Creating the Perfect Bead Mix for your Knits
Let’s unravel the magic of bead mixes, explore their beady beauty, and showcase some bead-iful projects that will leave you inspired to create your own sparkling masterpieces!
Crafting the Perfect Bead Mix
First things first, let's figure out what a bead mix is all about. In short, a bead mix is a combination of beads, curated to complement each other and add a touch of pizzazz to a knitted piece.
Let me walk you through my process and show you the art of mixing beads! My favorite bead mixes contain Japanese seed beads, a blend of Miyuki, Matsuno, and Toho, and are a mixture of about 75% Size 6, 20% Size 8 Delica, and 5% Size 8!
Size 8 Delica beads have about 32 beads/gram, Size 8 beads have 40 beads/gr, and Size 6 beads have 12 beads/gram. Size 6 and 8 seed beads are round, and the Delica beads are perfect little cylinders.I use bead mixes mostly on fingering weight yarn. If I use just Size 6 beads things get heavy way too quickly (I like to keep my bead weight WAY less than the project’s yarn weight). And if I use Size 8 beads they get lost. So, making a mix cuts down on the overall weight of the beads AND ensures that the beads aren't lost in your knit fabric.
As for color? I’m drawn to beads that sparkle and shine but are a similar color to my yarn… so I’ll find beads in the same color family as my project, but make sure they have an AB finish (aurora borealis), or a silver lining, or maybe a metallic finish if I’m feeling extra fancy!
One thing to be careful of is transparent beads that don’t have a lining… when you thread your yarn through them the color of the bead will change to the color of your yarn and they will get all kinds of lost. Looking to purchase beads for knitting?
The Bling Stitch Technique
Now that I've talked about making a bead mix, it's time to break down working those beads into your knitting. Beads are for more than just bracelets, people!
Okay, my favorite way to add beads to your knitting doesn't exactly have a name, but I call it the "Bling Stitch." This method plays with sliding up prestrung beads as you knit. Instead of placing the beads onto your stitches with a crochet hook, the beads are prestrung onto the yarn before you begin to knit. As you work, you slip up the prestrung beads and incorporate them into your stitches
To incorporate prestrung beads as you knit, follow these steps:
- String the beads: Before starting your project, string the beads onto your yarn randomly. You can use a large eye-beading needle or dental floss threader. I have a video just for this!
- Start knitting: Begin by casting on the number of stitches your pattern calls for
- Beading: When you come to a stitch where you want to place a bead, slip up the prestrung bead on your working yarn, knit or purl your stitch so that the bead is sitting up on your ndl.
- Placement: When you come to this bead on the next row you will slide it onto the right or left leg of the stitch and then work the stitch as written in your pattern.
Two hot tips:
- Remember to maintain tension on the yarn while slipping up the beads to ensure they sit snugly on the knit stitches.
- Choose beads with an opening that is large enough to fit the yarn comfortably. See this blog post for help with yarn weight to bead size!
Patterns and Kits
From accessories to tops, my collection of beaded knit patterns has something for everybody. These patterns combine the cozy warmth of knitwear with the fun bling of beads, creating pieces that are not only fashionable but also unique and eye-catching. With a variety of patterns to choose from (tops, scarves, cowls, accessories, etc.), you can easily find the perfect beaded knit project to fit your mood.
All my patterns come with clear instructions and helpful tips to ensure a successful and enjoyable knitting experience. Find the perfect beaded knit project that matches your unique style right here!
If you prefer a hassle-free experience or want to try a ready-made bead mix, my kits are perfect for ya. Each kit includes everything you need to embark on your project, leaving you with more time to focus on the FUN of knitting. No need to worry about sourcing all your materials; leave it to me! My kits contain everything you need to get knitting except the needles!
Dive into a new beaded knitting project without any hesitation knowing that your kit has you covered from start to finish.
We Bead You Adieu!
I hope you've caught the bead bug and feel inspired to take a risk on beaded knits! Embrace the beads and let them shine brightly in our knitting creations.