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Simple Steps to Threading Beads onto Knitting Yarn

If you love sparkles and glitter as much as me, you should DEFINITELY try bead knitting. Beads add instant glam to your projects.

There are a number of different ways to knit with beads, usually my preference is stranded bead knitting. The idea is: you string your beads onto your yarn before knitting and then bring beads up and work them into the project as needed. I like this method because, unlike some other beading methods, you don't have to stop knitting to attach a bead to the yarn and there's not much distortion of your stitches after you've worked said bead.

In this post, I share the basics of getting your beads onto your yarn.


Yarn: Your yarn should be smooth and strong; a multi-ply yarn that is not thick-and-thin or made with a delicate fiber.

Beads: I recommend Miyuki DynaMites seed beads. The holes are consistently sized, which is not the case with most chain craft store beads. As a general guide (you'll come up with your own preferences, I'm sure):

Lace/Fingering weight yarn, use size 11/0 or 8/0 seed beads.

Sport/light DK weight yarn, use size 8/0 seed beads.

DK and light worsted weight yarn, use size 6/0 seed beads.

Large Eye Beading Needle: My favorites are the strong metal beading needles that are essentially two pieces of metal wire fused together at either end. Dental floss threaders are also a good option and very easy to get at your local pharmacy. You could make your own with fine gauge wire, too, by twisting the two ends of the wire together, leaving an opening at the fold for your yarn.

Beading Surface: Use a piece of felt, velvet, or cloth to help keep the beads from rolling around too much as you string them onto your yarn. This is especially helpful if you're using multiple bead colors or need to count your beads.

Let's get to it!

Step 1: Wind your yarn with a winder or by hand to ensure that there are no knots in the yarn. If there are knots, cut the yarn at the knot and treat it as a new ball.

PRO TIP: If you have one ball of yarn, you can string all of your beads onto the one ball. If you don't want to string every bead onto the yarn at once, you can string 1/2 your beads. When you have used up the strung beads, cut the yarn and string the remainder of your beads.

If you have multiple balls of yarn, split up the beads among the many balls.

Step 2: Thread your yarn through the large eye of your beading needle, pulling through about a 4" tail.

Step 3: Begin threading beads onto your beading needle and pushing them down the needle to the yarn. Occasionally, a bead might get stuck here if the hole is too small. Discard and replace that bead.

Step 4: Push the beads down the strand of yarn until you are able to fit the desired number of beads.


Have you knit with beads? Comment below and let me know what you made!

For project ideas with beads, check out the Black Hole Beanie or my Starry Snood patterns.

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