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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Knitting with beads

I love those old fashioned beaded purses. You make them by threading a zillion beads on a thread and then you work the actual purse in knitting or crochet.

For a very long time I  had wanted to make a 12 th scale version. But even the smallest seed beads made the purse look really big. More like a shopping bag than a dainty purse for a lady.
The blue purse on the right was knitted in seed beads  I had in my collection.

For the black purse I used beads that were half as big. I found them at  Debbie has an interesting collection of beads and if you are looking for the really small ones , get in touch with her. She will know what you need and she will be able to tell you all about size and colors.

The black purse shown with a 12 th scale hand mirror for size.

Knitting with beads can be a bit confusing especially if you want to have a pattern in the beading. You have to thread all the beads in the pattern in reverse order twice. It is  a challenge I have not tackled yet partly because  I have not found a suitable pattern.

But if you use the technique  I used for these bags, you get a pretty result without too much fiddly stuff. The beads are added between the knitted stitches and by adding more beads in every row you create the shape of the purse.

First your have to thread all your beads. You will need a lot of beads because there will be beads both on the inside and the outsie of your purse. Normally you would use thread in the same color as your beads but for the photos I used a contrasting color.

The idea is : knit one stitch, move a bead  up to the knitted stitch and knit the nex one.

 The  beads  will be between your knitting.

 This is how the first row should look .

After two rows the beads will be on both sides of your knitting.
After a few rows of knitting it will start to look like this.
If you keep kniting like this you can make  a strip of knitting that you can easily fold in three and turn into a simple clutch purse.

To shape the knitting like I did you will have to add more beads between the knittied stitches to make the finished piece wider and less beads to make it smaller again.

This is just to give you some idea of how to knit with beads .  I will try to add the pattern for the purse  soon.