Review: Knitting with beads

Knitting with beads: 30 beautiful sweaters, scarves, hats & gloves 9781579902506 by Jane Davis was not a book I expected to love and I was right. Beads on clothing usually are not for me. However, my sister goes for a bit more bling and so I had hopes for some good ideas. I also thought it could be useful since I need to learn how to spin with beads (another spinning group assignment). It looks like the author gives clear instructions, but I haven’t tried the techniques so I can’t really assess this aspect of the book. The designs were uninspiring to me.

The book includes two different techniques—beads sewn on (including embroidery, fringe and appliqué) and beads on the yarn (including beads over slip stitch, beaded knitting and bead knitting). Based on the pictures, the embroidery is of little interest to me. The beads decorating a felted cloche and the small beads at intersections of a felted vest are OK to me as concepts, but the rest does not appeal to me at all. In part this may be because she often uses fairly large beads and this gives some of the designs a bit of a 70s look, which seems dated (but for all I know may have been trendy in 2003 when the book was published). The beads over slip stitch also do not attract me.

The other two techniques require the beads to be pre-strung on the knitting yarn. First comes beaded knitting, in which “you slide one or more beads between stitches, traditionally in garter stitch, so that the beads hang at the back of the current row.” Beads are on both sides of the knitting in this technique. If you knit on both sides of the bead, the bead will sit in back and if you purl on both sides it will sit in front. The Cascading diamonds scarf is an attractive example of this technique.

The last section is devoted to bead knitting in which “you slide a bead into the stitches you knit. The beads are all on the front of the finished knitting, sitting on one strand of a specific stitch.” I confess I do not understand the difference between these two techniques. I think bead knitting may use with stockinette and has beads only on one side.

Overall, I am glad the library has this book because it probably has a couple of techniques I could look up if I ever decide DJ need more beads in her life. I doubt I will be checking the book out again in the near future.

Rating: 2.6

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One thought on “Review: Knitting with beads

  1. I have always wanted to try knitting with beads, but the easiest way seems to be to string the beads on and then knit them in–requiring larger beads. There is a nice pattern in Stitch & Bitch–a hat with sequins instead of beads–that would be an easy bling project to try and cheaper too.The other disadvantage to beads is that if you use nice, glass beads–the work becomes instantly difficult to clean.

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