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Learning Wire Crocheting

I’d like to try crocheting with wire, but have no idea what
gauge/diameter wire to use. Should it be soft or half-hard? Or where
can I find a good reference source?

I’ve been crocheting and knitting for over forty years using the
usual suspects, so have the skills, but just need pointing in the
right direction regarding materials when using wire.

By the way, the type of crocheting done with a very long hook and
worked in rows is known as ‘Tunisian’ crochet in the UK.

Thank you
Pat Waddington
Semiprec - beautiful jewellery

Dear Pat, my server seems to be working on some manner of time delay
in its mail delivery, so i am sure you will probably have received
many suggestions by the time this appears; so please forgive
whatever is redundant. of course, Arline Fisch’s “Textile Techniques
in Metal” is considered one of the best places to start. Oppi
Untracht’s “Jewelry Concepts and Technology” also has an excellent
section on textile techniques with wire. i would recommend soft,
annealed wiRe: this is essential as the metal undergoes
considerable manipulation; in addition, the use of metal tools as
opposed to wood, plastic, casein, and the like, will increase the
rate of work hardening. copper is always an economical choice for
play and experimentation. i would recommend gauges of 28 or 32 Brown
and Sharpe (0.30 and 0.19 mm respectively) to begin. you might like
to try stranding two 32 gauge wires together. it really is akin to
working with plied fiber as opposed to a single ply or cobweb yarn.
it is important to remember that gauge and tension play a huge role
in the outcome of the working. since metal has no memory as does
fiber, one needs to use a larger gauge tool in relation to the grist
(gauge) of the material then in fiber crochet or knitting. since you
have knowledge of metal and of fiber techniques, i think you will
find that you can be your own best teacher, simply through

if you like color, stocks enamelled copper
wires in all manner of color and wonderfully fine gauges. enjoy your
wire work; i am certain you will love the medium. best regards, melissa

Paat, you can make very beautiful jewelry by crocheting 28 - 30
guage wire - dead soft I’ve used all size hooks. IIt just depends
on the look you want to achieve. I have crocheted freshwater
pearlls and crystals into the matrix. Good luck.

Linda Gertsch
from the Adirondacks where it snowed today!

Dear Pat: Since you know how to crochet with yarn, you know how to
crochet with wire. Use the same stitches, and choose the size hook
that works well with the wire you choose. (For 26 ga wire I use a
size 9 hook) Brass, copper or fine silver are probably best to start
with. I like 26 gauge wire because it seems to hold the stitches
better. I know that many people very successfully use 28 or 30 Ga.
wire, It’s probably a good idea to try them out and see what works
for you.

To take a look at a few of my crocheted pieces check out http: , scroll to
bottom of page and click on Crocheted Jewelry. Sincerely Sandra

Hi Pat, I recently started learning to crochet with wire, so I can
pass along some advice that I got. First, use dead soft wire, and
practice with something like copper rather than precious metal at
first until you get the tension right. The heaviest gauge I’ve heard
of anyone using is 24g, and it seems like 26g or 28g are the most
commonly used for wire crochet, although some people use even smaller
gauges. Also, it is recommended to use fine silver rather than
sterling silver if you work with silver, because fine silver doesn’t
break as often. In my limited experience so far, 24g dead soft copper
wire seems to be okay, but I think that smaller gauges would be
easier to work with.

– Leah

To Pat Waddington and so many others: I have been receiving an
overwhelming number of inquiries, both on and offline, about
crocheting with precious metals. Thank you all, for the wonderful
compliments and kind words about my work.

Over the past several years I have been contacted by quite a number
of people (thanks in turn to Hanuman who makes it all possible) who
are interested in learning more about the style of crochet I use in
my necklaces. I have usually responded individually to answer the
specific questions each of them has, and to provide some instruction.
Recently it has become too time consuming to continue mentoring in
this way, and so I will soon be presenting some instructional
to the Ganoksin Project website for the Ganoksin E-news /
Tips from the Jeweler’s Bench, or here on the Orchid Forum.

(At the present moment I am preparing for two gallery shows and it
will be a few weeks away at the earliest, so please be patient)

I am also pleased to announce that I will be teaching a Master Class
on “Gold Crochet” at METALWERX, in the spring/summer of 2004. In this
class we will be fabricating a crochet chain in 18kt gold and making
a clasp. The dates and details (and exact title) will be posted soon
at , so please check their website for

Michael David Sturlin

hi the very long hook and worked in hooks here is afghan stitch, one
that i use very often. when i work with beads it gives a very
loomed look that i like. the mermaid project in the march issue of
Lapidary Journal’s Step by Step Beads, mermaid in waterfall, i used
the afghan stitch as a base background as well as for the strap.

i find using 26,28 and 30 gauges are the easiest to use, and i use
steel hooks, usually a 4, for some reason. i have used a 10 to hand
make tube necklace without the spool that i should have used, but i
don’t think i will do that one again. you can get some artistic or
para wire that is available now, or you can get some brass or copper
wire from the hardware store and use that.

best tip i can give you is if you are mid row of a piece where you
are doing regular crochet, and something happens that needs your
attention, unless there is blood or a body part hanging off a kid,
finish the row. i find it is very hard to get the same tension when
you pick it up and finish. wire does not lend it’self to undoing,
it gets work hardened, remember.

if you would like an easy project to start with, a small amulet bag,
chain 15, work double crochet stitch in each chain. do as many rows
as you want it long. finish with a shell stitch edge.

this is the bottom of the bag. now make another one, without the
shell stitches, and that is the back. stitch sides, and bottom
together. using jumprings on each side, attach and add a chain.
you made your first crochet amulet bag. it can be decorated with a
dangle, wire wrapped or bead.


wild poppy designs…