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Knitting with White Gold Wire


#1

Dear Orchidians,

Has anyone knitted with white gold wire? I’ve been asked to use
white gold instead of fine silver and I would appreciate any advice
anyone can offer on best gauge to use, if it needs to be annealed and
if so, how to anneal and where a good source to find white gold wire
in the 28 to 30ga range. I would be using size 1 needles.

Regards,
Genevieve Hunt


#2
Has anyone knitted with white gold wire? I've been asked to use
white gold instead of fine silver and I would appreciate any
advice anyone can offer on best gauge to use, if it needs to be
annealed and if so, how to anneal and where a good source to find
white gold wire in the 28 to 30ga range. I would be using size 1
needles. 

Two comments.

First, understand that fine silver and white golds are at opposite
ends of the hardness/stiffness/workability spectrum among the precious
metals we use. Most white golds are a LOT harder and stiffer, and work
harden more quickly, than you’ll have been used to with fine silver.
So be prepared to have to struggle a good deal more with the stuff to
get it to knit neatly. Try to work so the wire is not repeatedly bend
and twisted, etc, more than needed, since the speed at which it work
hardens will quickly make it harder to work.

Second, if you can, avoid the use of any of the nickel based white
golds, which are the most common in the U.S. Instead, use a palladium
based white gold. The color of these alloys generally is darker,
sometimes warmer in color. Sometimes described as “brownish”, though
that’s in comparison to the very white nickle white alloys. By
itself, it’s not brown, just a darker toned greyish white. The
palladium based white golds, while still considerably harder to work
than fine silver, at least will give you a decent chance, as they are
softer and more malleable, and work harden much more slowly.

Peter


#3

Genevieve,

I’ve got no real knitting experience, but I’ve worked with fine
silver and white gold enough to know that you’ll experience a good
deal of difference. I’d like to throw out that if you want to try an
alternative, try the new palladium alloys. They are very white, won’t
tarnish and is very soft when fully annealed, much more like fine
silver than any gold alloy. You can request that the metal be sent
fully annealed and even with many bends it won’t work harden as much
as white gold.

Larry


#4

Hi Genevieve,

I haven’t knitted with it but I have done some wirewrapped bead
chain with really small white gold wire, probably 28 ga, and it
wasn’t too much fun. It’s pretty springy even when supposedly
annealed. What about palladium? It’s really white, whiter than most
white gold I’ve seen and more malleable. Maybe you can get away with
pure palladium–it’s really soft. You could call Hoover and Strong
and talk to them about your projected use to get advice about
strength. The price is about the same as gold and it has the
advantage of being a platinum group metal.

Janet


#5

Larry,

Where can you buy palladium?

I tried reaching Daniel Ballard back in August, since Hanuman
recommended him as a source. I e-mailed him twice, on and off the
list, with very specific pricing and volume questions, but to no
avail. Is he the only source? is he the “best game in town”? Is there
anyone else just as good? I am really looking forward to experimenting
with this material, since it has so much to offer. Please let me
know.

I truly appreciate your advice in this regard (as well as everyone
else’s who will give me any suggestions about this).

Many thanks,
Ayalla D.


#6

Hi Ayalla,

Where can you buy palladium? 

I have been buying 950 palladium casting grain from Hoover. I think
they also sell sheet and wire. This material has been casting very
well for me, but it took a bit of development work to get there. I
think the only way to cast consistently is with an induction melter
under argon because of Pd’s affinity for gas. I also had a hardness
test done at an aerospace lab and it came in at 110 Vickers, (decent,
but I’d like to see it a little harder). I understand that Hoover’s
material is supposed to work harden very well, but I haven’t fully
tested that yet. Other companies are also working on new alloys so I
think you will see more choices available soon. Good luck and let me
know if I can help.

Teresa Frye
TechForm Advanced Casting Technology
@Teresa_Frye


#7
Where can you buy palladium? 

I’m sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you. I’ve been snowed
under by work. I really wish it would level out and not be such a
roller coaster ride.

Anyway, Hoover and Strong is where I get my 950 pd. They sell the
alloy in wire, grain, flat wire and sheet. They have formulated
solder for their alloy, too. They are my first choice because they
are on the East Coast and that’s also where I get my refining done.

From a quick look on the PM West site I think they only sell their
pd alloy in grain, but I’d check with them about the details.

Larry


#8

Hi, Teresa and Larry,

Just to thank both of you for the great Now I have a
much better idea as to what to do. Sorry I didn’t write to thank you
sooner; you definitely were on my mind, but with all the holiday
preparations and cooking (I did it all with my teen-age daughter from
scratch :slight_smile: ) today is the first time I have a chance to do this.

Many thanks again and happy holidays!
Ayalla D.