Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Beading on Socks

Beads knitted into the cuff or body of a sock give a different look to women's foot apparel. Beading makes a pair of socks unique, and it really is fun to put them into knitting. Random Knits gives a step-by-step tutorial. She knitted up pink socks with girly beading, and her efforts look great! Take a look at her Beading on Socks tutorial; it is complete and well done, but seems a bit time consuming.

Her YouTube presentation gives this visual and verbal explanation:

I searched out more information on the topic of "beading in knitting" and found a quick way to accomplish the same beading task. Knitty's website said:

Hooking beads onto individual stitches "as you go" is an outstanding method for those who hate to take the time and trouble to string loads of beads onto yarn it.

It is also great for spontaneous or accent beading, and also for yarns that are too delicate for the punishing strain that results from carrying a heavy length of pre-strung beads on the yarn. Beads are hooked on with a crochet hook small enough to fit through the hole of your beads.

Hooking beads onto stitches with a small crochet hook does not require juggling skills, although it may seem that way the first few times you try it. Since this method is so easy to learn from watching a demonstration, and so difficult to learn from words, here is a blow-by-blow description of my hooking method as it has evolved through hooking thousands of beads:
1) Impale the bead onto a crochet hook small enough to fit through the hole of your bead.

2) Insert the hook into the stitch loop where the bead will sit, making sure that the hook is facing you.

3) Pull the loop through the bead.

4) Replace the stitch loop onto the left needle if necessary.

People are usually a bit afraid that they will drop the stitch when they try this technique. Be aware that the stitch loop does not need to come off the needle at all for the bead to go on. Even if it does come off the needle, as long as the loop has the crochet hook in proximity, you should be safe from it slipping into oblivion. And once the bead is seated securely on the loop, it isn't going anywhere. Once you feel secure about the process, you will no doubt be taking all sorts of liberties.

Here is a picture of my first sock where I used the above technique for impaling the bead onto the hook. Just the toe needs completion, and I'll have half a pair of beaded socks completed.

But on the next sock, I will bead ONLY on the knit stitches since the bead will be more prominent. (Beads seem to recede into the purl stitch.) Oh well, live and learn.

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