instructions if you would like to make yourself a set of these.
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Wire Crochet Christmas Ornaments
Ornaments are another ideal type of project you can crochet out of wire.
The snowflake ornament at left is crocheted using wire as a part of the framework. The technique used to make it is different than the usual wire crochet technique, but you could use either technique for making your ornaments.
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Wire Crochet Bowls
Can't you just imagine, a beautiful wire bowl filled with fruit on your countertop or coffee table? How lovely would that be?Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Wire Crochet Cautions
Please use caution and common sense when crocheting with wire. Take frequent breaks. Stretch your hands often. If you experience any pain in your hands, it is best to put safety first and discontinue working on the project until your hands heal completely. You only have one pair of hands, and so you have to take good care of them.
Another caution: it's difficult to unravel wire crocheted pieces. It isn't impossible in every case, but in many cases, unraveling just plain doesn't work. Most of the time, it's going to be better to just leave a mistake in place and work around it, than it is to try to unravel and rework it.
So, crochet carefully, and be prepared to lose some pieces if you make mistakes in your work. These sorts of losses happen to everyone who does wire crochet, so when it happens to you, know that you are in good company. With wire crochet, it's all right if you ignore your inner perfectionist and just keep crocheting, despite any imperfections or outright mistakes that may happen.
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References and External Links
At Fire Mountain Gems: Their article crochet with wire is a helpful resource, and they also sell wire and beading supplies you can use for crocheting with wire.