How to…cast on with beads January 9, 2012 – Posted in: How to, Mondays with Mona

Hello again. You did not think I would let you hang there, mentioning something about casting on with beads involved and then not telling you how, did you? Of course not. Here we go.

When you want to add beads to your long-tail cast-on, you need to string your beads onto to the ‘tail’ of the yarn. Always use one bead less than stitches to cast on, since the beads will sit between the cast on stitches, hence the minus one. I find the size 6 seed beads work best, using a smaller size tapestry needle that fits well through the bead hole. Apparently size 8 beads are fine too, but I like the bigger beads better. I am stringing 59 beads onto my yarn to cast-on 60 stitches. Leave a tail longer than usual, the beads use up a bit more of the yarn.

Make a slipknot and place it onto your needle.

Then proceed with sliding the first bead right up to said slipknot. Hold it in place there and cast on the second stitch.

As you can see, the bead rests on the strand that usually makes what I like to call the ‘nice’ side (or RS – right side) on the long-tail cast-on and connects one stitch to the next. You continue adding stitches and beads in that manner, sliding up one bead at a time, until all the beads are placed and the 60 stitches are cast on with the beads neatly lined up just underneath your needle.

Turn your work and purl one row. Then commence the pattern as you would. That’s it, beads successfully added without too much hassle.

The yarn I use here is Punta Yarns Hand Dyed Lace, 100% Merino. Sadly it was the last skein in that colour but we have a large assortment of different lace weight yarns in many stunning colourways at the store.  If you feel the urge to add some beads to your knitting, visit a local bead store (the closest to our location I know of is Chaton Beads on 5135 Sherbrooke West), or sit comfortably at home as I did and order from beadfx.com – careful, the choice is overwhelming!

I’d love to know if anyone feels enticed to knit the ‘Before and After Scarf’ – and add some beads to boot. Also, once I’m done knitting, I have an idea for adding the beads in a bind-off – so stay tuned!

– Mona