Adina's Artistry

An Artist’s journey through the world of Arts and Crafts. Come and enjoy my projects and stories about making jewelry, knitting, and whatever crazy art/craft project I have going!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Knitting With Beads!! All the basics you need!

Knitting with Beads!

Welcome to the wonderful world of knitting with beads. Here are some guidelines to help along with your projects in this fun craft.

*You can use just about any type of fiber for knitting with beads, wool, cotton, silk, or a combination. What you need to pay attention to, is the thickness of the yarns you choose. Lace weight and sock yarns are some of the best choices, as is cotton crochet thread. If your yarn is too thick, beads will not be able to fit into your yarn.

*The best beads for knitting are seed beads. They are small glass beads and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They are numbered 6/0, 8/0, 10/0 and so on, with the larger beads having the smaller numbers. 6/0 beads are the best choice for knitting as they have the largest holes. Before knitting, go through your seed beads and sort them, removing any irregular or odd beads.

*Seed beads also come in a variety of finishes. The easiest to use in your knitting projects are the shiny, gloss finish beads. These slide nicely up and down your yarn and will snag less as you knit. Silver lined seed beads add a nice reflective quality to the bead and stand out in your knitting. Matt finish beads, often labeled "opaque" are harder to see when knitted into a fabric and don’t move as easily up and down your knitting.

*Color is also a consideration when choosing beads. Contrast tends to be the key, as same or similar colors often fade and don’t show in the knitted fabric. This can be compensated, however, by choosing beads in complimentary colors beads with special finishes. "Rainbow" beads are predominantly one color, but have variation that provides visual interest. AB finishes (aurora borealis) have a luminescent quality that produces lovely effects in knitting. Also, matte or opaque beads slide less, making it more tedious to incorporate into your knitting, but often are worth the effort for the look!

Threading beads onto yarn:

There are several methods of getting your beads onto your yarn. The best is called pre-stringing. As the name implies, you thread all the beads you will need for your knitting project onto your yarn prior to casting on. To do this, take a "Big Eye Needle" designed for beading and thread your yarn through it. Pour your beads into a small bowl and thread them from your needle onto your yarn. It can take a while depending on how many beads you need for your work.

Another method is using a "stringer" to add beads directly to a stitch as you knit. I prefer to use a crochet hook, rather than a dental threader, but the technique is almost the same. Work to the stitch where the bead is required. Slide the bead onto the shank of a very small crochet hook. Take the stitch off of the left-hand needle, onto the hook. Slide the bead over onto the stitch. Replace the stitch on the needle and work it, or slip the stitch as the pattern demands.

To use the dental threader, you must first open it up, separating it from a loop, into a "U". Slide the stitch onto the threader so that it sits on the bottom of the "U". Slide the bead over both ends of the threader and onto the stitch. Return the stitch to the needle.


  • At 10:46 AM, Blogger lucy said…

    I'am starting the knit scarf with the seed beads but do not quite understand what it means when it says Knit to the last two stitches and knit one. What do i do with the last st?
    thank you for any info.


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