Friday, 4 March 2016

Book Review - Jewelry Designs with Knitted Wire by Nealay Patel

We take a look at Nealay Patel’s latest book

If you were a regular reader of Beads & Beyond magazine you are probably familiar with jewellery artist, Nealay Patel. His sculptural pieces take small beads, beading wire and both hollow and flat knitted wire to new heights and he is always finding new ways to use components to great effect.

This book focuses on the design opportunities afforded by four key products from SilverSilk — hollow knitted wire, capture knitted wire, flat knitted wire, and leather knitted wire. Take a look at the SilverSilkwebsite for more detail on these.

You may already have used SilverSilk products as a luxurious stringing option for your jewellery but Nealay shows how versatile they can be acting as a stitchable framework for more extravagant pieces.

The book begins with an in-depth introduction to all the techniques tools and materials required to complete the 32 projects contained in its pages. This includes a summary of all the different bead types used and an introduction to the SilverSilk line of products.

The projects are all decadent and dramatic designs (as we come to expect from Nealay!) and each is beautifully and colourfully photographed to showcase the beads and knitted wire. The comprehensive materials list appears in the right hand margin along with a techniques reference which is really useful. For each piece, page numbers are listed where you will find more detail on the techniques required.

Whilst the project instructions do not have photographs for each and every step, there are images that accompany the more complicated aspects of the project and, as previously mentioned, references to the introduction for further instruction on specific techniques.

There is a wonderful mix of pieces from statement earrings to beautiful bracelets and both long and short necklaces. We particularly liked the Orange Spice earrings pictured with their fruity colour tones and great use of long magatama beads. The Aquarian necklace is mixes metal finishes with Silversilk Capture in Pearlesque Silver and long drop beads in matte yellow gold. The use of beads in each project is delightful and the combination of colours teamed with varied finishes of knitted wire make for some original and striking designs. 
Whilst many look extremely intricate and difficult to achieve, Nealay succeeds in showing how a wire jig and some simple stitching techniques can be used to create them with ease.

If you are looking for opportunities to extend your bead stitching skills and broaden your horizons in terms of the bead shapes you use in your pieces, then this is the book for you. My only criticisms of the book would be that a list of suppliers for the materials and tools used would have been useful, perhaps at the back. I also would have liked to see a few more projects using the flat knitted wire (there are only four in the book).

Jewelry Designs with Knitted Wire is published by Kalmbach Books and is available from Amazon, priced at £13.48
ISBN 978-1-62700-235-6

Find out more about Nealay on his website.

We have a copy of Nealay’s book to give away. 

Comment on this blog post and you could be in with a chance of winning!

Comment on our competition post pinned on our Facebook page and you can get a second entry!


  1. Wow this book looks fascinating! Pleeeaaaassee can I win a copy!!

  2. A very interesting looking book. Please enter me, thanks.

  3. One of the things on my "to-do" list - been knitting for over 30 some years this makes me want to try my hand with the wire and beads :)


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