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.


Larazar said...

Marion, this is fabulous! Thanks for sharing. I crocheted some bracelets with c-lon, and thought I may not be able to do it anymore, because my hands hurt. It's hard to crochet with C-Lon because of its stiffness. But this may be actually easier. I definitely need to get a pair of these needles.

Marion Hunziker-Larsen said...

You are welcome... The square design of the needles and the crochet handle really helps. I hope we can persuade Kollage in the future to make steel crochet hooks with the same Rosewood handles. It will take a while as they just invested in a many of new sizes of needles and the new Kables for the circular needles and they are a small company so slow and steady growth is mandatory. In the meantime I make do with the aluminum Size A for C-Lon Bead Cord, but the actual hook gets abused by the bonded nylon. I am on my second hook!

Larazar said...

Marion, what pearl size do you recommend for these bracelets? Thanks.

Marion Hunziker-Larsen said...

This pattern uses 72, 83, 87 or 92 pearls plus 1 for the donut button. The bracelet kit includes about 100 5-6mm fresh water pearls. They are uneven potato types with decent sized holes large enough for the C-Lon Bead Cord to go through easily. Some are bleached, some are dyed and some are bleached and dyed. It is available in 11 colors of pearls and 12 of colors of C-Lon Bead Cord.

Marion Hunziker-Larsen said...

I just got an email from Jackie and thought it would be a good addition to the comment section:

(Jackie) I received your newsletter on Thursday and couldn't wait to try the knitted bracelet as any time I can combine knitting and beads I am in heaven. I pulled out my C-Lon Bead Cord and my freshwater pearls, and immediately ran into a problem - my pearls must be smaller than the ones you are using as I can't fit the C-Lon through the holes. They are mostly 3 - 4mm.

(My answer) - The ones I use are 5-7mm and have decent sized holes. With a good beeswax and proper self needles it is a breeze to string and the pearls should be loose enough not to damage the cord.

I am concerned that the C-Lon Micro Bead Cord may not be strong enough. I haven't yet bought any of the new C-Lon Fine Weight Bead Cord.
Do you think:
1) will it be strong enough?

- Yes, the Fine Weight Tex 135 will knit well. I too would prefer not to knit with the Micro, it is strong enough, but just too fine for my patience and for my eyes...

2) will the C-Lon Fine Weight Cord Tex 135 be thin enough to fit through the 4mm freshwater pearls?
- It should work fine with a self needle with beeswax.

3) If I were to buy the square needles to work with it should I buy size 0?

- I just tried... Size 0 works well with the C-Lon Fine Weight Bead Cord. My recommendation: make a small sample first with your beads and adjust the pattern if necessary before proceeding with the bracelet.