How to Knit With Beads

Two Methods:Pre-threading BeadsHooking Beads as You Go

You don't have to be an expert knitter to incorporate beads into your knitting. You can use 1 of 2 techniques to either string beads onto your yarn before you knit to match a carefully pre-planned pattern, or hook beads onto the yarn spontaneously as you go. No matter how you do it, knitting with beads is a deceptively simple way of embellishing your knitting.

Method 1
Pre-threading Beads

  1. Image titled Knit With Beads Step 1
    Thread the yarn through a tapestry needle, then thread all the beads for your pattern--or at least all you expect to use before switching colors or skeins--onto the yarn.
    • If the yarn is too thick to thread through a needle that will fit through the beads, your beads might be too small for the yarn. Try this before you give up; poke the end of the yarn through a wire needle threader, then thread the beads onto the needle threader and pull them down onto the strand of yarn.
    • Allow the beads to collect against the skein of yarn until you need one.
  2. Image titled Knit With Beads Step 2
    Knit until you'd like to place a bead (between stitches). Knit the stitch before the bead, draw the bead up against the just-completed stitch, then knit the next stitch firmly.
    • Knitting the stitches to each side of the bead firmly helps hold the bead in place.
    • If you want the bead to show on the front or "right" side of your work, place it between purl stitches. In other words, purl the stitch before you slip the bead up against your work, then purl the next stitch as well, no matter what the pattern says.
    • If you want the bead to show on the back or "wrong" side of your work, place it between knit stitches.
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    Continue knitting, placing beads between stitches as you go.
    • If you run out of beads before you run out of yarn, cut the yarn, thread more beads onto the new working yarn, then join the 2 ends of yarn and continue knitting.

Method 2
Hooking Beads as You Go

  1. Image titled Knit With Beads Step 4
    Cast on and knit as usual, until you get to the stitch where you'd like to add a bead.
    • Note that this technique places each bead on a stitch instead of between stitches.
    • You need a crochet hook fine enough to fit through the hole in the bead you're attaching to your work.
  2. Image titled Knit With Beads Step 5
    Poke the crochet hook through the bead, then hook the stitch you're attaching the bead to off the left-hand knitting needle.
  3. Image titled Knit With Beads Step 6
    Slide the bead down onto the stitch, then slide the stitch back onto your left-hand needle and continue knitting.
    • The bead will be firmly fixed in place once you complete the stitch it's strung on.
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  • No matter which technique you use, finding the right beads is crucial to achieving the desired effect. Knit with beads when you do the gauge swatch, so you can see how they look on the knitted fabric.

Things You'll Need

  • Yarn
  • Beads
  • Tapestry or beading needle
  • Knitting needles
  • Extremely fine crochet hook (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Beading