Knitting With Beads

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There are many ways to incorporate beads in a knitted fabric.  If you have never tried it before, you will be surprised at how easy these techniques are and how beautiful are the finishing touches that these techniques provide.  Check back as we add more photo tutorials to this page.:

  • Integrated in Fabric:  The following methods incorporate beads within the very structure of the knitted fabric.
    • Prestring beads:  Beads are strung onto the yarn/wire prior to knitting. 
      • Option A:  Leave beads between stitches
      • Option B:  Leave beads on running threads carried on RS of fabric over slipped stitches (coming soon...)
      • Option C:  Position bead on yarn over and bring through the stitch when knitting or purling (coming soon...)
    • Non Prestring Methods:  Beads are incorporated into the fabric without the extra effort of prestringing the yarn.
      • Option A:  Slide bead onto live stitch with crochet hook
      • Option B:  Knit with beads on a carry-along thread (coming soon...)
  • Beads as Embellishment:  The following methods describe methods for embroidering beads onto the knitted fabric after the knitting work is complete.
    • Couching (coming soon...)
    • Back Stitching (coming soon...)
    • Lazy Stitch / Squaw Stitch (coming soon...)
    • Single Bead (coming soon...)
    • Bead Tower (coming soon...)
    • Tambour embroidery (coming soon...)

Option A:  Prestring Beads, Leave Beads Between Stitches

Knitting With Beads, Prestringing

Prestringing Beads:  When you pre-string your wire or yarn with beads, you string them in the reverse order that you will actually use them.  This means that those you stitch with last will be those that you load onto the wire first. 

Knitting With Beads, Prestringing, Step 1

Step 1:  Bring bead to needle

Knitting With Beads, Prestringing, Step 2

Step 2:  Knit or purl the next stitch, keeping bead on running thread between last stitch and current stitch.  (Knit pictured)

Knitting With Beads, Prestringing, Step 3

Beads are held in between stitches and can be seen from both the wrong side and the right side of the fabric.

 Non-Prestring Methods - Option A:  Slide bead onto Live Stitch with Crochet Hook

Knitting With Beads, Non-Prestring Method

Select an appropriate crochet hook:  This method requires that you select a crochet hook that can fit easily through the hole of your bead.  Size 12 and 13 steel crochet hooks come in particularly handy for Size 6 Seed beads.

Knitting With Beads, Non-Prestring Method, Step 1

Step 1:  Work your knitting until the stitch that you would like to bead.

Knitting With Beads, Non-Prestring Method, Step 2

Step 2:  With bead already placed on the crochet hook, insert hook purlwise into the stitch and slip off the needle.

Knitting With Beads, Non-Prestring Method, Step 3

Step 3:  Slip the bead over the stitch.

Knitting With Beads, Non-Prestring Method, Step 4

Step 4:  Without twisting the stitch, slip the beaded stitch back onto the left hand needle.

Knitting With Beads, Non-Prestring Method, Step 5

Step 5:  Work the stitch as indicated by the pattern.

Knitting With Beads, Non-Prestring Method, Step 6

The bead has been incorporated into the knitted fabric.