Thursday, October 19, 2006

I never thought I'd say this, but, here it goes . . . I like Annie Modesitt's latest book, Twist and Loop (and because I like this book so much, I'm not even going to comment on her other new book, Men Who Knit and the Dogs Who Love Them, featuring matching Rastafarian hats for you and your dog - 'nuff said!). Holiday knitters take note - knitting a wire bracelet, necklass, cuff, whatever, is a snap, and you can get all of your holiday knitting done, in say, an afternoon?

On Sunday, I took a class with Annie at Loop - in the morning she taught Combination Knitting - I passed on that. I could knit faster, I could knit with yarn in both hands so that I could do fair isle - I could do all of that, but I don't - and I accept that. I've accept my throwing, even though Jews Don't Throw. But, I did take knitting with wire, even though, as everyone who listens to the podcast knows, I've been a pretty vocal DON'T DO IT when it comes to Annie Modesitt patterns - I'm still not over the Peter Pan skirt in Interweave and the fact that it would cost $600 to make! - but, I wanted to try knitting with wire, and she teaches it - the law of supply and demand. And I thought, maybe, if I get the hang of it, maybe we could add some jewelry to the Knitty D and the City Mom and Pop Store (whenever I figure out ZenCart in my spare time). So, Annie is quite the character, I now understand where her designs spin from, but she is a very good teacher, and if she blows through your town, you should take her classes. And here's what we learned:

Your supplies can be as cheap or as expensive as you want them to be. You need Art Wire, beads, and aluminum or metal knitting needles. You can incorporate any number of things, like ribbon, or yarn, once you get the hang of it. Helpful tools, of course, like a needle nose plier and a snub nose plier, are good things to have handy if you really take a liking to it - everyone in the class pretty much did without tools.
Once you've assembled your supplies, cast on! It's as easy as that. Annie recommends a long tail cast-on - because it requires the least amount of manipulation of the wire - the less manipulation, less kinking, the lesser chance of breaking. And then, just knit -
Here's my swatch with just the one color wire.
And, here, I added a lovely pink to go with the silver. Both swatches are in stockinette, using Annie's combination knitting purl stitch - wrapping the wire from under the needle, as opposed to over the needle, and her knit stitch - through the back loop because the stitch is twisted from the purl stitch. Whatever, not so important - again, it manipulates the wire less, but you can do whatever knit/purl stitch you like. Just knit, and pull the "fabric" at both ends as you go, to block out the stitches.

Now it's time to add the beads. I don't know why Blogger flipped this photo - but here it is - just bead your wire before you start to knit. Then, bring the beads up between the stitches, and voila! That's all there is to it.

And, here, is my finished bracelet!


Kathy said...

Where do you find Art Wire?? I wanted to try a pattern from another book(can't think of the name), but I had no luck finding the wire...

Dorothy said...

Very cute bracelet.

Each knitter has to choose her own method. I knit like Annie does and have never really gotten the hang of throwing. I also hate trying to k2tog through the front loop since I'm a rather tight knitter.

Tip: Using Annie's Method means that K2tog leans left and SSK leans right. If ever you gave her patterns another try, you might have better luck to switch those decreases up.

s t a c i said...

I've been wanting to try this, but I haven't yet. I'm worried that it will hurt my hands, since wire has even less "give" than cotton.

Was it a pain-free experience? Your bracelet turned out so nice! Nice manicure, too.

Wendy said...

Where to find Art Wire - I know that in Philly we can get it at Pearl Art Supply on South Street. Have you tried googling it?

Does it hurt your hand - I think if you were doing a big project, it definitely would - but that bracelet is only 3 rows, and bind off. A bigger project I just probably wouldn't do in one sitting.


Theresa said...

That's quite adventurous of you! I, too, have been an Annie Modessit hold out, but I'm glad you learned a lot in the class.