Monday, February 25, 2008

Spinning Tip: Beaded Navajo Plying

My previous attempts at beaded yarns have tended to sag. The completed yarn had droopy loops with beads flopping everywhere. Both knitting needles and crochet hooks tend to catch in these yarns. I wanted to bead yarns in a way that trapped the bead (or pompon, or charm) in a way that kept add-ins from sliding and kept the yarn from stretching.

If you don't know how to Navajo ply, there are many great tutorials on the internet. I won't bother adding one. If you know how, it's easy to add beads to your chained single.

You'll need a tiny crochet hook. The beads will need to fit over the throat of the hook.

Get your yarn started plying. I leave the last few yards unbeaded for tying the skein and for casting on/swatching. I don't like wasting beads or my time.

After several "chains" pull a loop 4-6 inches in length through your working loop. Keep the twist pinched awaying from your working yarn with your nondominant hand.

Put a bead onto your hook and push it back to the throat.

Catch the tip of your working loop with the crochet hook and slide the bead down the loop.

Spread the loop open again and continue chaining (Navajo plying) your single, adding beads as often as you like. I added a single glass Blue Moon bead every yard or so for this 100 yard skein.


marie said...

Thanks for this great tip!

I've wanted to experiment with adding beads to my spinning, but didn't because the thought of pre-stringing the beads on a single made me cringe and then I wondered what to do if I hadn't strung enough beads. Your technique makes it much more approachable.

Hmmm, I think I have just the crochet hook too...

-- Needle Loca

kawaii crafter said...

can't wait to see what you're going to make out of this yarn

CraftyGryphon said...

That is *so* cool. I tend to knit with beads a lot, putting them on stitches as I go with a size 14 crochet hook... but the idea of getting pre-beaded yarn... ooo!

I'm gonna have to track down some of that. (Or learn to spin, get a bunch of hypoallergenic rabbits, and make my own. Which will probably happen eventually anyway.)

Alpaca Granny said...

Thanks for the tip. But my Navaho plying stinks! It is always overtwisted. Any other tips?