My background is in jewelry (MFA). Knitting was a second love for me and inasmuch, I was incredibly fortunate to take classes from Arline Fisch. She has written the seminal book, Textile Techniques in Metal
which covers instruction on how to knit with wire. There are some amazing pictures in the book of people who have knitted in wire and how they do it. Despite all my training, I have been unsuccessful.
Another of her books worth going through is Crocheted Wire Jewelry
. Now I know you may not necessarily want to make jewelry, but again, you will see the possiblities of crocheted wire.
There are also resources listed in the back of the book of companies that sell various gauges of colored, workable wires.