How to Do the Double Viking Knit Weave

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Double Viking knit is a variation of Viking knit or trichinopoly chain, which is a misnomer, as it is neither true knitting nor a linked chain. It is an ancient wire-weaving technique that forms a lightweight, flexible tube. Developed in Scandinavian countries around the 7th century A.D., Viking knitting is still used in jewelry-making today. The double viking knit can be mastered with little practice and few supplies, making it ideal for hobbyists and artisans alike.

Things You'll Need

  • 22-gauge copper wire
  • 26-gauge silver wire
  • Wire cutters
  • 8-mm wooden dowel or knitting needle
  • Ruler
  • Draw plate
  • Safety goggles

Forming the Base

  • Wrap the copper wire around your ruler as many times as you would like stitches in a round, generally three to five. For example, wrap the wire around the ruler four times for a four-loop chain.

  • Remove the wire from the ruler and pinch the center together to form a bundle of loops, four in our example.

  • Wrap wire around the center of your bundle to secure it, and cut the excess wire.

  • Open or spread the loops so that they resemble a clover or flower.

  • Place the clover over the end of your dowel or knitting needle and fold the loops down to press against the dowel.

Starting the Weave

  • Cut a manageable length of silver wire, usually about one to two feet.

  • Form a loop connecting two of the petals with your working wire. The short end of your working wire should be underneath the long end and may be secured to the base.

  • Take the long end of the wire and pass it through the next petal on the left and the adjacent starter petal. Pull the long end of the wire down and over the top, forming another loop.

  • Continue forming loops in a counter-clockwise direction until your reach your first complete loop.

  • Continue this way for two more rows, forming new loops through the loops of the previous rows, making three total rows of single viking knit.

Weaving the Chain

  • Continue the weaving technique but forming loops in the loops two rows above instead of one row above. This creates the double viking knit.

  • Continue weaving in this fashion until it reaches half of the desired length of your finished piece. For example, stop after weaving four inches of silver wire if you want an eight-inch length of chain for a bracelet.

  • Join a new length of wire as needed by passing the new wire from right to left through the same space the last loop created. Cross the long end of the wire over the short end so that the long end is pointing to the left just like the starter loop you made in the base petals.

  • Cut the end of the working wire and tuck the end into the chain to secure.

  • Remove the wire from the dowel. You will have a stiff, hollow tube.

Finishing for Jewelry

  • Slowly pull the tube through the largest hole in the draw plate, then each successively smaller hole until the chain is flexible.

  • Remove the starting base clover and rows of single knit.

  • Cut off excess chain if it is too long after being drawn out.

  • Use the tail ends to pull through a bead cap or cone bead and secure. If you do not have a long tail, create one by wrapping a short length of wire through the end loops.

  • Attach the clasp or finding of your choice.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make your own draw plate by drilling holes in a piece of scrap wood.
  • Wear gloves or use jewelry pliers to pull the weave through the draw plate to protect your hands.
  • Always wear safety goggles when cutting wire.

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