Have Ewe Any Wool?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Knitting with Beads and Reversible Cables

At our last knitting guild meeting, Catherine provided a wonderful presentation on knitting with beads. I have knitted with beads a couple of times and have tried two different methods. Catherine presented 4 methods and discussed some of the the pros and cons of these methods. I was thrilled to add two more methods of knitting with beads to me skillset!

Catherine showed us a few beaded projects and several types of beads as part of her presentation. She's currently working on a gorgeous stole with lots of beads and some beaded loops on the edges. It's gorgeous! She also had a stunning beaded bag, the "Gypsy Rose Lee" from Swallow Hill Creations. (I'm definitely ordering this one!)



As part of the preparation for the "tutorial", she knitted a swatch displaying the results of the 4 methods of beading. It really helped show the different bead alignments. There's definitely a technique for every type of beading you'd like to attempt. (click on the photo for a closer look)





From top to bottom:
  1. Adding beads with a crochet hook - you take the active stitch and slip a bead onto it using a crochet hook and return the stitch to the left needle. You then knit the stitch as usual with the bead at the base of the stitch being worked. With this method, both sides of the stitch feed through the bead. You also have to take the time to "load" the bead onto the stitch with the crochet hook. The holes of the beads are aligned vertically with this method
  2. Knitting the bead into the stitch - Knitting with a pre-strung bead - making sure the bead is in front. The bead will "float around" if not locked into place, so on the purl side, you need to purl through the back loop in order to "lock" the bead in place. This is the technique that gave me the most problems....I had to manually re-align my beads once I was done.
  3. Slipping the bead on top of the stitch - Knit 1, move the the yarn with a pre-strung bead to the front, slip one stitch, then knit as usual. This method is quite fast, but you can't put a bead on every stitch, so the beading is somewhat spread apart.
  4. Slipping the bead between stitches. This provides a very subtle beaded look where the beads "peek" out from between the stitches.
Catherine pre-strung beads onto thread so we could just "tie it" to our yarn and load our yarn with beads....rather than stringing them one-by-one. Many thanks to Catherine for doing all that work in preparation for the tutorial - We all got a chance to try our hand at knitting with beads without the delay and aggravation of stringing the beads!



This is my sampler of knitting with beads using all 4 methods. I definitely need to practice method #2. Luckily, Catherine is willing to present this again at our April meeting so some of the folks that missed it at this meeting won't miss out. And those of us needing "extra practice" can master these techniques as well! (click on the photo for a closer look)



Reversible cables? Yes! It's possible to have a cabled scarf that's beautiful on BOTH sides! Anita brought in a scarf she'd made for her DH that has a lovely cable design that's beautiful and cabled on BOTH sides! She used the cable pattern fron "A Cardigan for Arwen" and added some seed stitches on the sides to frame it. Isn't it gorgeous?





Here's a closeup of the scarf - the yarn is absolutely gorgeous as well! (It's Misty Alpaca Chunky) (click on the photos for a closer view)

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