Bead Knitting Prestrung Knitted through Stitches

Floral Beaded Pockets

As described in Chapters I and 4, true Bead Knitting, with stockinette stitch as its base, entails two premises: that a bead is actually worked through all stitches, and that every stitch is subsequently secured on the following row by working through its back loop.

There is an inherent problem with this ailover bead fabric. As in the needlepoint that ir emulates, the fabrics nature is ro bias or torque.

To alleviate this tendency, you can alternate the twist ol the stitch with each row. Typically, working a stitch through its back loop twists the srirch below ir ro the lefr (see illustration at top left). To create a stitch rhar is twisted in rhe opposite direction (or ro rhe right), throw rhe yarn in rhe opposite direction on rhe previous row.

I his is known as rhe Eastern or Oriental method. On the subsequent row, working normally into the stitch with the twist opposite from normal creates the right slant. Working into the back loop of this srirch with rhe twist opposite from normal creates a regular fabric with no twist (often referred ro as Eastern Uncrossed Knitting). A fabric of only these right-twisted stitches (pictured ar rhe top of page 40) is rhe exact mirror image of the left-twisted stitches with beads pictured at rop lefr on this page.

In what is sometimes referred to as Plaited Knitting, a row ol left-twisted stitches alternates with a row of right-twisted siiiches. 1 his alternation almost creates a herringbone effect. See example on page 40.

L)o not (orget, however, that this maneuvering occurs while beads are worked rhrough rhe stitches ar rhe same rime! Thus, here is a summary for knitting circularly in the round as well as back and forth, and for a fabric that twists left only as well as for plaited fabric.

Working back and forth, with left twists only:

Row I: (RS) Knit normally, pushing a bead dirough each and every stitch.

Row 2: (WS) Purl through back loop, pushing a bead through every stitch, making sure beads ol previous row fall to the back of the work, which is the right side.

Row3: Knit through back loop, pushing a bead through even' stitch, making sure beads of previous row fall to the front of the work. Repeat Rows 2 and 3.

Working circularly with left twists only:

Round I: Same as Row 1 above.

Round 2: Same as Row 3 above.

Repeat Round 2.

Working back and forth with alternating twists:

Row 1: (RS) Same as Row 1 above bur knit throwing yarn in opposite direction.

Row 2: (WS) Purl throwing yarn in the normal way (the way the yarn was thrown in the previous row ensures that the twist will be the opposite from the method through the back loop), pushing a bead through every stitch. Make sure that the beads o( previous row fall to the back (or right side) of work.

Row 3: Knit through back loop, pushing a bead through every stitch, making sure beads of the previous row fall to the front of the work while you throw the yarn in the opposite direction. Repeat Rows 2 and 3.

Right-twisted fabric
Bead Knitting

Working circularly with alternating twists: Round I: Same as Row 1 above, but knir throwing yarn in opposite direction. Round2: Knit throwing yarn in the normal way (the way the yarn was thrown in the previous row ensures that the twist will be the opposite from the method through the back loop), pushing a bead through every stitch. Make sure that the beads of the previous row fall to the Iront (or right side) of work. Round3: Knit through back loop, pushing a bead through even,'- stitch. Make sure that the beads of the previous row fall to the front of the work; throw yarn in opposite direction. Repeat Rounds 2 and 3.

I rue Bead Knitting is most often used in purses and is typically worked in rhe round or circularly. You follow a chart, not unlike that for Fair Isle knitting or stranded color work patterns. The difference, however, is that the beads must be strung up in exact reverse order! 1 he beads create the patterning.

Since there is a bead on each stitch, great care must be given to the precision of the beading sequence. 1 he last bead strung on the yarn is rhe first to appear in the process of knitting the yarn. If there is a mistake in the beading sequence, rhe yarn must be cut and the beads restrung. I have had luck breaking off an offending bead (if it is an extra one) carefully with pliers. 1 also string on a small piece ol paper between rows to keep me on track. My good friend Barbara Hillery suggests that il you're missing beads, just work the stitches without beads, then go back and sew beads with a needle and thread over the bare areas.

She also suggests that if a bead is the wrong color (that is, you made a mistake in the beading sequence), a little dab of the correct color nail polish can save you from having to cut the yarn and restringí Barbara is soooo smart.

When you're following the chart, place arrows on each row in die direction of the knitting. Begin ar rhe bottom. If you re working back and forth flat, the arrows will reverse direction with each row.

Circular knitting in the round means that you work all rows from right ro lefr. Thus, siring the beads from the top oí die chart down, and always read from lefr to right down.

Thread is typically used, as are fine needles (size 0 and smaller). As seen in Chapter 1, rhe rhread is not seen from rhe righr side. True Bead Knitting is not for the fainthearted, bur irs luxurious fabric is like no other. Certainly, it should be tried once, if just in small ways. For this reason, 1 offer a pattern for a floral pocket. Attach it to an existing sweater or use the chart lo create a matching sweater with the in tarsia method and many different colors ol yarn.

To compare and contrast methods, one pocket, worked back and lorih flat, is done in left-twist stitches. 1 he second pocket is worked in alternating plaits. The third pocket employs rhe first "bctwecn-the-stirche.s" method.

Notice how the gauge of the latter is radically altered. The stitch gauge widens and rhe row gauge condenses. Thus, use ol the same chart can produce a short wide pic-rure. Notice how the bead pattern reads better in die version that twists left only. The plaited version lacks bias, but does not have the same pictorial definition.

In stringing the beads, you may find it easier ro determine the color of the beads from the knitting chart or from the colors written our in words.

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