Good morning! Today, I thought I’d explain how I spin beaded yarns, since I tend to get a ton of questions about it. I guess some knitters add beads to their pieces after they are finished, using tiny crochet hooks. That sounds really hard. And while my way is probably just as time-consuming, it does make it easier on the knitter.
First, I spin two bobbins full of singles. These are the singles I intend to ply together to make the finished yarn. Most yarn is at least 2-ply, since singles by themselves are not balanced (they twist up as you work with them).
In addition to the usual spinning, I string 10-15 feet of embroidery thread with tiny seed beads. The entire length of the thread has to pass through the beads as you ply, so I find it easiest to string 2-3 feet lengths onto different spools of thread. Then, I just cut the thread and tie onto a new spool when I run out of beads.
Then I hold the thread and my two singles in my left hand. The tension on each strand is controlled by one of my fingers. The seed beads are wrangled by my thumb and first finger. As I ply, I allow a bead to be taken into the yarn every five or so inches.
It’s kind of hard to explain any better than that, so I made a short video. Watching it, I have to say, I’m rather impressed myself 😛