A Trick for Knitting with Beads

I’ve really been on a beaded project kick lately – even adding beads to projects whose patterns didn’t already call for them. It can be frustrating and tedious. I don’t like the stringing method for adding beads, but I also haven’t been very successful with the crochet hook method. The holes in those little size 6 beads are too small/inconsistent, and I end up with lots of unusable beads.

So here’s my little trick for being able to use beads with very small holes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a slow process – but for me, it works better than the other methods.

I start with some very, very thin wire; it’s as thin as thread, but holds its shape. I’m not sure what gauge/size it is (it’s from my craft project stash and was purchased a long time ago), but I’m sure it wouldn’t be too hard to find something similar in the beading supply aisle at the craft store. I fold a piece of this wire in half, and then stick it through the loop where I’m going to place my next bead.

Knitting with Beads

Next, I thread both of the loose ends of the wire through the bead.

Knitting with Beads

I pull the bead down the wire and slip it over the yarn.

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I remove the wire, and I’m left with a bead on the yarn.

Knitting with Beads

Finally, I pull the yarn loop taut and continue knitting. As you can see, it’s still a bit of a fussy process – but it works for me. 🙂

Knitting with Beads

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Glitz at the Ritz Shawl

Now that the fair contest is over and I’ve picked up my projects, it’s time for a good old-fashioned online show and tell. 🙂 So without further fanfare, here’s part 1 of my 16-part (!) series of posts on this year’s contest entries.

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Project numero uno is my take on the lovely Glitz at the Ritz shawl pattern by Helen Stewart. It’s available for FREE and is incredibly fun to make.

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Okay, maybe the beading part was less-than-fun – as I have discovered before. If you’ve ever tried to shove a loop of yarn through a Size 6 bead (I used a pushpin to “fish” the yarn through – good times), you know what I’m talking about. Multiplied by about a zillion beads. Yep, it was a time-consuming, finger-endangering process.

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Roll that beautiful bead footage. I used Bead Treasures beads in Beach Party, which coordinated very well with the yarn (I just omitted the green beads in the pack, and still had more than enough). As for the yarn, it’s the Araucania Nuble yarn from my stash – purchased on my trip to St. Louis.

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I love the contrast between the main body lace pattern and the “star lace” pattern toward the bottom edge. It’s such a great pattern – reviewing these photos makes me want to make another one!

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The edging was simple and stress-free. It’s all in the blocking!

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Star lace makes this a yarn-thrifty project. I used less than two skeins of the Araucania Nuble – crazy for a project of this size. The beads lend weight and substance to this otherwise-airy shawl.

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Love the staggered polka dots in the main body lace.

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Although this one didn’t receive a ribbon, it got a perfect score in the judged criteria. (It’s a very competitive category – I don’t envy the judges for having to make tough calls!) I’m proud of it because I learned a couple of new techniques.

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Now that I’m done writing about this shawl, I’ll get back to my Gail (Nightsongs) – which I just frogged for the umpteenth time this weekend! With great yarn comes great responsibility…

Cobweb Scarf

I don’t know about you, but I just can’t stop creating scarves. For someone who likes to try different different types of patterns, stitches, and yarns, there’s no better project. Plus, they’re awesome gifts. And to keep. A girl just can’t have too many. I made this one almost a year ago. (Wow, has it been that long?!) It’s the Cobweb Scarf by Joan Barnett.

Cobweb thread crochet scarf

I used Aunt Lydia’s Classic Crochet Cotton in the Monet (930) variegated colorway. I’d loved this thread for a long time (still do), and was looking for an awesome way to use it. The stitch pattern, which was pretty easy to memorize, and the beading are lovely.

Cobweb thread crochet scarf

I modified my version slightly by adding more “cobweb” square repeats (six across instead of just three), and incorporated more beading on the edges.

Cobweb thread crochet scarf

I’m not going to lie – the beading was such a pain on this project. I used a thumbtack to shove the thread loop through the tiny beads. Every. Single. Time. Lots of poked fingers, and my patience was definitely tested. I wouldn’t recommend using such small beads if you don’t have lots of time to get this project done. For me, the result is worth it. It’s a little heavy, but I like wearing it.

Cobweb thread crochet scarf

This was one of my projects for the contest last summer… I’m pretty sure it got an Honorable Mention in the accessory category.