Fickle Knitter’s Guide to Knitting with Beads

Tools for Knitting with Beads
Bead Knitting Tools and a few Rules of Thumb

  • Use a Size 6 bead for Sock Weight yarn.
  • Use a Size 8 bead for Lace Weight yarn.
  • A 1mm crochet hook will work with Size 6 beads.
  • If you don’t have a crochet hook small enough about 3-4 inches of unwaxed, thin dental floss will do.
  • You’ll also need Knitting Needles
  • And Yarn

Using a Crochet Hook to Add Beads
I find the crochet hook method to be less intrusive when knitting. Your mileage may vary. If you find that the Crochet Hook method doesn’t work for you or your bead is too small to fit over the hook give the dental floss method a try. You’ll find the Fickle Knitter Approved Dental Floss Bead Method below the crochet hook portion of the Fickle Knitter’s Guide to Knitting with Beads Tutorial.

Place bead onto Crochet Hook

1. Place bead onto Crochet Hook.

There is no fancy way to do this. Sometimes I use my fingers to place the bead onto the hook and sometimes I capriciously dip the hook into a pile of beads hoping to snag one on the way back up.

Knit Stitch to ready it for bead

2. Knit the Stitch where you’d like your bead.

You don’t want to add the bead until after the stitch has been knit so this requires allowing the knit stitch to be in limbo, hovering in between the left and right knitting needle for a while. If you’re nervous about this technique or are using a slippery yarn, pinch the stitch at it’s base to keep the stitch from dropping and laddering. If the stitch does drop and ladder have no fear. You have a handy crochet hook right beside you to pick that sucker right back up.

Use Crochet hook to transfer bead to knit stitch

3. Use the hook part of the crochet hook to grab the stitch in limbo.

This part is fairly easy unless you are nearsighted like I am.

Place bead onto knit stitch and return stitch to RHN

4. Push the bead from the crochet hook to the stitch in limbo.

You’ll get a feel for how much force to use when doing the bead transfer after adding beads to your knitting a few times. Remember that you can add extra yarn to the stitch during this part of the process since you are beading a “working” stitch. Ie if you give too much slack in the stitch in limbo, simply pull the working yarn to tighten.

5. Place the stitch with the bead back onto your right hand knitting needle and continue knitting.

Repeat Steps 1-5 as many times as you’d like to add a bead!

Dental Floss Bead Transfer Method for Knitting with Beads

Knit Stitch

1. Go ahead and Knit the stitch where you’d like to add a bead.

DSC_4397

2. Drop the stitch off of the Right Hand Needle and run the floss through the stitch.

Place bead over both ends of floss and transfer to knit stitch

3. Slide the bead over BOTH ends of the dental floss and slide down to the top of the stitch.

Then push the bead off of the floss and onto the knit stitch.  Works like magic!

Replace Stitch back on RHN and continue

4. Remove the dental floss and place the stitch with the bead back on the Right Hand Needle. Continue Knitting.

Repeat for each stitch you wish to have a bead on it.

Beads for this tutorial were generously provided by Earthfaire. I’m not a paid advertiser, just a happy fan.

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Beads from Left to Right:
1. 8/0 Lilac Lined Crystal Triangles AB, Miyuki with Soft Corners.
2. 4x4mm Silver Lined Crystal Cubes AB.
3. 5/0 Sparkling Purple Lined Aqua Luster Triangles.
4. 8/0 Silver Crystal Triangles, Toho with Sharp Corners.
5. 8/0 Gold Lustered Lilac Beads.
6. 6/0 Violet Gold Luster Beads.
7. 4mmx7mm Fuchsia Lined Smokey Amethyst AB Megatamas Beads.
8. 4mm Silver Lined Crystal Megatamas Beads.
9. 3mmx3mm Silver Lined Teal Cubes.

Stay tuned for a bevy of beaded Fickle Knitter Design patterns coming soon!

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I hope that you’ve found my tutorial on How To Knit With Beads! You may also be interested in reading How To Block Lace Shawls, Gauge, A Story, or Lace Triangle Construction.

Interested in buying Michelle’s knitting patterns? Visit her online shop, ravelry shop, or etsy shop to buy one now. Each pattern purchased helps keep the lights on and gives Michelle time and resources to write more about knitting.

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About Michelle

Knitting Tin Hats since 2004.
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2 Responses to Fickle Knitter’s Guide to Knitting with Beads

  1. “Stay tuned for a bevy of beaded Fickle Knitter Design patterns coming soon!”

    YAY! LOOOOOVE beaded patterns! Can’t wait.

  2. Pingback: Why Knitting Isn’t Free by Michelle Miller the Fickle Knitter |

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