Knitting with Beads

Jul 8, 2021 | Beading Study Group

Join us on Tuesday, July 13th at 10:30am via Zoom as Janine Grinta demonstrates knitting with beads. This will be our last Zoom bead study: we plan to meet in person in September!

In this presentation we will learn about using beads to enhance and decorate a knitted object. Various methods of applying beads will be demonstrated. Selecting tools and materials will be discussed. You can practice your skills on a Christmas ornament project, and be inspired by variations on the basic pattern.

PROJECT: Christmas ornament

Cast on, bind off, knit, knit in front and back increase, knit 2 together decrease, mattress stitch for sewing.

-Medium weight yarn
-Knitting needles that will produce the gauge recommended for the yarn
-Fifty beads, with a hole large enough to be strung on the yarn double-stranded and to pass through beading needle or crochet hook described below. Bead colors should contrast with yarn color.
Example: worsted weight yarn, size 8 needles, size 5/0 or 5mm beads
-Collapsible eye (twisted wire) needle such as Beadalon (heavy)
-Size 10, 11, or 12 stainless steel crochet hook that will fit through the holes of the beads
-Tapestry needle
-A few large, fancy beads and/or buttons for trim
-Polyester fiberfill or other stuffing material

-Round head straight pins
-Small safety pin or row marker

Pattern for beaded ornament

This pattern was adapted from “Swirl Ball Mystery“ by Terri Morris, available on Ravelry.

BO Bind off
CO Cast on
K2T Knit 2 stitches together (1 stitch decreased)
KB Knit with bead
KFB Knit into front and back of stitch (1 stitch increased)
St Stitch

String 50 beads onto yarn. Push beads down several feet to be used later.

Cast on 13 stitches, leaving a 12” tail. Insert a safety pin or row marker through the bottom edge of the last cast-on stitch to mark the corner for sewing later.

R1 (right side): KFB, Knit 10, K2T
R2 (wrong side): Knit
R3: KFB, KB 10 times, K2T
R4: same as R2
R5: same as R1
R6: same as R2
Repeat R1 through R6 four more times for a total of 30 rows completed.
BO loosely. Secure and cut yarn, leaving a 12” tail.

The left edge where the decreases were made will be the top. The right edge where the increases were made will be the bottom.

Thread tapestry needle with the 12” tail yarn from the bind off. Thread the needle and yarn through the left selvedge (decrease edge) bumps like a drawstring. Pull tight to close the hole, and secure the yarn but do not cut it. It is OK if the hole doesn’t close completely because it can be covered with a decorative bead or button. Leave the tail end from the cast-on hanging out on the right side to use as a hanging loop for the ornament.

Continuing with the tapestry needle and yarn, sew the CO and BO edges together with an invisible mattress stitch, tucking the edges inside. It may help to match the edges with pins before sewing. Do not cut the yarn.

Stuff the ornament with fiberfill or other stuffing.

Thread the tapestry needle and yarn through the bottom selvedge (right increase edge) the same way as the top. Pull tight to close the hole and stitch to secure.

Add decorative buttons or beads to the top. Fasten the CO yarn tail to make a hanging loop if desired. Add more decorative buttons or beads to the bottom.