Saturday, November 8, 2008

beaded wire knitted bracelet


How about I show you just how easy it is to make one of these knitted bracelets?

Unfortunately I seem to have chosen a shocking background for the progress shots here. I wasn't really thinking about colour, and I just placed my work on the nearest surface for the pictures.

As always, if you would like to see the photos in greater detail... click on them... and you will be able to enlarge them using flickr


Firstly you will need an old pair of needles. Once they have been used to knit wire with, they will never be quite the same again. I am using a 2.75mm pair, but the exact size is not critical. I could probably have gone a little larger. But these ones were already old and bent, so it was an easy choice. Use what you have!


This is the copper wire I reclaimed from the electrical cable (click here for the blog post detailing how I did this) It is a bit thicker than the crafting wire I used in the earlier projects. If you are looking to buy wire, I recommend a 28 gauge... it is pliable enough to work with, yet strong enough to resist breaking too easily. My original knitted bracelet was worked with 28 gauge wire and 2.75mm needles

Your wire will be easier to work with if it is warm, so you might like to place it in a sunny window before you start working. It really does make a difference!


Gather a variety of recycled beads and buttons... or whatever you plan to embellish with

thread beads

Before starting to knit, you will need to thread these items on to your wire. Always thread on more than you think you will need. If you are using recycled wire you will need beads with large enough holes to easily pass over the kinks in your wire.

cast on

Cast on a few stitches... the width you would like the bracelet to be.

garter stitch

Make sure you keep your stitches LOOSE, as the wire has no 'give'

Knit one row. This bracelet is worked entirely in garter stitch. Just plain old knitting

Try to ignore the fact that it looks ridiculous!

It looks nothing like regular knitting - but that's okay

Do not panic if you think it 'looks wrong'... start chanting to yourself "embrace the squiggle... embrace the squiggle... embrace the squiggle"

Just keep going... it WILL be fine!

add bead

When you are ready to start adding beads, knit the first stitch. Put your needle into the second stitch as if to knit it, then slide a bead all the way up to the needles.


Now you can wrap the wire around the needle and continue making the next stitch. Add as many beads as you like.


You'll notice that all the beads are settling to the BACK of your work.


Then when you turn for the next row... you will see them clearly.

ALWAYS ALTERNATE YOUR ROWS... a bead row is always followed by a NON-BEAD row

REMEMBER if the beads are facing you, you are working a NON-BEAD row

too tight

See the way the top two rows of beads are bunched up together in the above photo?


I like to give my work a stretch every couple of rows, to open it up a bit


Work until you are happy with the length.

I have joined this one by 'sewing' the two ends together using the tails of wire. Obviously I have not actually used a needle, just poked the wire end though.


Elaine said...

hmm. Me thinks i like the knitted version. seems lighter. maybe you could even use a random bit ribbon to "corset" the ends. it would make an unusual contrast to the glass/plastic and wire...

laughing purple goldfish said...

devi - would you believe I tried EXACTLY that technique today... but the ribbon I had on hand was a bit too wide for the job! I agree about the knitted one looking better than the crochet one too :)

Sam said...

Both the tutorials were so clear, with lots of great photos. I couldn't work out if you'd added the beads afterward, and now I know. I'm going to have a dig around - I know I've got some craft wire somewhere...
What's next??? :-)

Anonymous said...

Again very nice, but I'm going to have to go against the majority here and say I think I like the crochet one better.
Nice tutorial.

Anonymous said...

good post

Brandie said...

i have some bracelets i have made but there they just sit in my jewelery box..should I take a picture and let everyone see what i have done??

My Unfinished Life said...

interesting work...and beautiful bracelet..
but il just admire it and let go..too lazy for knitting!!

laughing purple goldfish said...

sam - however did you know I would be moving on to something else??? I'm glad you're going to play around with wire... it makes a nice change... and some gorgeous jewellery

jacqui - oh well... there's one in every crowd, isn't there! ;)
in the finer gauges, I like both the knit and the crochet versions... but in this gauge, I definitely prefer the knit... and I must say, it uses way less wire, too

oglasi - thank you

brandie - absolutely! take pictures and share them with the world... it's always fun to see what other people are up to... and you can inspire others down the same path

shooting star - refreshingly honest comment there! thank you :) said...

I love this one, although, I'm a better crocheter, so I'm going to start there. I'll be linking!

Trudi & Gary said...

What a great bracelet and a great idea! Love your blog - found you in the "blogs of note" section of my dashboard - congratulations! Can't wait to see what new great things you invent next.
Your fan/friend in crafts,
Trudi Brown

laughing purple goldfish said...

rachel - always appreciated!

trudi - thank you :) you'll find that while I like to work with slightly unusual materials... I generally stick with very basic techniques... so it's always easy for others to have a go too!

meili_lo said...

wonderfully done! so creative and really nice. had been addicted to beads at one point in my life =) so i really like your work!

anyway, i'm inviting you to visit my blog and please do share your opinion. would really appreciate it if you can spend a few seconds to answer my survey question.


Anonymous said...

Fantastic job..! This beaded wire knitted bracelet is looking awesome. I will try to make my won.

laughing purple goldfish said...

meili_lo - thank you

tess - enjoy! it's good fun :)

Pink Peonies said...

so creative, I have tried to make won but it did not turn out as pretty as yours, love it!

HJC Editor said...

Your tutorial is an awesome inspiration! Many thanks for sharing. I would like to feature your designs at

Contact me here if you have a concern.