The idea of knitting with wire to make jewelry is not a new one, but a different take on the idea of knit jewelry can be found in Leslieanne Beller's Beaded Bracelets to Knit: Step-by-step Instructions to Knit 15 Beautiful Bracelets.
Her technique involves not wire but embroidery floss as the base for the knitting, allowing you to approach knit jewelry in much the way you would knitting with beads on any other project.
After a bit of basic information on how to knit with embroidery floss, join new floss into a project and work with beads, this booklet dives right into the patterns. There are 15 fun bracelets here, all rated as easy (and they really are), all worked on a full bunch of strands of embroidery floss held together.
I've never seen this technique before or tried it out, but I'll bet it's a lot easier than knitting with wire and more like knitting with yarn.
In fact, the hardest part of most of these patterns is stringing the beads onto the floss. While many of the projects use a random assortment of beads, others call for precises types and numbers of beads in a particular order to get the desired look.
The actual knitting is just basic knit and purl, with the beads sitting between stitches. Many of the patterns use the same basic instructions, they just have a different look because of the different beads used.
Some of the more striking designs to me are Rainbow, which uses an assortment of glass beads of the sort anyone who's ever done any beading at all probably has in her house; Crystal Lake, a wide cuff with glass cube and oval beads; the Purple Passion Bangle, which uses a variety of purple beads (and purple floss, of course); and Caribe Dazzle, a blue-green beauty with strands of mixed glass beads, solid seed beads, tube beads and disk beads.
The projects all use 6-ply, polyester, metallic embroidery floss and toggle clasps for closures. Instructions for modifying the size of the bracelets are given.
Beaded Bracelets to Knit includes a good collection of relatively basic beaded bracelet designs that should be enough to get you started on designing your own creations, should you want to. Or you can easily follow the designs in the booklet, just using whatever beads you have on hand.
Even if you have to purchase supplies for the projects, they're all small and most don't require a lot of specialized beads, so you can make a cute new little accessory for yourself or any other lady in your life without a lot of outlay in time or supplies.
Publication date: November 2009