Bead knitting

Joanne Scrace leant me some books a little while ago. This was one of them:

Bead Knitted Bags: Unique Beading Projects with Step-by-step Instructions

I did have a go a little while ago, more to see if I could do the technique than anything else. I came up with this.

I used silver wire and coloured beads for this.

I have had the odd dabble since then but always with wire. Before we went on holiday I overcame the last hurdle that was really preventing me from continuing any further and learnt how to thread the beads onto a thread. (rather than the stiff wire). Look here for a technique reminder.

Project 1: A Union Flag Cuff

My first design, (completed whilst on holiday) was this:

Surprisingly it worked first time! I say this because unlike knitting there is a fair amount of preparation to do before you start knitting.

1. Firstly you have to work out your design. I downloaded some special paper that I found here, printed some out and then literally drew the pattern on:

2. The next step is to physically thread all the beads onto the yarn in the correct order. This is almost the hardest bit – make a mistake now and the whole pattern can be thrown off.

This is what the above bracelet looked like when threaded onto the yarn.

3. This final step is the easiest bit – the knitting. When knitting with beads on the knit rows you have to knit into the back of the stitch. This is so that the bead is on the correct side of the piece each time. You pearl in the normal way.

Here it is on the wrist.

Lessons

As always, when you do something new you learn something. From this I learnt that each horizontal row (vertical in the picture above) slightly alters the placing of the first bead depending whether it is a knit or a pearl row. This means that the pattern is slightly out in this project. This can most clearly be seen in the top row of the picture above where there is a bead on each alternate row. There should really be one on every row. I have learnt!

Project 2: Beaded star cuff

With Christmas rapidly approaching my thoughts turned to festive designs and stars came out top.

I wanted to make this one thinner!

This one i had to re-do once or twice due to mis-beading but I got the alignment of the knit and pearl rows right this time! YAY!

I did alternate gold and silver stars.

Project 3: A shaped star

My thoughts next went into thinking that the cuffs are quite limiting, wouldn’t it be great if I could make a shape that would then be suitable for a pendent….. In theory this would be possible because all it would need is some increasing and decreasing hmmmmm.

I drew the outline on the paper and then set off to have a go. It took me many attempts (and a long time) but I ended up with this:

I found it hard to get the tension correct and some of the beads are slightly off alignment but I am pleased with the outcome.

I am very pleased with it. I did try to replicate this with wire but found that the wire is just not flexible enough and kept breaking.

Here it is as a necklace / choker pendant.

Do you have any suggestions as to what I should try next?

As always I am now going to head over to Handmade Harbour to look at some really talented blogs to see what everyone else has been doing this week. Do come and join me.

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45 thoughts on “Bead knitting

  1. Natalie

    wow, this looks tricky… You Union Jack turned out so beautifully i can’t believe it is your first go at this!

    perhaps you could try something with a heart shape… i know its not particularly Christmassy but i’m a sucker for a love heart at any time of the year πŸ™‚ x

    Reply
  2. claireabellemakes

    I agree with my fellow commenters – this looks super challenging, but what great results! You should be really pleased. I especially like the star, would definitely hang these in the festive season.

    Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    Reply
  3. Jan @ Handcrafted by Picto

    Sometimes preparation is just as important as the making, you have so much patience but it’s really worth the effort. I think a festive Christmas tree would look good for hanging ornament.
    Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog, I do the Chalkboards for other events and also as ‘generic ones that can be used for more than one occasion. (they are in my facebook album) :o)

    Jan x

    Reply
  4. Alison

    Your cuff looks amazing, you must have lots of patience. I think the stars really pretty and would be really great for Christmas. Have a lovely week. Ali x

    Reply
  5. Bits and Bobs Crafts

    They look great, well done for persevering! I add beads to a project occaisionally for pattern but have never attempted using them to create an actual design but your clear explanation is tempting me to think about it!

    Reply
  6. craftsbythesea

    You’re really progressing with your bead work, the cuff looks great and that design can be used in other items. How about making a bead snowflake for a Christmas tree ornament.

    Reply
  7. Sarah - Crafts from the Cwtch

    Wow – that looks like it takes some patience! The cuff is very cute! I think this would be a great way to make (1) festive napkin rings, (2) something pretty to go around glass jars which you could put tealights in. That’s what I’d make next πŸ™‚

    Reply

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