Wire crochet is used to make beautiful, delicate jewelry. It can be challenging to learn, so don't get frustrated too quickly. Here are a few tips to get started when learning how to wire crochet:
- If you've never crocheted before, start with yarn and you will learn much faster than you would with wire. It's much more forgiving and easier to work with. After you've mastered crocheting yarn, switch to size 10 cotton thread. When crocheting with thread is second nature, then you're ready to start working with wire. For beginners it can seem a bit challenging, but more than anything it simply requires patience.
- Before you learn to crochet, you'll need to get organized by buying some basic supplies to get you started. The only two things you need in the beginning are a spool of size 28 thread, preferably in a soft metal, such as brass, and a #1 size steel crochet hook. Steel crochet hooks can be found in almost any craft store. You may have to look a bit harder for the right kind of wire. If you can't find it at a craft store, try a hardware shop. You can also try a website called SoftFlex (see link). They sell crochet wire in a multitude of colors.
- Next, make a string of chain stitches. The first thing that you'll notice about working with wire is that it doesn't wrap itself around the hook as yarn and thread do. For each stitch, you'll need to wrap the wire around the hook in just the right spot. If you wrap too much wire around the hook, it will be too bulky to pull through the loop. If you wrap too little, you won't have a big enough loop in which to work the next stitch.
- The next thing that you'll notice about wire is that it doesn't stretch. When you crochet with yarn, you pull each stitch through with more yarn than you need, then adjust on the next stitch. This won't work with wire. You have to place each stitch where you want it to be, with no adjustment.
- You cannot unravel mistakes when crocheting with wire. This doesn't mean that every piece has to be perfect--you just have to be tricky about hiding your mistakes. As you learn, you'll become a master at this!
- Most instructions will tell you that when you are comfortable with the #1 size hook, move down a size. Keep using smaller hooks until the stitches are a size that you like.
- Wire crochet pieces are very delicate. You can block them by stretching them slightly with your fingers, but don't overstretch as they will break very easily.
- Now you should be comfortable crocheting with wire. Find a pattern book that deals specifically with wire. There's a wonderful book by Nancie Wiseman called Crochet with Wire. There are lots of projects for all skill levels. If you're feeling creative, try designing your own jewelry. Who knows, you may be selling your own crochet designs one day!