Knitting with Beads – Try it!

Have you tried adding beads to a yarn project? One of the challenges this month for Camp Loopy is to mix materials, and one of the options is knitting with beads. I love beads, so that’s the challenge that I’m doing!

Why add beads to yarn projects?

– Beads add a bit of sparkle and pop
– They also add a nice bit of weight to the hemline or body
– Beading breaks up all of the knitting and adds fun to your knitting time
– It’s easy to do and something different

I’m working on Knit Night by Inspiration Knits with a skein of Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere in Exploration Station. (We sold out of that Camp color, but we have ordered more.)

The pattern is an interesting (and very easy) construction and not one that I’ve done before. This would make a really fun gift for those on your gifting list, with or without beads added to it. However, knitting with beads is a good skill to add to your list and it adds a little extra to the finished gift. Here is my progress so far.

The Loopy Ewe Knit Nght

How do you knit with beads? Here is the way I do it:

First, add your bead to a tiny crochet hook.

The Loopy Ewe Knitting with Beads

Second, put the next stitch on your left hand needle, onto the hook.

The Loopy Ewe Knitting with Beads

Third, slide the bead down over the two legs of the stitch.

The Loopy Ewe Knitting with Beads

Next, put the stitch back on the left needle.

The Loopy Ewe Knitting with Beads

Last, knit (or slip – whatever the pattern calls for) as a normal stitch.

The Loopy Ewe Knitting with Beads

Need some yarn and bead ideas?

I decided to play with yarn and bead combos today. Here are a few that I came up with using Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere.

Dream in Color knitting with beads The Loopy Ewe

Here are some with Uschitita Merino Singles:

Uschitita knitting with beads The Loopy Ewe

Here are some other patterns to check out:

Slipstream Cowl, Slipstream Hat, Slipstream Mitts, Stay Awhile, Charmayne, Close to You, Hitchhiker, Nurmilintu, Pimpelliese, and Abstract Leaves Cowl.

We’re always happy to match beads for you. Just order a tube with your yarn order and leave us a note that you’d like us to pick the best match for your yarn. We’ll check to see if there might be a better option for you.

How About You?

Have you used beads in your knitting projects? Do you like it? Do you have other favorite patterns that call for beads? I’d love to hear your experience!

Hope you all have a great weekend!



  1. Thanks, Sheri – I sure wish I had asked you to add beads to my June project but will definitely add that request the next time. What size crochet hook are you using? Great tutorial!

      1. Thanks, Sheri – I’m going to put one in my cart for our July camp order. Love your stories about Ollie!

  2. I did a project with beads several years ago now, also using Smooshy with Cashmere. The color was Cranberry Crush, IIRC, and I used dark grey, smoky colored beads. It was an infinity scarf in stockinette with bands of garter stitch in a YO k2tog pattern. Turned out great, though I actually wish I’d made it wider! I also used the crochet hook method.

  3. Hi Sheri,
    I’ve only knitted with beads once and the pattern called for me to slide all the beads onto the yarn before starting and then slide a bead between stitches as I needed them. I think I like your way better…..Also, less wear and tear on the yarn. Thanks for the tutorial.

    1. Yes, that was always a concern for me, too – the wear and tear. Although it’s a nice way to have them ready and just move them into place.

  4. Thanks for your post about knitting with beads, and especially the combos you showed. I hope to order a beaded project from you soon.

  5. I can 100% say that the Loopy Elves have helped with bead and yarn choices before! I use a beading wire rather than a crochet hook (see link) and am somewhat addicted to beaded knits. That Crocus Hocus Pocus combo might be calling my name!

    1. I’ve seen the wire method but have not tried it. Beaded knits are fun any way you do them!

  6. Great instruction for using beads! I could picture most of the how-to part, but didn’t imagine the part where you put the stitch back on the left needle. Thank you!

  7. I’m loving my beaded project for Camp: “Sunburst Shawl.” I bought a “Fleegle Beader” – basically a crochet hook that allows you to store beads on the handle.

  8. There seems to be a art to combining yarn with beads.

    Are there some guidelines to use?
    for escample, how does one choose between a matte bead or a shiny or translucent bead or a gold or silver lined bead?

    Any suggestions you have would be appreciated. Thank youl

    1. Good question, Elaine! For me, I like beads to add a bit of weight and texture to the project. So I go with beads that are more matchy to the yarn. If you are adding beads to add a sparkle or a pop to the project, then you might want to go with a bead that coordinates but doesn’t necessarily match the yarn. Translucent beads will be more subtle, matte beads will be more visible. The gold and silver lined beads are almost like a hand dyer who has layers of color. They add a little more “layering” to the color process.

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