Wire crochet isn’t for everyone, as it tends to be a bit more unstructured, compared to (for example) viking knit.Â But its unstructured style makes it ideal for truly unique wire jewelry!
What is Wire Crochet?
There are two main types of crochet, when it comes to making jewelry.Â There is bead crochet and wire crochet.Â The difference?Â Bead crochet is made with thread and features the beads.Â Wire crochet is made with a fine-gauge wire and although it usually uses beads, the wire is just as much part of the design.
You can see at the right a necklace I made using wire crochet.Â I used copper wire, size 8 hex seed beads, plus Swarovski crystals and additional copper beads.Â And topped off with an S-clasp.
Below you can see a video of a wire crochet project.Â And immediately below the video is more information about wire crochet wire and tools.Â (In fact, I used the project shown and gave it my own “twist”, as you’ll be able to see from the photo.)
Tools for Wire Crochet
There are two tools needed for wire crochet.Â The first is a crochet hook; the second is a wire cutter.
Your crochet hook should be medium size.Â Â For most projects sizes H, I or J (also known as sizes 8, 9 and 10) are a good size.Â However, if you are following a pattern, use the size crochet hook specified in the project.
Note:Â don’t use a nice wood or bamboo crochet hook.Â Wire can cut into wood and mar your lovely wood/bamboo crochet hook.Â Plastic is iffy; wire can cut into it as well.Â You’re better off with an inexpensive steel or aluminum crochet hook.
(Personally I bought a Bates “six pack” of the most common sizes, so that I would have what I needed when I needed it.Â To the right is what I bought, for around $10 at a craft store, although I’ve since seen it cheaper on ebay.)
Wire for Crochet
Here’s a case where you want to work with a very fine wire that can mimic thread.Â This means wire that is between 26 and 34 gauge.
(If you need a refresher, here’s information about wire for jewelry making.)
Naturally, you can use any kind of wire type; silver, copper, artistic, etc.Â In general I don’t recommend artistic wire for finished jewelry, because the color coating can scratch off too easily (it’s very, very thin).Â However, for learning purposes, artistic wire can be a very economical choice when starting out.
Copper wire in 26 or 28 gauge is a nice combination of size and economy.Â It’s not expensive, great to learn on and makes some lovely jewelry.
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