Monday, December 11, 2006


Amazing what a little coersion from the universe can do to lead you to something new, something different. Peeps, I'm talking about knitting with wire!

It all started with these candles.

Tiny Anais Garden Votives

Oddly enough, the universe threw the candles at me on Thursday while I was holiday shopping. I didn't NEED them but I can't resist most candles, especially one dozen 2 inch high candles in a beautifully adorned box.

Then on Friday, I saw this Twist and Loop had finally arrived on the shelves at Books a Million. Perused the book but resisted the urge to buy because I MUST finish my Christmas knitting FIRST! (Yeah, right)

And on Saturday, the universe finally threw a brick at my head with this adorable, ingenius pattern at Knitty - Venezia. I dreamed about this pattern all night, the beads, the colors, the wire, the excitement of something NEW.

I finally gave in and on Sunday, I dug out my bead box, found some 24 gauge wire, some simple glass beads and decided to try my hand at knitting with something other than fiber. I.AM.ADDICTED! The 2 inch candles are no longer naked, they have little handknit, beaded chaquetas (aka jackets for us gringos).

Tiny Votive Chaqueta (detail)

Tiny Votive Chaqueta

The multicolor one was my prototype. While the 24 gauge wire was just fine to knit with, I decided to use 28 gauge on the rest of them. I'm not going to stop until all 24 of them have jackets. Yup, some of you will be getting these for Christmas pressies this year.

Tiny Votive Chaquetas

Pattern: Mine on the fly
Wire: 28 gauge/24 yards (should be able to knit at least three jackets per spool)Beads: (Green hued votives) Blue Moon Beads sea colored mix and Natural gemstone Jade chips (be sure not to use plastic beads so that they don't melt)
Needles: Size 9 mystery double points (they're white plastic/acrylic from years ago; I think they're Lion Brand)
Misc: Wire snips, 2" tall (1.5" across) votives
Time: 1 hour or less per chaqueta (includes stringing beads)


1.) String the beads randomly onto the wire (I spaced the Blue Moon beads and the jade chips using approximately a 7:1 ratio). I didn't count the number that I strung on but approximately 125 should do it.

2.) Using knitted cast on, loosely CO 15 sts (at least for me, this row was very ugly!)

3.) (Before knitting each stitch, slip a bead then knit the stitch) Knit 8 rows slipping beads in between EACH stitch (you don't have to bead every stitch if you don't want to. Play with pattern until you're happy with it cause its all about YOU).

4.) Loosely BO all sts continuing to slip beads into the BO row; leave a 12 inch tail.

5.) Use tail to stitch the two sides together.

6.) Continue using tail and loop wire through all of the CO stitches and draw them together tightly to close the gap to create the flat base for the chaqueta. Using wire snips, twist and tuck ends so that they're not exposed.

7.) Pop votive into the chaqueta to lightly stretch it so that it fits.

8.) Repeat until you're either tired of making them or you run out of beads and wire.

Notes: Stringing the beads takes the longest time of anything with this project. I may invest in a bead spinner or make one of these to make this part go faster. Or I may bribe Thing 2 to do it in exchange for Christmas gift spending money. Contrary to some of things I've seen on the internets, knitting with wire was not hard on my hands. I only suffered one minor injury where I carelessly reached into the bead box and very quickly found where the beading needles had disappeared to - ouch!

So what are you waiting for? Pick up those needles and start knitting with some wire!


Renee said...

Very cute. I have to resist the urge to try it until I have made Christmas stockings for the whole family, made some ornaments for our tree, finished my Christmas cards and knitted Jillian's gift. Why do I do this to myself?

Nik said...

Thanks for the gift of the pattern. These look amazing.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I should start knitting with wire...yet! How would I explain that one to my Dr.?
Great pattern though...make great last minute gifts!

Kim said...

Wow, these are fantastic! Looks like something you'd spend (a lot of) money on at a place like Pier 1 or one of those other trendy spots! Thanks for posting the directions!

Eilene said...

Those are very, very cool! You are so creative. :-)

ikkinlala said...

Those are really neat. I've seen pictures of knitted wire jewelry before, but I've never seen it used with candles.

Lolly said...

I tried a similar pattern from the Handknit Holidays book last night and I had to give up - the wire hurt my fingers so much! I was using 24 gauge, so maybe a smaller gauge would work... I was so excited, but when I tried, it hurt too bad!

Amy Boogie said...

Those are the prettiest votives I've seen in a long time. Ilove the beading. I had no idea what a spinner was so I had to see your link. Freakin' cool. I love it all. Inspiring once again. :)

kelly said...

I adore those votives! I, too love candles, and have them all over the house. I had already put the Venezia pattern on my list of "to-knits" but I like your idea of dressing up naked votives better!

Did it take long to do them?

THanks for the pattern!

sarah said...

Those turned out so cute! I love them with candles rather than as napkin rings. So clever ;)

Wendi said...

Those are beautiful. You are a genius. A creative genius. This one should be on Uncommon Threads on DIY!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to try something similar only using a crochet hook..then i can do a circular one without having to sew it together after - yours look beautiful :)

Raju said...

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