Knitting with wire

I’m trying to knit up some beaded wire bracelets and chokers. I was wondering if anyone has any tips for knitting with wire. How exactly do you cast on? The pattern I have says to loosely cast on 20 sts, using a backwards loop twisted around your thumb. I’m not real sure what that means. The pattern is for June 16 in the knitting pattern a day calender, since I know so many people have it.

backwards loop cast on video is here. just scroll down a smidge.

I’m more of a beader than I am a knitter/crocheter, but I’ve recently started combining them. Not that that really means anything, but whatever. :wink:

I’ve not been knitting that long, so I don’t know all the different cast on methods, but I have found that you don’t need to cast off in the regular way with wire. Just leaving yourself a long tail and sewing through the stitches works well enough.

For me, using 26 - 30 gauge wire works generally works best. 20 - 22 gauge is technically doable, but not usually worth the work and finger-abuse; 32g is usually too thin and breaks more often (rather, it works up easily enough but work-hardening seems to make it …brittle and more likely to break).

I’ve had more luck dead soft and half hard wire (in smaller gauges – 26, 28, 30); dead soft wire makes working with thicker gauges (24, 22, 20) easier. I don’t even want to THINK about trying to knit or crochet with full hard wire – I doubt it would even be doable unless you were Super Man or something… and even then it would probably be too brittle, and man would it be a good thing you were Super Man because those innocent bystanders would be in serious trouble from all your knitting shrapnel and flying bits.

So , er… sorry that got so long. Guess it’s not really what you were asking about either, but I hope it helps somewhere somehow.

There is good instruction about knitting with wire on the “The Art of Knitting” DVD, under the heading “Fashion Inspiration”. The instructor shows you exactly how to do the cast on and the knitting stitches. You have to keep the stitches VERY loose ALL the time.