Monday, December 18, 2017

Socks for Beads

Just in time for the holidays...some frivolous fiddly fun!

Cover wooden beads with your sock-yarn resties! Jazz it up with beads! Make ornaments! Gifts!

[wooden beads covered with custom-knit woolly socks!]

You'll need:

  1. Wooden beads - if you want home-dec ornaments, 1" is probably the smallest size to get. If you are making jewellery, 1" is about the biggest you'll want. But you can judge. Start with some 1" beads to try it out.
  2. Size 6/0 glass beads - it takes about 72 beads to "fully coat" a 1" diameter model, but you can get by with far fewer.  This size bead threads easily onto sock yarn, but you can use smaller or larger as you please. Beads with smaller holes are harder to thread onto yarn. Duh.
  3. Sock yarn! Plain, striped, whatever! You need tiny amounts, so this is a great use for scraps and leftovers.
  4. 2mm needles or whatever you usually use for socks - DPNs or magic loop. Although I've long since graduated to 2AAT magic loop sock knitting, these tiny items work really well on DPNs, so if you have those, bust them out now to keep your skillz sharp! Note: gauge is somewhat critical as you want to make the beadsock fairly tight, so try a vanilla one first to ensure you've got the right sized needles. 
For a 1" totally-vanilla bead sock:
  • cast on 24 sts (provisional cast on is very nice if you can do it), knit 13 rows stockinette.
  • Break yarn, thread a darning needle with the tail and run it through the live stitches on your needle. Tighten. 
  • push 1" wooden bead into the tiny little pocket thusly formed, and run the darning needle up through the hole to a) solve the "weaving in" problem, and b) make sure the bead hole is lined up with the knitting hole. 
  • run the darning needle through the "foot loops" of the cast on stitches (or provisional cast on, if you did it) and cinch that side up. 
  • weave in ends
  • Enjoy! 
Now comes the jazz.

If you want beads, you can either prestring them, or add them as you knit using a crochet hook or (my personal favorite) superfloss

Try the formula : beads on every other row (ie. 6 rows of beads for 13 rows knitting), and beads every other stitch (ie. 12 beads per row). 

You can do just a row in the middle of the ornament (like a sort of mini-Saturn), or do spirals (beads every 4 stitches, and offset on the rows), or omit the beading at the two poles of the bead...the possibilities are endless!!

[omit the 2 rows at each "pole"]


[...sorted by colour...]

Sizing tip: I've found that for every 1/8" wooden bead diameter change, I need to add/subtract 2 sts to the cast on, and 2 rows of knitting. So a 7/8" bead requires 22 sts cast on and 11 rows of stockinette; a 3/4" bead, 20 and 9 rows. For a larger bead, like 1.5",  I'd try 32 sts and 21 rows. I've not made an exhaustive study of the sizing (I don't do "home-dec" or - shudder - Christmas ornaments) so as they say, YMMV (your mileage may vary).

Further note: don't bother with "shaping" - ie. doing increases/decreases to make the cinching less painful. Because: you need to get the wooden bead in afterwards! If the "pocket opening" isn't the full size, you'll not be able to get it in. I speak from experience, eh!

No comments:

Post a Comment