Knitting with wire is similar to knitting with yarn; the technique is the same, but the wire is harder to work with, meaning you'll progress a lot more slowly than if you were knitting the same project with yarn. Knit stitches also look different when worked in wire rather than fiber.
If you've never knit with wire before, this is a good first project because it's pretty easy, gives you lots of practice, and is relatively forgiving.
- A spool of 24 yards of 28-gauge artistic wire
- One pair size 4 US knitting needles
- 15 or more beads, depending on how you design your bracelet
- Heavy-duty scissors or wire cutters
- A toggle clasp or other closure (optional)
The finished size is about 2 inches wide and 6.25 inches long (with the clasp, ours is about 7 inches long). You will knit yours to the size required to comfortably fit your wrist.
- Before beginning, slide all the beads you'll be using on the wire and allow them to hang out below the part of the wire you're currently knitting with.
- Using the wrap cast-on method, cast on 8 stitches. Leave a tail of about 6 inches to attach your clasp later, if you're using one.
- Knit two rows.
- On the next row, knit the first stitch, slide a bead into position between the first and second stitch and knit three more stitches. Slide on another bead, knit three more stitches, slide another bead, knit the last stitch. If you're using flat beads, the opposite side from this row will be the front.
Continuing the Pattern
- Knit without placing any more beads for about half an inch, three or five rows, making sure that when you work the bead row again you're on the same side of the work that you were last time.
- Continue in this manner until you've used 15 beads (if you want to keep the bottom side of the bracelet bead-free to make it a little more comfortable) or until you've reached the desired length for your piece.
- If you're not beading all the way around, just knit straight until the bracelet is just long enough to fit around your wrist. (If you don't want a clasp, make it big enough to slip over your hand.)
Finishing the Bracelet
- Once it's as long as you like, cut the wire, leaving a tail of at least 6 inches. Pull at the work to "block" it in shape.
- Take the stitches off the needle and slide the wire through each one, one at a time, pulling tight to help close up the holes.
- When you reach the center, attach your clasp, if using, and continue across the stitches. Weave in the end slightly and cut off the excess.
- Weave to the center on the cast on a side in the same manner and attach the other side of the clasp.
- Alternatively, you can stitch the two ends of the bracelet together to make a bracelet with no clasp (make sure you knit it long enough!)
Make It Your Own
There are many ways to change up this pattern. You can add beads to only part of the bracelet or all the way around.
You can use a funky closure like a toggle or barrel clasp, or you can knit the bangle long enough so you can just sew the ends together and slide it over your hand (remember the wire can stretch some).
You can choose to put beads only down the middle of the piece, or use smaller beads and space them more closely together.
Or you could change the width of the bracelet to make something a little fancier looking. This pattern is just meant to let you see what can be done when you knit with wire.