Review: Knit with beads

Knit with beads: Stunning shawls and wraps : easy techniques, 15 beautiful designs 9780823016754 by Scarlet Taylor give clear directions for knitting with beads in various types of stitches. Almost all the techniques call for pre-stringing the beads. The techniques are divided based on the type of stitches so they can be applied to many different patterns. The author encourages you to find stitch patterns that beads would complement, visualizing a bead “in a ‘valley’ between stitches of in the hole made by a yarn-over in a lace pattern”. While the projects don’t excite me, they generally make good use of the beads. Often the beads are in trim or just an accent, or even in a picot edging. The yarn choices are fairly good— I found I like the look of a few beads with tweed yarn.

The tips and instructions look great. There is a nice introduction (much of which is visible in Amazon). The author covers garter stitch (add on a wrong side, beads sit between stitches on right side), between purl stitches, slip stitch (where you carry the yarn with the bead in front of the slipped stitch), through a stitch, on a yarn over. These techniques all involve pre-strung beads. She notes it is important to watch your tension so the beads don’t droop but also so you don’t get a pucker. When knitting through a stitch, if the beads aren’t sitting correctly, it may be the bead is too small for the size of stitches.

She also covers hook beading, in which beads are added to the yarn at each stitch, a technique that is good for delicate yarns (so you don’t need to move the beads along the yarn). You use a small crochet hook to pull a loop through a bead and then knit through the loop as usual. An important distinction for this type is that the hole runs vertically, not horizontally.

Next she covers sewing beads, which allows you to use much smaller beads. It also allows you to position beads after the item is complete. The author cautions not to put too many beads in a straight line near each other because it will reduce the stretch of the knitting. The final chapter is about using sequins.

Rating: 3.3

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