As promised, here's the scoop on beaded knitting, crochet style. I much prefer this method because it saves me from having to string hundreds of beads onto my yarn, a pretty onerous task if ya ask me! Plus it saves wear and tear on the yarn since you don't have to slide all those beads along the length of the yarn as you do with the knitted on method. Lastly, I feel this method "seats" the bead on the knitting better because you place the bead over BOTH legs of the stitch, unlike the knitted on method where sometimes the beads slip to the purl/private side and are difficult to see in the knitted fabric. So let's begin....
Of course, the proper tools are of utmost importance! You need crochet hooks small enough for the bead to slide *over* the hook...and man, that's tiny! I put a dime in the frame for perspective. From top to bottom: #9, #10, #11, #13...the higher the number, the smaller the hook.
Here you can see just how tiny these hooks really are. You can barely discern the hook part from the shaft.
I use seed beads for my knitting. Here are some commonly used sizes with corresponding hooks.
On the bottom we have size 8/0 beads on a #13 hook.This is used for fingering weight yarn.
The middle is size 6/0 beads on a #11 hook. This is used with sport weight yarn. I have used this size on DK and Worsted Weight yarns but it's a pretty tight fit and pretty difficult to get the yarn thru the bead without shreading it.
On top are size 3/0 beads on a size #10 hook. These are the beads I used on Kiri and would fit very comfortably on yarn as thick as Aran weight. Unfortunately, 3/0 beads are pretty hard to find. You can find 5/0 beads much more easily and 5/0's are perfect for up to DK/Worsted Weight.
Now for the "how to" portion of our broadcast....
Step 1: **For this demonstration I used sportweight yarn, size 6/0 seed beads and a size #11 crochet hook**
With the bead loaded on the crochet hook, knit (or purl, if you choose) to the stitch on the left knitting needle where you want to place the bead. Leave the stitch on the needle and lift the stitch with the crochet hook.
With the crochet hook, pull the yarn thru the hole in the bead while, at the same time, sliding the stitch off the left knitting needle.I hold the bead with my left hand while I do this, and the hook in my right. Make sure to get the whole stitch thru the bead.
Return the beaded stitch to the left knitting needle.
Knit the beaded stitch as you normally would, transferring the completed stitch to the right knitting needle.
Knit on as you normally would, placing beads wherever you choose.
And there you have it....real tough, hmmm?
I find beads look best with at least one stitch between each bead. I also prefer a "plain" (non-beaded) row of stitches between each beaded row.
Here's a close up of my Sockapal2za beaded socks just to illustrate how the beads look in the fabric.. I used 8/0 seed beads on fingering weight sock yarn and a #13 crochet hook. I left a plain row in between each beaded row.
Since I started beading, two wonderful bead shops have opened locally so I can browse up close and personal :)
Prior to that, I got all my beads and crochet hooks from The Beadwrangler Great selection, fast delivery and wonderful customer service!
Another good resource is Earth Faire This is where I found the 3/0 beads for my Kiri. This is a good place to find a unique bead selection and interesting color mixes.
So now that you see how easy it is, get your self some crochet hooks and some pretty beads and get yourself out there beading...add some spice to your knitting!! Have fun!