If you're looking for a personal adornment for Mardi Gras or any other special occasion, check out this Knit Bead Necklace. It's a pretty quick and easy project you can knit in the round with a bit of scrap yarn, or make as long as you like.
Stitches are increased and decreased to house wooden balls, or you could use bits of polyester filling or cotton batting to make your "beads."
Mine is knit in the traditional Mardi Gras color of purple, but you could use any color you like for a necklace to wear any time of year (they're great for dress up for kids, too).
- about 45 yards of medium weight wool or acrylic yarn in color of your choice (I used Paton's Classic Wool in Plum Heather) or more to make a longer necklace
- set of three or four size 6 US double-pointed knitting needles
- seven one-inch wooden balls, foam balls, or fiber fill to stuff "beads"
- scissors and yarn needle
6 stitches and 7 rows per inch in Stockinette Stitch in the round. Gauge is not critical.
Finished necklace is 23 inches around and can easily stretch to fit over an average adult's head. The spaces between the beads are almost 2 inches around, while the beads are 4 inches around.
- Cast on 10 stitches. Divide onto 2 or 3 double-pointed needles (Note: it is possible to work with the stitches on two needles and knit with the third, but it's not very comfortable to do so; it's much easier to work with the stitches on three needles, though that can also be awkward thanks to the small number of stitches). Join in round. Place a stitch marker if desired to mark end of row.
- Work in Stockinette Stitch 1 inch.
- Next round, *knit 1, make 1. Repeat from * around; 20 stitches.
- Work straight 7 rounds, or enough to hold the bead snugly. Place bead or stuffing in the hole you've just knit.
- Next round, *knit 1, knit 2 together. Repeat from * around; 10 stitches.
- Knit 2 inches, or length of your choice, make another bead holder and continue in this manner until 7 beads have been placed.
- After last bead, knit 1 inch and bind off.
- Sew ends together and weave in end.
Make It Your Own:
To personalize this necklace, make yours longer if you like, or place the beads at more random intervals. It's nice to have a little space between the beads, but you can play with it to see what works for you.
Instead of binding off in the normal way you could also use a three-needle bind off if you don't care about leaving the tube open all the way around. This edging may be a little more difficult to hide when you sew the cast on and bound off edges together, however.