If you’re bored with the usual scarves, blankets and jumpers and are looking for something a bit more unusual to knit, investigate the world of knitted jewellery. There is a huge range of options for knitting your own jewellery, some using yarn, some wire and others incorporating beads and complex lacework patterns.
French knitting, using a little doll with spikes on her head, produces a long tube of fabric. Lots of us will remember this technique from our youth, and will also remember how useless the resulting tubes were. It is possible however to make some really interesting necklaces and bracelets using tubes of knitting woven or plaited together. Experiment with different sorts of yarn, try incorporating beads and sequins onto the finished items, and try working with several strands of yarn held together to get different effects.
The good thing about knitting with wire is that you don’t need to master any fancy patterns, all you need to be able to do is cast on, knit in garter stitch, and cast off again. Using your basic knitting, you can create a piece of wire knitting which can be transformed into a bracelet or necklace, and its appearance is about as far away from a woolly jumper as you can imagine. Many knitted wire jewellery items incorporate beads or crystal, and the end results can be stunning. For knitters who are more accustomed to knitting with standard yarn it can be hard to adjust to knitting with wire as there is no “give” in it and the stitches do not slip on and off the needles quite so easily. If this is a technique which appeals, there are numerous courses across the country which offer basic tuition.
If knitted wire seems too fiddly, you can made a stunning collar to liven up a plain top using ordinary yarn too. There is a huge range of metallic and other expensive looking yarns on the market, and using these and standard knitting needles you can create a rectangular-type piece of knitting which you can join at the ends with a clasp or ribbon to make a collar. If you are using fancy yarn to make a collar, keep the pattern simple to let the yarn shine through, but if you are using plainer yarn, you can go wild with the pattern.
Brooches and Corsages
One great way of using up scraps of King Cole DK and other yarn is to make little flower corsages or brooches. You can knit or crochet your flower petals, and there are lots of online patterns which you can use to help you. Try layering lots of flowers on top of each other for a more 3D effect, or use lots of different colours to make your brooch. Each flower, depending on how large you make them, uses very little yarn so dig out all your scraps of King Cole DK and see which colours work well together. Once you have finished, stitch the corsage together, and glue or stitch a small brooch fastening on the back.
Article by Keen knitter Morag Peers