Knit Silver Wire Bundles

Last month, Marysusan of All Good Girls Are Marys issued a collaborative challenge: she expanded on a design I created and posted the illustration on her blog. I loved her idea, but being separated from my tools and materials, I was forced to sit on my hands until I returned to Seattle. While at Keats, I combed the beach looking for interesting morsels to dangle.

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As soon as the dirty clothes were sorted and fresh fruit on the counter, I pulled out my needles. My first prototype was knit with 24 gauge nickel-plated craft wire. This resulted in a clunky heavy bundle without much definition. It will be perfect to hang from my rear-view mirror, but not from the neck of any human I know.

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The next two were knit with 28 gauge dead-soft sterling silver wire; this means the wire is extremely malleable and very fine, resulting in a much lighter little package that may bend if abused.

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The last package was strung up on wax-coated cotton cord with 24 gauge half hard sterling silver wire and findings. The difference between 28 gauge (the thinner wire used to create the pocket) and 24 gauge (the thicker wire used to wrap the cord) is noticeable in the picture below.

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If you are interested in trying this project, I would recommend working with half-hard sterling silver wire instead of dead-soft, unless you plan to create a production line knitting a never ending string of chain mail. Half-hard wire will make your hands sore after a while, but it is worth it in the ultimate durability of your finished product.

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3 Responses to “Knit Silver Wire Bundles”


  1. 1 Sarah Sunday, August 26, 2007 at 5:04 am

    We saw some beautiful examples of this up on Prince Edward Island at a craft center. My daughter was very discouraged with how her knitted wire turned out. I’ve bought some finer wire and am going to try it again with her this week when I have a few days off from work.

  2. 2 sooz Tuesday, August 28, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    I am dying to try this project – I saw it in alterknits a while ago at a friend’s house. But I have been having some trouble getting the ss wire in a fine enough gauge. Clearly I don’t know where to look! I tried it with copper wire and it was a disaster. So it has slipped downt he project list. Perhaps time to try again! Thanks for your comment on my blog by the way – glad to provide a laugh 🙂

  3. 3 Marysusan Wednesday, August 29, 2007 at 5:22 am

    Oh Leah! This turned out just lovely! How delicate and ephemeral and strong at the same time! You always do the most amazing work…now I want to learn how to do this. Way to meet the challenge!


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