Q&A: What weight yarn with which bead size?

Leslie asked:

“… is there a chart anywhere that says what size beads to use with what size yarn? I live waaaay out in the country and there are absolutely no yarn stores or bead stores around here – the nearest is a Michaels about 35 miles one way. So, I do most everything on the internet and you wouldn’t believe how hard it is to hold an imaginary piece of yarn up to an imaginary bead to see if the yarn will fit through the hole! Consequently, I haven’t done any beading yet although I would love to.”

Answer: HeartStrings knitting patterns will always tell you the size bead used for the specified yarn weight. So of course, that is one way to know. :)

For the method I have discussed here where just one strand of yarn/thread goes through the bead, the guidelines for corresponding yarn sizes are:

* size 5/0 (5 mm) :: worsted weight
* size 6/0 (4 mm) :: sport/DK weight
* size 8/0 (3 mm) :: fingering weight
* size 11/0 (2 mm) :: lace weight

If a different method is being used to incorporate beads into the knitting (e.g. if 2 strands of yarn need to go through the bead, then go to the next larger size bead). For example, the “crochet hook” method used in the Peek-a-Bead Scarf uses size 6/0 (4 mm) beads with fingering weight yarn.

Remember to think about whether you might want to do Bits of Beads in 2013? It would be a chance to get into much more depth and fun projects with beads. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or on our Knitting Bits of Lace Facebook group page.

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4 Responses to Q&A: What weight yarn with which bead size?

  1. Knitrrr says:

    A 2013 series of Bits of Beads sounds like a GREAT idea

  2. Barbara Wyant says:

    Thanks for this information on bead sizes and yarn. I have not yet used beads because I feel I just don’t know enough about beads, where to get them, what kinds, what sizes, etc. This helps.


  3. Lauren says:

    Hi Jackie,
    I love that August lace picture! That edging is so beautiful. I’ll watch for that one.
    Friday, the 27th, was my 65th birthday and my Sis had such a wonderful day planned for us. We had lunch with our Red Hatters, complete with a surprise cake I didn’t even know about! Then we went on a trip to a casino with a free seafood buffet courtesy of the hostess. What a truly magnificent day!

  4. Jan says:

    I have often wondered about that. I just did a lace shawl with beads. I took a piece of the yarn to the store.

What do you think?

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