Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Beading on Knits Tutorial

What you'll need:

  1. A finished piece of knitting or crochet--why, I just happen to have one here! (Yes, I finished knitting the New Earth Bag for Pretties and sewed up the sides.)

  2. Beads of appropriate size and color--it's okay to audition various types. I find that just laying them on top of the fabric will tell me if I want 'em.

  3. A needle that will go through the beads with room to spare for the thread

  4. Thread. I got mine in a very special way: I happen to be working with a yarn that is really eight strands twisted together. I untwisted the end and pulled out a strand at a time. I threaded my needle with two strands and that worked just fine. You could also use sewing thread or beading thread, depending on how much wear your finished piece will be getting. Mine will get very little so I can go easy.

Now to the work: This is for a piece that will be lined, with fabric covering the inside. For this reason, I will leave knots and not bother with burying the ends.

  1. Tie a knot in the end of your thread, leaving a tail of about 1". Anchor your thread in the back of your work.
  2. Come up through the fabric where you want your beads to start.
  3. Thread your beads onto your needle. Here I used four.
  4. Here's a tricky part: slide the beads down to your fabric and lay them down as you want them to be sewn. Take the needle under the knitted stitch at the end of the bead row. Go under more stitches until you get to about the center of the bead row. (For this project it was 3 purl bumps and 2 beads.) You may notice that I moved the unanchored beads away so we can see where the needle is going.
  5. Draw up the slack in the thread, gently! Don't tighten it. Now you can see the thread coming out about halfway on the bead row.
  6. Take the needle back through the first half of the bead row. This will keep the beads from flipping around.
  7. Go down through the fabric and back to step #2.

Continue like this until you can say, "Aw done!" If you're lining the piece, as I am, you don't have to weave in the ends. Don't cut 'em too close, though. Leave tails on the back for extra security.Jasmin suggested I add beads to the front, so I did. Just a little, under each bobble. The center one doesn't get a bead because it acts as the toggle in the loop closure. As a very obvious person, sometimes I like a little subtlety.And here it is! Ready for lining. I may just do a photo tutorial on that later.

1 comment:

Free Range Chick said...

Oh man, that looks time consuming. Very pretty in the end. So it must be worth it.