Knitting with beads?

I’m going to try my hand at the pattern that Buddha_Mom posted in her FO post on “What Cha Knittin?” but I’m very apprehensive about the beads…I’ve been browsing different bead sites to try and find beads that best replicate the model on the pattern, but I have no idea how beads are sized. The pattern asks for Size 6 beads, but any that I find provide measurements in mm’s. Don’t know if “size 6” relates to the size of the bead or the size of the hole strung through the bead. Any advice?:knitting:

Nevermind! :slight_smile: Lol… I found some clarification at Figured I’d post the site in case anyone else is intimidated by beads like me.


That was a great write-up about adding beads to knitting. Did you try it? I think the beads I want to use are too small to get a crochet hook through and I don’t understand the instructions for adding beads that are prestrung.

Some bead companies actually have the “hole” size information on a chart and will post it on their sites or send it if you email or call them. Unfortunately, knitters and crocheters aren’t the clients they had in mind when they produced the smaller holed beads. I use a bodkin that has a hook at one end, that needs at least a 3mm hole for it to go through. Not a whole lot of nice bead choices out there with this large of a hole.

Another option is to use a dremel or similar type tool to route out the hole but it is tricky and the bead is hard to stabilize for this.

The best thing to do if the hole is too small for your crochet hook is string the bead onto a threaded needle, then onto your yarn as described on the Knitty link posted in Cindygster’s reply. You’ll still have to make sure the hole is large enough for your yarn.

Don’t get discouraged, beading on knit or crochet really enhances the item and makes it stand out and worth the extra effort. Mary

This might help you

A friend of mine has recently done a lot of knitting with beads, and her first project, a tank with a beaded hem, was gorgeous, but weighed about a ton. She used 6 mm beads, as these were the only ones she could find with a hole large enough for the yarn. We have since found that the easiest beads to knit with are seed beads, which come in many sizes, from 2/0, which are fairly large, to 10/0 or 11/0, which is what most of us consider to be the “normal” size with seed beads, to 15/0, which are so small you can hardly see them with the naked eye. Size 6 beads possibly refers to 6/0, which are about 4mm, and of course seedbeads have a large hole which makes them easy to knit with. The large hole also means that there is less weight to each bead, which means your garment is not too heavy.

Bead sizes, as far as I know, are not standardized from country to country or even from area to area, and even mm sizes are sometimes way off. When shopping for beads, go for what is available in your area, and what looks good with your yarn.

An easy way to string your beads, especially if your hole is JUST large enough for the yarn, is to dip the end of the yarn in melted wax and use your fingers to sort of shape the end of it into a point. You might need a couple of dips, and you might need to cut off the end and dip yourself a new “needle” after a few hundred beads, but this does work fairly well.