Incorporating Beads and Gemstones in Your Knitting Projects
Knitting with beads and gemstones is a great way to add some additional sparkle to your projects. Whether you are making a shawl, a pair of gloves or just about anything else, you can add beads or gemstones for a more unique finish. There are a few different techniques for knitting with beads, but in this post, we will be showing you how to add beads as you go using a crochet hook. Let’s get started!
Gather Your Supplies
The exact supplies you need varies depending on the specific project you are working on. Check your pattern for details. In general, however, you will need knitting needles in the appropriate size, a 1mm crochet hook, yarn and beads. You may also want to consider using graph paper to help you visualize exactly where your beads will be placed in your work.
Get Started on Your Project
For this technique, you do not need to pre-string any beads. Instead, start working on your project and knit as far as you need to go prior to placing your beads. When you are ready to start adding beads, make sure you have your beads and a crochet hook that is small enough to hold the beads you are using. Carefully place your first bead on the hook.
Catch the Knit Stitch and Place the Bead
When you reach the stitch on which you want to place your bead, use the crochet hook to grab the stitch. If the yarn is slippery, hold it between your fingers to avoid dropping it. Next, remove the stitch from the knitting needle and slide it onto the crochet hook. Pull the bead over the stitch so that it surrounds your yarn. Finally, use your crochet hook to slide the stitch onto the right knitting needle.
Now that you have placed your first bead, you can continue working on your project. Continue knitting and adding beads as necessary. When you are on the wrong side of the work, simply knit the stitch with a bead on it the same way you would work a regular stitch.
It’s that simple! In a few easy steps, you can add beads and gemstones to your work even if you are relatively new to knitting.
Choosing Beads for Your Knitting Projects
Beads and gemstones come in an endless array of materials, sizes and shapes. This can make choosing the right ones for your projects challenging. If you are working with lace weight or fingering yarn, tiny seed beads are a popular choice. For worsted weight and bulky yarns, you, of course, need larger beads. Glass beads and natural gemstone beads are usually preferred over plastic ones.
When shopping for beads for your next knitting project, be mindful of the weight of your yarn. Pay close attention to how thick the yarn is and look for beads with holes that are large enough to work. Keep in mind that if you use the technique listed above, the yarn will need to fit through the hole when doubled over since you are slipping each bead onto a stitch. If you want to use tiny seed beads, you may need to use a different technique, such as pre-stringing your beads.
Sewing Beads onto Your Finished Projects
Sewing beads onto your finished projects is another option. This method works well when you are using beads with holes that are too tiny to be strung onto your yarn. This is also a good option when you are working with larger beads or gemstone beads that wouldn’t work so well if knitted into your project. Whether you want to add sparkle with crystal quartz beads or you are thinking about using freshwater pearls, sewing them on works well for virtually any project.
For small beads, you can use a regular sewing needle and matching thread. For larger beads, you will need to use a tapestry needle and yarn. Insert your threaded needle into the wrong side of your finished project where you want to place the bead and pull it through to the right side. Leave several inches and thread your bead onto the strand. Insert your needle into the right side of your fabric and pull through to the wrong side. Pull several inches through and then cut. Tie the loose ends together and then weave into your project on the wrong side.
Whether you knit your beads into your work or you sew them on after you are finished, using beads is a great way to create beautiful pieces that shine!