Beaded Viking Knit – silver & garnets

silver-plated copper wire trichinopoly chain with garnet beads

silver-plated copper wire trichinopoly chain with garnet beads

One of the things I wanted to try when I first was learning the Viking Knit (Trichinopoly) technique was adding beads to the ‘weave’ – rather than capturing the beads within the tube that makes up the chain. I didn’t get around to it for a while; I had to find the perfect beads – super tiny garnets….

Finally I did at the Gem show in 2014, and then finally in April 2015, I finally got around to making up my beaded chain!

looping up the chain with the garnets on a dowel

looping up the chain with the garnets on a dowel

I stared off with a short length of single-knit before I started adding in the beads – to give myself an unbeaded place for a clasp or bead cap, and finished off the same way. The entire thing is made of 26 gauge silver-plated copper wire, and the beads are mostly round (just a few facets here and there, but they’re really hard to see) purple-red garnets (2 strands). I chose single-knit so that the beads would show up more – when the piece is done the beads sort of fall to the “inside” and between the loops on the “rungs” of the chain. I also thought that double knit might be overly complicated for my first attempt!

Off my 1/2″ diameter dowel, the finished length was 20.5 cm, 14 cm of which is fully beaded, and after going (slowly and gently) through a series of make-shift draw plates, (and some hand-pulling/shaping) the chain is approximately 7 mm wide, and 39 cm long, 28 cm of which is fully beaded.

The beaded chain before drawing through the draw plate

The beaded chain before drawing through the draw plate

I took two photos to judge how long this took. At 9:09 p.m., I had 7 complete rows (all the way around) fully beaded, while at 10:12 p.m., I had 23 rows completed. 16 rows/hour….  (in that hour I was working pretty much non-stop looping and beading…) 16 rows (before going through the draw plate) is about 3 cm of nearly finished work, though once it goes through the draw plate this thankfully “stretched” out to approximately 6 cm.  That means from looping and beading to going through the draw plate, this technique took me 6 cm of completely beaded finished chain per hour. Ouch.

In all honesty… for the amount of work that went into adding all of the beads one by one… the result is pretty, but just too subtle. Still, I’m glad to have finally tried this!

I haven’t made the chain up into anything yet… I’ll likely make a necklace, since I’m much more likely to wear that than anything else.

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