The Beginner's Guide to Viking Knitting for Beautifully Complex Jewelry

When you hear the term "Viking knitting," your mind likely jumps to a knit Viking hat. And while that's totally a thing , Viking knitting is actually a jewelry wirework technique that involves knitting wires together to make cords.

It dates all the way back to, well, the Vikings — archaeological digs have found handmade chains in Viking treasure troves in Scandinavia. Made from melted down coins turned into fine wire, these chains were formed using a loop in loop technique so the Vikings could literally wear their treasure.

Tools for Viking Knitting

There are a few tools needed to recreate this ancient method of knitting.

Wire

Obviously, you need some craft wire. And the thinner it is, the better to make it more pliable. Try starting off with cheap 26 gauge craft wire to perfect your skills, then move up to thin copper or sterling silver.

Shaping Tools

Viking knitting is all in the wirework, so you need something to shape your cord. Some use a metal knitting needle; others use an Allen wrench or even just a pencil.

You also need tape and a drawplate, which is a metal or wood block with various sized holes that you use to draw your chain through for proper shaping. You could also try a simple knitting needle gauge plate.

Viking Jewelry Projects By Members

Photo by Bluprint member Abby Hook

With the handmade wire cones and copper wire chain formed with six loops, this bulky bracelet by Bluprint member Abby Hook (pictured above) looks intricate, powerful and totally true to the Viking knitting tradition.

Photo by Bluprint member TjeCan

Copper wire and jade beads collide for an eye-catching necklace by Bluprint member TjeCan. She also included a Danish knot to complete this St. Patrick's Day -inspired look.


Learn More Now

For more details on how exactly Viking jewelry is made, download Bluprint member Vanilla Bean's Viking Knit Technique Tutorial.

March 18, 2020
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The Beginner's Guide to Viking Knitting for Beautifully Complex Jewelry