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August 05, 2007

How to crochet with wire

Closeup_dusk_2 Wired Science

Sometimes the road to home repair has so many potholes it’s better to pull over and park.

Here’s how to tell when it’s time to take a break:

· You just spent a whole morning looking for spare slide-rule parts on eBay

· When the phone rings, you feel defensive

· You avoid eye contact with hardware store sales associates because you don’t want to have to explain how much trouble you’re in

·You’ve nicknamed your toolbox The Yellow Scum

The best thing you can do at this point is distract yourself. Try hoisting your ego by using a different skill set, one that involves sitting down, frequent snacking and enduring noise no louder than the hum of the beer fridge. 

I chose crocheting.  But not normal crocheting.


Now, I haven’t crocheted since the libido-laden days of pre-marital restlessness, and I was pleased to discover that I still knew how.  The mind may wander, but the fingers never forget.


Crocheting was once a manly art back when ancient fishermen used their fingers to crochet loops of rope into nets. Chicks, possibly suffering from pre-marital restlessness, would stand on the pier and eye the brawny sailors at their work. These primitive women saw the obvious hotness of crocheting, so they took it up too.


Loop du Jour

You can crochet anything that’s flexible enough to make loops. Yarn is an option, but why not be a little edgier? Try crocheting plant baskets, water bottle totes or golf club covers with jute, raffia or my favourite, old audio tape.


Or, for a project that will transport you into fantasies of medieval chain mail hanging off the well-muscled arms of knights, try crocheting with wire.


The most flexible wire is high-gauge aluminum, brass or copper.  I used 20-gauge aluminum for my candle slings, but you would have equal success with 26-gauge copper. The finer the wire, the smaller the crochet hook you’ll need.


Here are the basic steps.


Make a loop in the wire using the hook. Pull another loop through it. Pull another loop through that loop. Do it again, just for fun. You should have 4 loops. 


Now join the most recent loop to the first loop by – you guessed it – pulling another loop through. See, isn’t this hot?


Now you’re holding a tiny circle of loops. Start working your way around the outside edge of the circle, inserting the hook into the top edge of the first loop, and pulling the wire through (you can use single, double or triple crochet stitches, nicely illustrated online at www.crochet.org).


Create two stitches in each loop of the first round so that the diameter of the disc increases. Otherwise you’ll end up with a choked little fist of knotted wire that looks like a metal hairball.


Add a few stitches in each round so that the disc doesn’t start to curl up on itself. When the disc is wide enough to hold the diameter of a tea light, you can start the vertical wall of the holder. To change direction so the stitches start happening vertically, flip the disc over and start a row that builds upwards from the disc. (You’ll figure this out easily when you’re actually doing it, but it’s hell to read about.)


Crocheting with wire is a really, really fun project compared to, say, digging up a sewer line. Crocheting may be a craft, but procrastination is an art.


pat moses caudel

ah, i'm so happy. i found another wire crochet person, we are few and far between.I tend to use sterling silver and fine silver wire, but my husband has learned not to take me to hardware stores because i found copper wire there and nothing is safe.
i love your blog. please feel free to visit my site at http://imageevent.com/patmcaudel
or my blog at http://patmcaudel/blogger.com
i think i got that right.

would love to compair stories and patterns please, keep in touch!

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