Crocheting with wire hints and tips
Michelle Ryan © 2005 For personal use only
You can use any wire for crocheting, (telephone wire is nice and is coated in plastic usually nice colours) some people have allergies to nickel and other metals so be careful. It is better to buy a good quality jewellery wire, that way you know what type of metal you are using. Plus there is nice coloured wire available now, try mixing two or more colours together.
When you start crocheting with wire go for a soft wire like copper or brass.
I recommend starting on a #34 gauge it is very soft and kinder to your hands, you can progress onto a firmer wire when you get the feel for working with it. It is also much cheaper to begin with.
Remember metal can tarnish, so your shiny copper necklace may become a matt green necklace (this can look nice too!). You can buy treated wire or varnish with a jewellery varnish when the item is finished to prevent tarnishing. You can also get anti-allergy varnish if you or the person you are making for is allergic to metal. varnishes may need to be recoated every few years depending on how often the item is used and handled.
Wire has a natural twist always work with it. If you try and turn the wire against that twist you will get angles and bends which cannot be straightened.
The higher the number/ gauge the thinner the wire.
It is better to crochet wire in a warm room, as the wire will be more flexible and malleable. The heat from your hands also helps, so you will find the wire easier to control after a few rows as the wire will be warmer. Because of this always try to finish a whole row or section, if possible complete the whole piece in one sitting. If you stop between rows, when you restart you may find your stitches look slightly different, until the wire warms up again.
Do not use your nice wooden and bamboo hooks for crocheting with wire, the wire can cut into them, plus they can also reactive with the wire and discolour the hooks.
You need a strong smooth metal hook, check for nicks before use, as if the wire catches it can bend in a direction you don't want.
Use a wire cutter to cut the wire or a cheap scissors, never ever use your good fabric/ dressmaking scissors. Unless you never want to cut fabric with them again!
Have a pliers handy (the small needle-nose pliers are best) for bending and pulling firmer wire and for finishing. I prefer acrylic coated pliers they do not mark the wire.
When you cut the wire try to cut at a 45% angle, this helps stop the wire scratching and catching in clothing and skin when been worn. You can also use a file to get rid of any sharp bits (an old nail file for thin wire is ok).
If you find the wire rubs on your fingers or you have any cuts the wire may rub against, put on a normal plaster (bandaid). I use the self adhesive embroidery thimbles (thimble-it you get 64 in a pack) as I find them very easy to work with and they have saved my hands from many cuts.
Remember to remove any wire jewellery before sleeping, you can injure not only yourself but your jewellery can easily be distorted and damaged.
© Copyright 2002-2015 | Michelle Ryan and Nezumiworld | All rights reserved | For personal use only