Loom Beads Basics

w orking with beads is a fun way of personalizing a garment. It is simple and fast, requiring no extra hassle after finishing your work. Instead, the beading "grows" as you knit and is done at the same time your garment is done.

■ working with a pattern

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IYou can follow printed designs, or make your own on graph paper, with each square representing a knit stitch; use colored pencils to indicate the desired colors. If beads are used in a solid pattern, use small beads, such as seed beads, to keep your piece from bunching up. Plan carefully so you can thread beads properly as you need them in your design.

Square Seed Bead Patterns

2 Determine which rows of chart will be knitted and which purled. Thread beads onto needle in order needed as follows: Start at top of chart (first beads threaded are last to be worked) and work down row by row, going from left to right for knit rows and right to left for purl rows. This is the opposite from the way you will read chart to knit actual piece.

3 If design is worked only on every other row (usually on right side), you need to thread beads starting from top row and threading left to right for each row.

4 Beading can be worked in other pattern stitches besides stockinette stitch. Garter stitch, for example, can gain extra color and texture when beads are added.

Working with Sequins

IYou can buy a variety of shaped sequins that are very decorative, but too big to be passed through stitches. In this case, thread them onto yarn as for beads. To work sequin, bring yarn to front of work.

2 Slide sequin close to work and, with sequin still in front, move yarn to back of work, then continue to work as usual. Work all sequins in this manner, adding sequins to right side of work.

3 If you are working in garter stitch, add sequins on wrong side rows, sliding sequin close to work; then continue to knit until ready to add next sequin.

4 On following row (right side of work), knit all the stitches: The sequins will naturally remain visible from this side. Complete decoration, adding sequins every other row at desired positions.

jacquard stitch

■ jacquard in two colors

1 If you need to alternate colors often (every 3 or 4 stitches) in same row, carry both colors across wrong side of work. On knit rows, hold yarn not being used in back and to left, to make it easier to use other color. You can hold I color in your right hand as usual, and the other in your left hand as for continental knitting (see page 16), alternating methods to work each color as needed.

2 On wrong side rows, follow same procedure, always keeping yarns on wrong side. Throughout, be careful to maintain uniform tension so stitches are worked evenly without being too tight or loose.

This method of knitting allows you to make garments enhanced with multicolored designs in strikingly bright or subtly subdued h ues.

Yarn Bobbins Homemade

Working Colors with Bobbins

IWhen a number of colors appear in small motifs (as for diamonds, shown), use separate yarn for each. To prevent yarns from tangling, use plastic (or homemade cardboard) bobbins. Wrap enough yarn to work one motif on each bobbin, using a separate bobbin for each color change across row. To change colors on right side, work as for panels, twisting yarn on back.

2 On wrong side rows, twist colors as for panels, keeping all bobbins on wrong side of work.

IWhen you work a piece with colors knitted in vertical panels or stripes, use a separate ball of yarn for each section, even if the color is repeated across the row. To avoid holes in work when you change colors, twist yarns on back of work by dropping color just completed and bringing new color under old and up to continue working. Be sure to twist the yarns every row, keeping both yarns on the wrong side of

2 On wrong side rows, twist yarns as before and keep yarn on this side to purl stitches. This way, all yarn twists remain on wrong side of work.

jacquard stitch

■ jacquard with woven yarns

Ilf motifs are more widely spaced, it is a good idea to catch loose (unworked) yarn into back of work. This prevents long strands which make-it difficult to work and can be pulled out of place when garment is worn. To catch loose yarn, on right side rows, carry working yarn in your right hand as usual and unworked yarn over left index finger.

2 Then insert right needle into next stitch and below the loose yarn, knit stitch (drawing through only working color), then knit next stitch as usual with needle above loose yarn (yarn is caught in back of work).

3 On wrong side of work, catch loose yarn by inserting right needle into next stitch and under loose color and purl stitch.

4 Then purl next stitch with yarn over loose yarn. Repeat working 2 stitches in this manner to catch yarn, always leaving yarn on wrong side of work.

Smocking Beading Loom

This is how work will look on the right side.

This is how work will look on the right side.

6 On wrong side, work will look like this if you catch loose yarn every other stitch. NOTE: Contrast yarn is not carried on single color rows on this pattern.

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