Viking Knitting: It's not just for Vikings anymore!
April 3, 2013 10:48 AM   Subscribe

The Vikings, pillagers and plunderers that they were, were the possessors of quite a bit of metal that needed to be used in some way. So they made jewelry. By the 8th century they had created a technique that is called trichinopoly or more commonly "Viking knitting", although it is really a type of weaving. If the Viking style of adornment appeals to you, you can learn this technique and make your own Viking-style jewelry. It's less complicated than it looks, and you don't even have to know how to knit in order to learn. You can learn to make a necklace or bracelet like this with this tutorial, or by watching a YouTube video. Once you master the basic technique, you'll be able to start improvising by adding beads and findings and semi-precious stones. It's possible that such jewelry was used as currency on those occasions when the Vikings actually paid for their acquisitions, like some sort of wearable bank account. Ostentatious types, those Vikings, but I suppose when you're known for your ferocity and lawlessness, you don't have to fear being mugged or looking nouveau riche.
posted by orange swan (19 comments total) 72 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thanks for these.

I've started dabbling with beading and wirework and I've always been frustrated that there isn't something like a Ravelry for jewelry making -- a place where people can easily post their projects to provide inspiration to others, hooked up to a database of patterns/tutorials/materials to make project planning easier.
posted by sparklemotion at 11:21 AM on April 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


Ooh, these will make a nice complement to my Patek Philippe and my diamond-studded Jesus piece.
posted by box at 11:26 AM on April 3, 2013


I thought you were going to link to this.
posted by rikschell at 11:29 AM on April 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


Will this be a Skyrim add-on? I love Viking technology being a Viking and all.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:31 AM on April 3, 2013


I should have, rikschell.
posted by orange swan at 11:31 AM on April 3, 2013


I just learned about this in detail and saw the work while staying at the Nordic Inn Medieval Brew & Bed.
posted by jadepearl at 1:10 PM on April 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm big into knitting and I like big barbaric jewelry. This appeals to me. I'm thinking giant double knit bracelets in gold plated wire. Yes.
posted by chatongriffes at 1:44 PM on April 3, 2013


How interesting that they would make metal into jewelry only to hack it up in order to make correct change. It would probably make you think twice before making a purchase.

Sparklemotion, you might like jewelrylessons.com. It was started by Eni Oken, a pretty well-known wire wrapped jewelry artist.
posted by cozy at 2:01 PM on April 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Is this where I can find patterns for knitting battle axe cozies from the bloody entrails of my slain foes?
posted by Hairy Lobster at 2:36 PM on April 3, 2013


A similar technique is that of nalbinding - like trichinopoly, it's a pre-knitting method of looping, the end result creating stitches that look very much like knitting (but is structurally distinct from it).

Here's a nice tutorial, if I may self-link an awesome pair of Egyptian socks, and I just found this amazing page on nalbound sock constructions and I am totally geeking out right now.
posted by Gordafarin at 2:45 PM on April 3, 2013


I've started dabbling with beading and wirework and I've always been frustrated that there isn't something like a Ravelry for jewelry making -- a place where people can easily post their projects to provide inspiration to others, hooked up to a database of patterns/tutorials/materials to make project planning easier.

Part of that is that it can be a bit rough for a jeweler to find colleagues doing up copies of his or her original designs, thus: "In an industry often summarized by a joke about how many jewelers it takes to change a light bulb (five, one to change the bulb and four to hold screens to hide what he's doing)" - Ganoskin which hosts the Orchid Mailing List for professional jewelers and amateurs.
posted by sebastienbailard at 2:56 PM on April 3, 2013


Ha! Gordafarin nailed what I thought the post would be about! The jewellery is cool, too. ;)
posted by annsunny at 3:39 PM on April 3, 2013


So what can you do with this precious stone?
posted by homunculus at 11:59 PM on April 3, 2013


Knitting! That's where I'm a
posted by runincircles at 12:30 AM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am totally going to make one of these.

I thought that working with wire would be hard, but I made a charm like this for my wife in maybe five minutes: http://blueforestjewellery.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/handmade-monday-how-to-make-danish-love.html

I hung it from a simple chain; she loved it immediately and has gotten lots of compliments on it.

I used the wire & tools sent to me by my Secret Quonsar to make this. Thanks for the kick in the seat of the pants that I needed to get started!
posted by wenestvedt at 6:04 AM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have conceived of something like this. But what I had specifically in mind, was some kind of wire-work arm bands/guards. I never thought of it as knit, but that's accurate. If possible, fashioned so they would expand and contract with the muscles. I imagine it in silver, as I have an especial fondness for it. Not the kind of thing I'm very likely to find time to actually do. But also, seems highly likely someone, somewhere, is doing it already.
posted by Goofyy at 9:26 AM on April 4, 2013


In sailor's marlinspike (a tapering long awl used on... marline, which we would call small rope or twine today) cord work, this is cockscombing. Though cockscombing is often done with multiple strands. Sennit and grafting techniques can also produce similar patterns.
posted by Dreidl at 1:35 PM on April 4, 2013


The History Channel’s Vikings Is Getting a Second Season. If You’re Not Watching, Here’s Why You Should Start.
posted by homunculus at 5:20 PM on April 6, 2013


What is the Viking word for auditory catnip? Because I am trying this and they are FASCINATED.
posted by heatherann at 3:54 PM on April 9, 2013


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