Beading Part 2 – Designing with beads

As you may recall, as soon as I was well embarked on my first beading project, Hazel’s cuffs, I decided that I needed to order some more beads.  (Links are to Ravelry.)  The beads on the cuffs are size 6, and they look very large against the fingering yarn of the cuffs.  When I ordered beads, I got an assortment of sizes to experiment with.  I got one set of size 5 beads, slightly larger than the ones I’d used before, to try with some larger yarns.  I got a couple more sets of size 6 – I couldn’t resist getting mixtures instead of just one color.  They are very pretty, though!  I also got one set of mixed size 7 (a very uncommon size).

The only beads I got specifically to work with some yarn were some size 8 beads in green, pink and orange, which I wanted to use with the leftover yarn from Meg’s Quirky socks.  I decided to make a doll top – it’s been too long since I’ve made anything for any of my dolls.  I wasn’t sure who I’d knit for, but I thought perhaps it would be Anya, my only doll in the MSD size, about 16″ tall.  She’s always been a bit neglected.  (Though I did make her one outfit some time ago, shown here:

So, I was Hungry, all right? ADAD 4/365

When I started to work on the new top, I strung 12 green beads on the green end of the yarn and cast on with beads every three stitches.  I then worked a collar in K1, P2 rib.  It seemed to be about the right size for Anya, so I committed to my plan and started on a yoke.  I did increases by M1 on each side of the Knit portion of the row – for the first increase row, it was K1, M1, P2, M1 around.  I threw in beads in the center of the knit portion of the right-side row after each increase row.  I didn’t work out how big it was going to be, nor really determine whether that was the right proportion of increases.  One of these days I really must try planning before I knit!  Throughout, I added beads of the same color as the yarn I was knitting with.  Here’s a closeup of the yoke (I ended up blocking it).

You can see the colors of the beads pretty well here and see that they show up clearly but are much more in scale with the yarn.  I don’t think I could use the technique of adding beads in as I knit with these beads and any larger yarn.  As it is, I have to throw away about every fifth bead because I can’t fit it over the stitch.  The photo above also shows the beads that I added when I cast off for the sleeves.  In addition to experimenting with the beads, I wanted to try out this general shape of garment, because it works really well with Meg’s yarns.  The yoke was knit big enough to make cap sleeves, and I threw in some mostly garter rows just before binding off to give a little edge to the sleeves.  I cast on a few stitches for underarms and then did a few rows in K1, P1 ribbing, forming an Empire Waist band.  By the way, the large green beads at the bottom of the photo below are really the heads of the pins I’m using for blocking, as are the pink “beads” at the bottom of the next two shots.

After the band, I started working in a chevron pattern that would be easy to scale up by just omitting the decreases on some rows.  I started with a multiple of 10 stitches, went up to 12 and then 14.  Not a huge increase but enough to give the top some flare.  When I was done knitting, the chevron portion showed that it needed some evening out, so the top is being blocked.  This shot shows the placing of the beads.  I did increase rows on every other row with beads.

It was so nice to block something that fits with ease on a hand towel!  And when the snow stopped, the sun came out, and I was able to take these photos on the living room couch with no flash and the colors look pretty accurate.  Better than snow!  (We ended up with about 9.5″ officially, which was at the low end of what was forecast.  Fine with me!)

I’m going to go ahead and post this.  I’ll show photos of Anya in her new top as soon as it dries and there is once again enough light for photos.  Who knows when that will be.



About Knitterly Anne

A knitter for many years, I have become increasingly involved with designing knit patterns in recent years. Other interests include my lovi
This entry was posted in Beads, Design, Dolls, Knitting and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Beading Part 2 – Designing with beads

  1. Laurie says:

    Wow – Lucky Anya!! The beads really make that chevron pattern pop.

  2. Marie says:

    Beaded knitting just looks so impossible…almost magical – especially at the scale you are working with! I also love the green and pink shades together! Laurie is right – very lucky Anya!

  3. Sarah says:

    I always love to hear your designing thought and insight. Anya is a pefect model…she looks very queenly, royally. Another gorgeous creation and wonderful play, Anne.

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