Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Viking Knit Tutorial Variations - Double Knit and Variegated style

Following on from my very popular ‘How To Do Viking Knit’ post I wanted to share some fun variations to try once you’ve mastered single viking knit –  the super strong and structured Double Viking Knit, and colourful denim look ‘Variegated' Viking Knit.

You’ll notice in the pics below I have used the Lazee Daizee tool – this is purely for photography purposes of this tutorial and using the diy method of pencil, dowel or allen key and ‘flower’ base is absolutely fine too!

So – standard single viking knit looks like pic 1 and 2 where each ‘stitch’ goes in behind the loop above, working around and around.  With double knit you start with couple of rows of single knit (you don’t need as many as I have done!), then when you are ready, instead of going into the 1st loop above – skip it and put your working wire through the next loop above (see pic 3).  Continue around working into this upper row of loops until you have gone the whole way around
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Once you have a complete round of double knit, do a round of single knit by going up just one row (pic5).  Then when you have a whole round of single knit, go up two and do a round of double knit (pic6).

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Continue doing one round single (going up one) and one round going up two until you have the desired length.  It can be hard to get the wire behind the loops depending on how tightly you knit (I'm a pretty tight knitter as you can see!), so it's fine to take it off your mandrel and go freehand for a while.  Pop it back on if you feel your knit is getting out of shape.

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Once your knitted tube is as long as you want it, remove from your mandrel and use some scrap wire through your top loops to help you pull your knit through a draw plate.  (I have quite a bit of single knit on my example purely so I can show you the difference between the two knit types)

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Pic11 shows single knit at top, double knit at bottom and for pic12 double is at the top, single towards the bottom
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Apart from having a more 'chunky' look, double knit also gives a firmer structure.  pic13 shows me trying to bend it with equal pressure but while the single knit bends, the double resists!

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The next fun variation I wanted to show you is what I call 'variegated' viking knit.  Here you use two thinner wires in different colours at the same time.  I have used 28 gauge, deep teal and gold wires in single knit style in this example. 

Using a light and dark colour (particularly if you use silver as your light colour), gives a 'denim' look to your knit.  It also looks fantastic with a light and dark variation of the same colour, eg hot fushia pink teamed with pale baby pink, and stunning with contrasting (even clashing!) colours, eg tangerine orange and deep magenta.

You could also try using two wire and double knitting - that would be 'double double' knit I guess!

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Take care not to use too longer pieces of wire when working with two at a time - you can get yourself in a very tangled state quite easily!   One arms length is a good amount to work with.  I know that not a very technical measurement but that's how I tend to work with viking knit! 

(FYI - when working with one wire, single or double knit in 24 gauge wire, I measure my working wire by holding the end in one hand, stretching my arms out parallel to the floor with the spool of wire in my other hand and that's the right length for me! - that's two arm lengths and a chest width if you're trying to picture it  :)  )

I've loved hearing about how you've gone with my original viking knit tutorial, so please let me know how you find this one and the wonderful creations you make.  You are also welcome to 'Pin', share and otherwise link this post - thanks, Mel x


  1. I must give viking knit a try some time. I have been looking for ways to make bold bracelets with a single focal bead and think viking knit would look stunning. Thank you for sharing Mel :)

    1. You're welcome Bobbie - viking knit rocks!! I've made a viking knit bracelet using one of your gorgeous beads and with wee swarovski bicones messy wrapped on either side of the bead. I loved it(my colours in your bead :D)and so did the person who bought it to give as a leaving gift for her teacher colleague. I'm not sure it made it to the colleague !!

  2. This really looks so beautiful, so much detail! I'd love to try this out. Thank you for posting and sharing Mel! :)

    1. It is so much fun Louise, and I love the possibilities it holds! It's also really interesting teaching people to do it - different tension, loop size etc give different looks. I recently showed someone how do do it in person and while shes not left handed she worked 'backwards' right to left as if she was :)

  3. Wow - looks like a lot of work but what a great result! Love the name too lol!

  4. That double knit tut is different than any one I have seen. So you go up two for one round then up one for a round, then two for a round? Interesting. I was taught you do a few rounds as single knit then go two rows up for each round until completion.
    Does the knit look smooth with going from two to one? Thanks for all of your tuts! I love learning new ways of doing things.

  5. thanks so much for your awesome help! i have been making wire wrap jewelry for awhile now, and wanted to try viking knit. but it seemed so over whelming. so i thought i'd do some research first. i came across your page, and it has been my " go to page " every time i need help, or get stuck.

  6. Hi Mel
    Been looking for a good tutorial for double Viking and I think yours is it !! One question - I have been doing vk for a while and want to learn double. Is it two pieces of wire - do single and go back with a separate wire and start a couple rows down or is it the same wire and if so, how do you go back to single knit to evidentially double again?


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