Wire crochet is a technique usually used for making jewelry, like Bead Crochet. It employs basic crochet techniques, but uses thin, soft metal wire instead of yarn.
How does it work?
It works the same way as regular crochet does, but the use of wire makes it very decorative and the pieces hold the shape. You can join this method with other ones, too – for example, it’s often combined with bead crochet. By crocheting with wire around gemstones, you can fix them in place and create truly beautiful arrangements.
Below you can see assorted wire pieces created by Seiko T of toc toc.
Working with wire can be tricky, because not only does it require special tools, but can also be demanding in terms of the process. Stiffness of the wire can be a problem for those crocheters, who have arthritis or hand pain. On the other hand, working with thinner wires (which are softer and more flexible) requires good eye-sight and can be unavailable for many.
What can I make with wire crochet?
As I mentioned before, this technique is mostly employed for making jewelry and decorative pieces. You can make bracelets, necklaces, rings and earrings using this method. See an example in the photo below – it’s a pair of fantastic pink wire earrings in a shape of flat circle by WildWire Jewellery.
What do I need for crocheting with wire?
You will need wire, preferably 24-28 gauge, which is usually sold on spools or coiled. Browse in many different colors, which have very different looks, so choose the one you like most.
In the photo below you can see three colors of wire (gold, rose gold and silver) on spools.
You will also need a crochet hook, but you need to be particular about it, too. Working with wire is hard on your tools and hands, so you must be sure that your hook is sturdy. Don’t go for very expensive ones, because there is a chance you will break it. Be prepared that it might happen, or that you will at least scratch it badly – metal is much harder than yarns.
If you plan on making jewelry, you will need clasps and closures. Although cutting wire with scissors is often possible, it’s definitely not good for the scissors. Be sure you have wire cutters at hand; some other jewelry-making tools can come in handy, too.
Below you can see two tiny crochet birds by Seiko T of toc toc.
I want to try it! Any tips?
Remember, that unraveling (or frogging) wire crochet pieces is in most cases very hard, or even impossible. Stiffness of the wire prevents it from coming back to its natural “look”, because it “remembers” all the bending and wrapping.
Metals react with temperature, so be sure that your wire isn’t cold – lower temperatures make it harder and therefore less elastic. Stretching hardens your wire, too, so get the tension right.
Keep the edges nice and hidden! They can be really sharp and can hurt you or someone who will wear your jewelry. It’s important to soften them and hide away, so that everyone’s safe.