When I purchased the wire for my first Viking Knit project and the Viking Knit class I had thought of using some wire I had picked up long before. This was the coloured copper wire I had avoided purchasing for Viking Knit at the class because of the concern of the wire losing it’s colour when it went through the draw plate, but hoped that it would be ok for another project.
I decided to do this project in the red-coated copper wire in single-knit instead of double-knit. Since single-weave/single-knit Viking Knit goes a lot faster than double-weave, I was able to do a length of chain quite a bit faster (it still took a lot of time though!) than if I had done it in double-knit, so I’d be less upset if it did lose it’s colour through the draw plate. Like my Kumihimo project in black and red inspired by one of my favourite Finnish metal bands Turisas, once the red chain was knitted, I wanted to introduce black as well.
I removed the red wire chain from the dowel, and carefully inserted a long strand of thick leather cord through the center of the hollow chain. Then I pulled everything through the draw plate, shrinking down the chain to be tight and snug around the cord. The result is a black and red cord/chain.
“Guards of glory and of might
Red as blood and black as night
Flies our banner as we march
In the East, for the king of the Greek”
-The March Of The Varangian Guard, Turisas
While the single-weave Viking Knit might not be as strong and sturdy as double-weave, the leather cord filler takes care of that, making the resulting chain nice and solid. However, since it’s only single-weave and is much airier than double-weave, I can still easily see the black cord filler through the wire – with a more dense chain I don’t know if the filler would be as visible.
For this project I used 24 gauge coloured copper wire, and the leather cord is about 3 mm in diameter. While still on the dowel, the chain was about 48 cm (19 inches) long, but after going through the draw plate, the resulting chain is 88 cm (34.5 inches) long, and about 6 mm wide. I would estimate this took about 15-20 feet of wire. (It’s a 30 foot roll, and I’m not too sure how much is left.) The wire cost alone was $9.20, though I bought it on sale, so it might have been less than that – I don’t remember.)
For Pinterest, here’s a set of photos illustrating the steps to get started. Click for the full version, or just go through my slideshow above!
Of course, making the chain/cord itself is just the first part – next comes adding cord ends/end caps/ terminals and then findings, etc…
I bought two sets of bracelet clasps from a seller on Etsy which included a snake head and tail – for this necklace I just used the heads. I also added two end caps from Beads & Plenty More, a heavy-duty non-welded o-ring, and finally a fantastic Thor’s Hammer pendant I ordered from a different online seller. I finished the necklace with split rings and a swivel lobster-clasp, since the chain has to hang in a certain way for it to work – the swivel clasp will move around to accommodate the chain. (Though I suspect it might not be as durable as a regular lobster clasp.)