Saturday, January 15, 2011

Knitted Bracelet with C-lon Bead Cord & Beads

While exhibiting at Stitches West as a vendor, I got many inquiries about knitting with C-Lon Bead Cord. Everyone wanted to see samples, so I proceeded to knit some, among them a bracelet with pearls. Then at the next show, equipped with samples, I got requests for the pattern for the knitted bracelet.

As I am getting ready for my third Stitches West 2011 in Santa Clara, in February, I will share my experience knitting with C-Lon Bead Cord and beads. I highly recommend using the Kollage Square Needles for knitting with C-Lon Bead Cord or any Bonded Nylon, it really helps prevent cramping of the hands. Bead & Tools Kits as well as the Kollage Square needles are available for purchase in my online store.

Since the first sample bracelet, I made a second one while in vacation in Mexico for my mother's birthday, then my aunt saw it and she wanted one... I have made many since then, all with fresh water pearls, natural or dyed, and gemstone chips. This pattern can be adapted to other types of beads.
Try it, have fun, and experiment! - Marion

5-7mm Fresh Water Pearls
25 mm Donut
1 4-5 mm Small Rondelle
1 spool of C-Lon Bead Cord


2 Kollage Square Needles US Size 1 / 2.25 mm (DPN-7 inch long)
1 Kollage Square Crochet Hook US Size A / 2.00 mm
1 Tapestry Needle Size 22
1 EZ-Bob Small (Optional)
Super Max Thread Burner (Optional)

Thread Conditioners & Adhesives
Fray Check or Poly Zap Super Glue (Optional)

Note: Once knitted in each bead will sits right in between two stitches. To really show the beads off, purl right before and right after inserting the bead. I also recommend working right off the spool rather than cutting the amount of thread needed before hand.

Step 1. Loading Beads
Wax the end of the thread right off the spool with the beeswax. Make a self needle by shredding the cord with the back of scissors. Re-wax several times. Cut the cord at an angle and twist the end. Load all the beads, re-waxing and/or remaking the self needle when necessary. See earlier blog on self needle made with beeswax.
Step 2. Bracelet Body
Cast on 10 stitches loosely using the long-tail method and leave a 12 inch tail - it will be used for the button loop later on. Optional: wind the end on a small EZ-Bob.

Then knit the body of the bracelet with the following pattern:

Row 1: Purl
Row 2: * Knit 2, Purl 1, Slide Bead in, Purl 1, Repeat once* and Knit 2.
Row 3: Purl
Row 4: *Knit 1, Purl 1, Slide Bead in, Purl 1, Repeat twice* and Knit 1.

Repeat Row 1-4 ending with Row 2 until the body of the bracelet is the right length. See note on bracelet length below.

Step 3. Bracelet End
Decreasing stitches - continuing with a stockinette stitch:

Row 1: Purl the first 2 stitches together, purl the stitches in between, and purl the 2 last two stitches together.
Row 2: Knit
Repeat Row 1-2 until you have just 2 stitches left. Bind off the last 2 stitches leaving a 12 inch tail when cutting the cord.

Step 4. The Button
Pull the Donut/Button in place, by first pulling up right past the bead, then pulling the cord past the rondelle. With the tapestry needle stitch the cord in and out of the knitted end ending on the right side, right behind the donut/button. Knot off or bind the cord and weave in the end. Or another option is to burn the end of the cord using a thread burner and add a dab of Fray Check or Poly Zap for security. (The pdf version available with the bead kits includes a diagram.)

Step 5. The Buttonhole Loop
Use the cord tail (from Step 1) and crochet hook. Starting at the corner, attach the first stitch right into the knitting. Continue using a single chain stitch and work to the desired length (1" 1/4 for a 25 mm donut). Insert the crochet hook into the knitting right at the corner and draw the cord through. With a tapestry needle reinforce the binding. Knot or bind the cord and weave in the end, or burn the end and add a dab of Fray Check or Poly Zap for security.

Casting on: Cast on loosely. As bonded nylon has no stretch, if you cast on too tightly, it will be difficult to knit the first row. The first row in this project is purled as it is a bit easier to catch the cast-on stitches when purling.

Bracelet Length: If the donut/button measures 1 inch in diameter, your wrist is 7.5 inches in diameter, you will need to make the body of the bracelet about 6.5 inches long. Even though the bracelet is knitted with bonded nylon and bonded nylon has no stretch, knitting tends to stretch a bit once it is worn so make allowances when measuring.

Alternative to Attach Donut/Button: Use a coated beading wire such as Softflex and crimp.

Want to Block the Bracelet? Go HERE for this info.

Shop for Bracelets Kits, Kollage Square Needles and get a printed pdf of this pattern:

This information is for your personal use and enjoyment only. You are of course welcome to refer to this website. Thank you for your understanding! - Marion

Please do not copy or reproduce this information for commercial purposes without prior authorization. All rights reserved © 2010-17 by Marion Hunziker- Larsen.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Knitting with Square Needles: Innovation or Gimmick?

When I first heard about a new kind of knitting needle on the market, Kollage Square Needles, I thought it was gimmicky. I had just completed my first knitted bracelet with C-Lon Bead Cord and was telling a friend with a lot more knitting experience that the small needles were hard to hold and gave me cramps. She thought these new needles might be the perfect solution and convinced me to try them.

The more I thought about the concept of a square design for a needle the more sense it made. We do not realize when knitting that we are constantly compensating for the needles turning and twisting thereby putting stress on our hands. We then set about trying to locate some to try and had no success at our local knitting stores.

While at Stitches West last year, we found them and I bought 2 sets of needles, DPN US Size 1 and 2/2.25-2.50mm, and two Kollage Square Crochet Hooks, US Size A & B/2.00-2.25mm. I fell in love with them after my first try. I have since used the Kollage Square Needles mainly for knitting C-Lon Bead Cord and C-Lon Tex 400 Bead Cord, the heavier weight cord, with beads on a jewelry scale. My friend has been knitting garments with larger needles and various yarns.

Kollage Square Crochet Hooks have become my favorite hooks to do single crochet chains interspersed with beads with C-Lon Bead Cord & C-Lon Tex 400 Cord. The square handle helps to rotate and to position the crochet hook without having look or thinking about it. I hope that Kollage will consider making square steel crochet hooks in the future for bead crochet ropes projects as I love their Rosewood handles!

These needles are recommended particularly for those of us with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome and stiffness in hands and fingers. In addition some knitters have found that their stitches are more consistent. As with all knitting projects, checking gauge is very important. Some people recommend going up a needle size to gain proper gauge but my friend and I have not observed this.

Kollage Square Knitting Needles are available in the following types: Straight, Double Pointed and Circular. The sizes are well represented. Two types of cable are available for the circular needles, soft and firm. We decided to carry the firm as they keep their shape and the joints between the actual needles and the cable are smoother.

The concept has been carried to crochet hooks using square wooden handles. The actual hook is made out of anodized aluminum, and the square shape of the handle helps orient the crochet heads at the right angle.

If you are interested got to > Kollage Square Needles