Friday, November 30, 2007

Beads on Stocking Stitch

There are two ways to place beads on a stocking stitch ground. The one I like the best is to put them on one at a time by pulling the stitch up through the bead with a crochet hook before knitting that loop as a standard knit stitch. That mounts the bead 'square' with the knitting and locks it in place. But in order to do that, a double thickness (loop) of the yarn must fit through the bead. I use this technique with lace weight, but you can't use it for the beads on Odessa - they just are not big enough.

The other way to do beads in knitting is to pre-string all the beads that you will need onto your working yarn and move them into place one at a time. When you do this, you insert the needle into the stitch, move the bead into place and knit the stitch, pulling the bead to the front. Technically, this places the bead on the leading "leg" of the knit stitch's "v".

I've used this second technique successfully on socks and wristwarmers. It will only work, though, in a yarn and gauge combination where the knit fabric is tight enough to keep the bead from slipping out of the stitch to ride on the loop of thread between the stitches. At least with MY gauge on Odessa, that didn't happen. The beads just slipped right out of the stitch and then flipped to the purl side. So I finished my Mom's hat with the purl side out.

Third time's a charm. If this bead and yarn combination want the beads to ride on the thread between two purl stitches, so be it. I just purl the third and fourth stitch of the K6 in the pattern and slip the bead right inbetween the two purls. So there.

Sometimes you just have to listen to your knitting.

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