Saturday, 8 June 2013

How to Knit With Beads

If you've never knitted with beads before, I definitely recommend it. Not only does it accentuate the pattern, but it also adds a nice drape due to the extra weight. (However, beware of beads that are too heavy or of too many beads all at once: they may distort your knits and drag them down.) There are a number of ways to use beads and I thought I'd share two of them with you today.

1. Crochet hook method
My favourite method is to use a 1mm or 1.5 mm crochet hook to place each needle onto a stitch. This can interrupt your knitting process when you're in the flow because it means putting down your needles and using the crochet hook instead. However, I like it because it is quick and easy and does not involve any prep work.

When I reach the stitch that's meant to have a bead, I place one bead on my crochet hook, grasp the stitch with the hook and slide the bead down onto the stitch. Done! This video tutorial from KnitPicks is a great visual demonstration:
2. Stringing method
Of course you can also thread the required number of beads onto your yarn before casting on. be sure you have the correct number though! Once you have knitted to the stitch that needs a bead, simply slip the bead towards the stitch and knit this stitch so that the bead is trapped in the knitting. The one drawback is that the bead may slip behind the work and end up on the wrong side, so the slipped stitch method is more suitable. Don't know what I'm talking about? Here's another helpful video showing both versions of the stringing method:
I hope this has helped to take some of the fear out of knitting with beads . Trust me, you can do it! When I worked on my first lace shawl, I was mad enough to add beads as well even though they were optional. I still love the way it looks.

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