After breaking a vertebra in a horse riding accident last August, I was unable to continue my ceramic work for a few months as I could not lift the heavy bags of clay or bend to load up the kiln. As I surfed the net out of sheer boredom I discovered the many wonderful and colourful bead websites and that was that.
I started buying and it soon became an addiction. I found it easy to combine various beads, especially using colours that really ought not to go together such as orange, pink and red. I am constantly looking for really unusual beads to add to my work, and have even made ceramic buttons to use in ring, brooch and necklace designs. My beaded creations have proved popular and sell well via my Folksy shop and at local craft fairs, but I decided that 2010 should find me stretching my abilities further. So I tried my hand at knitting with jewellery wire couple of weeks ago. After several people told me how they had tried and given up because it was so difficult, I decided to test my abilities, rise to the challenge and have a go. I’ve been knitting for many years and was excited to be using wire in this way. The first item I made was a pair of knitted wire earrings with freshwater pearls. The result is a very dainty and delicate looking material that looks rather like it should be worn by mermaids. You can use silver plated wire or coloured wire to produce a variety of effects. The choice is yours and the variations are endless.
It is difficult to knit with wire at first as there is no give, unlike using a conventional yarn, so remember to knit loosely. Follow my brief tutorial for a simple, easy to understand pattern.
Knitted wire beaded earrings
Thread approximately 8 small beads onto the fine jewellery wire. I used 3 different shades of freshwater pearl but it is just a matter of taste what you choose to add. When you need to K or P a bead, simply bring one up to the needles and incorporate it in the stitch.
With 3mm needles (metal are best as plastic needles will be ruined by the wire), cast on 10 sts.
Row 1: K1, K bead, K5, K bead, K to end.
Row 2: K4, P bead, K1, P bead, K to end.
Row 3: As Row 1.
Cast off loosely, and work in any remaining beads, spacing them equally, Weave both loose ends into work, attach a jump ring to one end and attach to earring fish hooks.
To see a selection of of work by Amada Robbins visit www.folksy.com/shops/chicita