The versatility of crochet allows us to crochet with many more fibers than just yarn, including wire. "If it bends, I can crochet with it," I've often heard crocheters say! Wire is particularly adaptable to making crochet jewelry.
There is no better time than the holidays to wear jewelry you have crocheted yourself. Friends you encounter at parties and celebrations will be amazed by your talents! Adding beads is an option that is quick and easy to do when making a necklace or bracelet, and there are patterns readily available for you to follow. With the following tips on crocheting with wire, you might want to create your own design for a bracelet, ring or necklace.
To begin, choose a 28-gauge wire such as Artistic Wire or Soft Flex®. Both are permanently colored copper spools of wire that are available in a large array of colors. A size 1 or 2 steel crochet hook is the best size for crocheting with wire. When crocheting with wire, the stitches are no different than regular crochet stitches except that the wire is stiffer, and it may take a bit of patience and practice to reach your comfort level.
Wire does not have nearly the flexibility of yarn, and once you have placed a stitch, it cannot be adjusted. On the other hand, imperfections are difficult to see. If you are trying crochet with wire for the first time, you might want to use 30- or 32-gauge wire for practice. It is almost as flexible as thread, but is not sturdy enough to hold up under the wear and tear of jewelry. If you don't have experience crocheting with crochet thread, practice a bit with size 10 crochet cotton and a size 7 hook first before tackling crochet with wire.
Almost any simple pattern can be crocheted in wire, but it is recommended that you crochet a motif or pattern stitch with yarn first to familiarize yourself with the stitches before using wire. Unraveling wire crochet is difficult, but it is possible if not too many stitches need to be ripped out.
Household nail clippers or needle-nose pliers come in handy to clip the wire when finished crocheting. To tuck in ends, wrap the wire several times around your hook; remove the hook and then press the wrap close to the back of the work.
Here is a quick bracelet pattern that makes it easy to try wire crochet while achieving some pretty fabulous results if you are willing to add beads to the mix. Using 28-gauge art wire and about 2 ounces of size 8 or larger seed beads, crochet a chain of approximately 28 inches in length with one bead (or more if desired) on every other chain.
To work a bead-chain, first string all the beads onto the wire. With a slip stitch on the hook, chain 1 without a bead; pull a bead close to the hook, chain 1; *chain 1 without a bead; pull a bead close to the hook, chain 1; repeat from * until the chain is 28 inches long. Fasten off. Wrap the chain several times around your wrist and twist wires to close. If desired, a simple bracelet clasp can be attached to each end of the chain.