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Viking Knit Jewelry: Instruction & Tools

Updated on July 17, 2014

Making Your Own Viking Knit Jewelry

Wearing a piece of jewelry based on 7th century style is a conversation piece in and of itself. Add the fact that the necklace, bracelet or earrings were handmade by YOU, and that adds even more interest and uniqueness to the jewelry.

If you enjoy the repetitive -- some say meditative -- rhythm of knitting or crocheting, you're sure to also enjoy making Viking Knit jewelry. The term "Viking Knit" refers to an ancient technique of circular wire weaving, which forms a loop and then is stretched. The reason the word "Viking" is applied to this style is because it's derived from several archaeological finds in Scandinavia dating back to the 7th century AD.

First, I'll show you the simple, inexpensive tools and supplies you'll need to get started. Then, you can watch two videos with instructor extraordinaire, "Mikey," who will take you through the process of making a Viking Knit bracelet.

I'll also recommend a how-to book for making creative wire knit pieces of your own and point you to a bunch of photos for inspiration for creating your own designs.

Finally, I'll give you some links to more instruction and where to buy handmade Viking Knit jewelry if you want to add some to your collection sooner than later.

Have fun!

Photo Credit: See this simple Lazee Daizee Viking Knit Wire Weaving Woven Chain Tool on Amazon

The Tools for Making Viking Knit Jewelry - Buy an all-in-one tool kit or pick up individual tools and supplies

A kit like this is perfect if you're just getting started and don't have any of the tools you'll need for making this wire knit jewelry. You can then add other specialty tools as you go along and want to make even more ornate pieces with beads and other embellishments.

Artistic Wire, Lazee Daizee Viking Knit Kit
Artistic Wire, Lazee Daizee Viking Knit Kit

This kit comes with a case and includes...

1 hex rod tool

easy-start head attachment

thermoplastic draw plate

conditioning fabric

end coil shaper

pin tool

#20 and #26-gauge practice wires

color step-by-step photos and instructions

 
Rosewood Draw Plate For Woven Chain 3mm To 13.5mm Holes (1)
Rosewood Draw Plate For Woven Chain 3mm To 13.5mm Holes (1)

This tool is made for reducing soft chain or woven chain. It has 12 smooth, consecutively smaller holes, through which you pull the chain to reduce its size. This tool is specificall recommended for viking knit chain and other woven chains.

 
BeadSmith XTL-5620 Jewelry Beading Tool 4 In 1 Pliers Round Nose Cut Wire
BeadSmith XTL-5620 Jewelry Beading Tool 4 In 1 Pliers Round Nose Cut Wire

These are multi-use, 4-in-1 pliers with a wire cutter, a flat edge and a jump ring closer. They're perfect for working with wire.

 
Beadsmith Jewelry Wire Side Cutters (Nippers) Pliers PL515
Beadsmith Jewelry Wire Side Cutters (Nippers) Pliers PL515

Use these polished steel side cutting pliers, intended specifically for fine hobby work and beading, to cut soft wire, including copper, aluminum, sterling, goldfill or gold wire, and more.

 

Basic Supplies for Making a Viking Knit Bracelet or Necklace - That would be: WIRE

You can get as intricate or fancy as you like by using different types of wire and adding all sorts of beads and other ornaments, pendants, or whatever else your creative heart desires. But what you most need to get started on your first piece of Viking Knit jewelry is soft wire.

The tarnish-resistant wire shown below is easily shaped, so it's perfect for jewelry-making. And the color coating is permanent enamel. Just choose your favorite color wire or a combination of colors and start knitting!

Choose from these colors:

Silver -- Copper -- Gun Metal -- Brass -- Gold

Video Tutorial: Learn How To Make Viking Knit Jewelry - A two-part series of how-to demonstrations....

In this first video, instructor, "Mikey," demonstrates how to use the Viking Knitting Tool, which creates wire strands that appear to be woven. Mikey and friends will help you through the whole process of making a bracelet in about 30 minutes, including both videos.

Part 2: Continue Making the Viking Knit Bracelet

Need Ideas for Making Your Own Viking Knit Necklaces, Bracelets and Earrings?

Here are a bunch of pictures of Viking Knit pieces to inspire you to create your own designs....

See....

Sit Down with a Good How-To Book on Making Viking Knit Jewelry

Learn how to create knit or woven wire jewelry in the ancient style of the Vikings, including how to finish off the pieces and also how to make other items like rings and hollow ovals.

Ancient Wire - An illustrated guide to making jewelry in the manner of the Vikings and other ancient cultures
Ancient Wire - An illustrated guide to making jewelry in the manner of the Vikings and other ancient cultures

This 79-page book has 121 illustrations to help you follow exactly what's being done.

 

Take a Class on Making Viking Knit Jewelry

Jewelry-maker Kary Kilmer gives hands-on Taking a classes in making Viking Knit jewelry at his studio in Denver, Colorado. But you can learn from Kary in a series of videos, beginning with the one below.

The second and third videos are available from MakeJewelryVideos.com.

Shop for Viking Knit Jewelry

See a huge inventory of unique, handmade pieceson Etsy.

Your comments are welcome.

Do You Have Any Viking Knit Pieces? - Have you made this type of jewelry or any other?

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    • Mistl profile image

      Mistl 3 years ago

      Very cool. Never thought about making viking jewelry myself, but I think it looks awesome. :)

    • profile image

      kimadagem 4 years ago

      I haven't tried this with wire yet but I've experimented with yarn (it's a nalbinding technique that I think is called Coptic Stitch) and it looks a lot like stockinette stitch in knitting. In fact, the first time I ever saw this was in a blog post by a friend who showed off a bracelet he'd made this way; I thought it was knitted! I really like how it starts out loose and then gets more even and firm as it's pulled through the draw plate. It's definitely on my list to try - once I use up a bit more of my yarn stash! :)

    • profile image

      moonlitta 4 years ago

      I've forgotten this lens-but now that I've just finished few viking knit bracelets, I believe I should leave something here for you, for the introduction:)

    • profile image

      MaggiePowell 4 years ago

      I've always wanted to try this... thanks for the great tutorial

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 4 years ago from Maryland

      I have never heard of Viking knit, but it's gorgeous! I'd love to try this sometime! :)

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      It never ceases to amaze me how creative people are. What a unique craft form the viking knit is.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I love it. It is really amazing. Thanks a lot for sharing this. I really want to try making those Viking knit.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 4 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I don't know that I'd have the patience to make one of these myself ... but I sure wouldn't mind some Viking knit jewelry as a gift.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This looks really cool.

    • profile image

      moonlitta 5 years ago

      I thought this was crochet jewelry- probably there is huge difference? I've got all the tools, just needed the instructions! Thank you!

    • kislanyk profile image

      Marika 5 years ago from Cyprus

      Awesome tutorial. I love making jewelry but for some reason I never tried the viking knit.

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      Viking Knit is new to me, but I love the look and it's interesting to learn about the technique.