Saturday, September 1, 2018

Simple Beaded Chains For Jewelry and Eyeglasses

The Magic of Loom Knitting Elegant Jewelry That Is Rather Easy To Make
Simple Beaded Chains
For Jewelry and Eyeglasses

Since I have already given my introduction as to how all this came about, let's get right into it.  If somehow you missed all the fun of the introduction, you can find it by clicking here.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to make a beaded chain that can be made any length desired and finished to make a necklace/bracelet or an eyeglasses chain.


The following are the tools you will need to complete the beaded chain itself.  Some of these items are used for the jewelry only and not the eyeglasses chain.

Knitting Loom and Loom Pick - A fine gauge loom with at least 2 pegs is all you need.  I used my treasured fine gauge loom by DALooms.  These lovely looms are no longer made.  But any fine or extra fine gauge loom may be used.  Only 2 pegs are needed.

 Flat-Nose Pliers - I recommend using flat-nose pliers.  The smooth surface reduces the chance of damaging the findings.  This pair was bought in a set of Craftsman pliers at  a Sears store about 15 years ago.  They can also be found in any jewelry supply section of any craft store.

Jump Ring Tool - This is a must if you are planning on using jump rings.  Jump rings should never be pulled open.  They should always be twisted open.  If you don't have one or want to buy one, use 2 pairs of pliers to twist them open and close.  How to use this is explained in this tutorial.

Beading Needles - I prefer using the flexible beading needles.  They are fairly inexpensive and are sold several to a package.  The eye of these needles will collapse making it easier to thread the beads.  If you are patient, you can reuse the needles by opening the eye using pliers.  This was purchased several years ago so the price likely isn't the same now...


These are the supplies needed for these projects.  Some of these are sold in a pack of multiples so that more than one project may be completed with just one package.  All of these items may be found in any bead supply aisle of any craft store or online.

Beads - Both of these projects were made with vintage Czech crystal beads from my stash.  The eyeglasses chain used 30 - 5 mm faceted ruby beads and 31 - 4 mm faceted topaz beads for a total of 61 beads.  The necklace and bracelet used 5 x 4 mm bi-cone blue beads.  The length of the chain is dependent on how large the beads are.  The larger the beads, the longer the chain will be with the same number of beads used.  Any size or type of material of bead may be used.  Just remember than the larger the bead, the heavier the finished product.  Also keep in mind to match the size of the hole in the bead with the type and size of cord/thread.

2 ply Lame' Beading Cord - The cord used came with 10 yards per card.  I made both the necklace and bracelet with less than 10 yards.  The eyeglasses chain used less than than the jewelry.  Any type of thread or cord may be used if it can be threaded through the beads you are wanting to use.  Once again, price is likely not accurate.  Also keep in mind that 2 ply for this beading cord does not mean it is the same as 2 ply yarn.  

2 mm silver beads - These are used at each end of the necklace and bracelet before attaching the jump rings.  They are not required but do give a better finish.  I prefer spending a bit more for sterling silver than silver plated.  2 of these beads are needed for each necklace or bracelet.

Jump Rings - Once again, sterling silver is the way to go if you are wanting a piece of jewelry to last a lifetime without tarnishing.  2 jump rings are needed for each necklace or bracelet.

Lobster Claw Clasps - Any clasps may be used.  Or you may simply make a necklace long enough to tie the ends together and eliminate the need for a clasp, jump rings, or 2 mm silver beads.  I prefer the lobster claw clasps simply because they are easier for me to use.  And sterling silver is the metal of choice for me.  Only 1 is needed for each necklace or bracelet.

Eyeglass Holders - These are sold in various color choices.  I am sure you have already guessed you will only need 2 per chain unless you use a monocle...  And again on the price not being current.

Now on with the show!

The Chain

Since both the jewelry and the eyeglasses chain are basically the same until the finishing, let's start at the very beginning.

Step 1

Thread the beading needle with the cord/thread.

String all the beads onto the thread/cord.  Yes all the beads.  It is better to put too many on than not enough.  

If using more than 1 color bead, put them on in the order that they will be placed with the last bead to be used strung first and the first  bead to be used strung last.

Do not cut the thread or cord beforehand.  Just string the beads on while unwrapping the thread leaving the thread on the card or spool.  This way there is no worry about needing to join the thread or cord if there isn't enough.  Then simply unwrap the thread from the card as you work the chain.

Step 2

Make a slip knot leaving a tail about 6" long.

Place the slip knot on the loom.

After placing the slip knot on the first peg, wrap the second peg by bringing the working thread behind peg 2, around the front of the peg, and between the 2 pegs.  Now there is a loop on both pegs.

Wrap a second pass by bring the working thread behind peg 1, around to the front of peg 1, between pegs 1 and 2, around the back of peg 2, then back in front of the peg and between the pegs at the back.  Each wrap is like a figure 8 around the 2 pegs with the working thread always at the back.

Lift the bottom loop over the top loop on both pegs.

Important Note  After knitting over, gently tug the i-cord tail first then the working thread.  This keeps the stitches from being too loose or uneven.  This must be done after each set of stitches due to the thinness of the thread when used with this gauge loom.

Repeat the figure 8 wrap and knit over a total of 8 times.

Slide the first bead down the working yarn

 to the back between the 2 pegs.

Wrap making sure the bead is snug against the back of the peg

and knit over.  Work the i-cord 6 times remembering to always gently tug the worked end of the chain first then the working thread to snug up the stitches after knitting over each time.

Add the next bead and work the i-cord 6 times again.

Continue until the cord is the desired length ending with a total of 8 wraps after the last bead.

The length of my pieces are as follows:

  • Necklace - 24"
  • Bracelet - 6" - 8" depending on wrist size
  • Eyeglasses Chain - 28"

Bind off by placing the loop that is on peg 1 onto peg 2 and pulling a 6" tail of thread through both loops.  Gently snug up those last stitches.


The finishing for the necklace and the bracelet are exactly the same.

First thread the beading needle with the thread and string the first 2 mm silver bead.  The second will be placed on the other end.

Place the silver bead at the end of the i-cord.  The hole in the bead should not be big enough to slide over the i-cord itself.

While there are several different methods of attaching the thread tail to the jump ring, this is the method I used.

First run the thread through the jump ring and tie the end in a knot making sure the jump ring is next to the bead.

While this may be enough for some people, this is a time I love to use knots so let's carry on...

Now fold the tail and run it though the jump ring so that there is a single thread on one side and a folded double thread on the other.

While treating the side with the double thread as one, tie a square knot with both ends.

Repeat by running the folded tail through the jump ring and tie a second square knot.

Cut the ends.  Use a small dab of jewelry or fabric glue on the knot if desired.

Now prepare the clasp by adding a jump ring.

Place the jump ring tool on a finger.

Pick up a jump ring with the pliers so the the opening  is toward the end of the pliers.

Insert the jump ring into the appropriate size slot on the jump ring tool and twist the jump ring open.

Place the lobster claw clasp on the open jump ring.

Close the jump ring by repeating the steps to open it but twist it closed instead.

Now the jump ring is on the clasp.  And yes...  There are clasps that already have the jump ring attached.

Attach the other end of the chain to the jump ring on the clasp in the same manner as the first end.

Use the same method of attaching the thread tail to the jump rings to attach the thread tail to the eyeglass holders.

The possibilities are endless when using different beads and threads!  Spacing the beads closer or farther apart by working fewer or more i-cord stitches will give a different look as well.

I look forward to seeing what gorgeous projects everyone makes!  Share your work here in the comments, on the String Theory Fiber Works page on FB, or in any of the loom knitting FB groups.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Gems, Jewels, and Loom Knitting

Gems, Jewels, and Loom Knitting

Recently I discovered that I am in need of wearing my reading glasses while I loom knit.  Especially when using yarn that doesn't have a smooth texture.  Or when I am working increases and decreases.  Or any other time...

Due to this unfortunate discovery that surely has NOTHING to do with my AGE and since I am not afraid being stereotypical or care in general what people think of me, I decided to make myself an eyeglasses chain.  Something snazzy obviously.  Otherwise it wouldn't be worth the effort...  

Well I still have tons of jewelry making supplies despite not having made anything new in quite a while so I went pilfering through my stuff.  I ended up finding my grandmother's crochet jewelry supplies and that got me thinking...

What if I made my eyeglasses chain like my grandmother did when she crocheted beaded necklaces?  What if I didn't crochet it but LOOM KNIT it instead?

And lo and behold!  THIS HAPPENED!

Well THAT happened after I found my Czech crystal beads and lame' beading thread.  BUT IT HAPPENED!

And I was so well pleased with the outcome that then THIS HAPPENED!

And all was right with the world once more...

But wait!  There is more...

I shared these pictures on the Book of Faces and discovered that I wasn't the only person that thought this was a wonderful idea so GUESS WHAT??  THAT'S RIGHT!!  I am about to share with all you fine people HOW TO MAKE THESE AS WELL!!!  For FREE!!!

So hang on your hats, ladies and gentlemen!  In the next post on the blog that hasn't posted anything in almost a year, I will be sharing this Magic of Loom Knitting Elegant Jewelry That Is Rather Easy To Make.  I should probably come up with a better name than that though...

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Introducing the Rotating Double Knit Loom by KB - Review and Free Dyad Hat

The Rotating Double Knit Loom by KB

The Review

OH MY! And here I thought that KB had done the best they could with the new looms that they have released in August.  But then there is THIS.  Yes.  It is like no other knitting loom ever.  It is a ROUND loom that can be used for DOUBLE KNITTING.  WHAT??  Yes.  You read correctly.  Of course I know that most of you have already heard of it by now.  My review is being release a little later than the release of the loom.

And yes.  If you have seen it on social media, then you also know that I like to call it my new fidget spinner.  It's so much fun just to sit and watch it spin around and around and around...

Some may ask "what's so special about this loom?"  Well let me tell you.  This is the only loom that you can double knit in the round.  You can easily make double knit hats on this loom without having to seam a flat panel like before.  And don't let the height of the leg fool you into thinking that you can only work a hat 6" long.  No...  You can easily work a hat that is 9" long.  And longer than that.  You can fold up your work to make more room to knit.  More on that in a bit...

What else can you do?  Well you can single knit on the outer ring as well.  This loom is for both.  Double knit in round as well as flat panels and single knit on the stand that spins.  How sweet is that??  Very sweet indeed...

More Information On Double Knitting In The Round...

Since my review has been delayed a bit, I have seen concern over how the double knit in the round comes down and if there is room for the work.

Work at the bottom of the base.

Work folded once.

Room to fold up twice if needed.

Another thing that has been brought to my attention is that the instructions seem to be lacking information for some people for double knitting in the round.  With that having been noted, let me just say that the one thing that seems to be missing is the following word.


Now that may not make sense unless it is added in the proper place.  While the instructions do say to repeat from the start which does include the words "Peg 1" or "Starting Peg", let me add a couple of rules to help clear this confusion up.


Now this will apply to both stockinette and rib stitches.  Both of those stitches are included in the instruction booklet that comes with the loom.  You can also find those instructions on the KB Blog.  Now that I have clarified that for you.  Let me also add the second rule.


But what to do??  Go back to the first.  Or as I like to say "Repeat Rule 1."

There may be questions concerning the starting on peg 1 as well.  But will it look odd or off?  Will the stitches show at the point like when using e-wrap in single knitting?  Let me just say that it didn't with my hat.  Not saying it won't.  But just saying it didn't for me.

Gauge and Construction

This loom is made so that the inner ring is not connected to the outer ring except at the base.  Which spins.  Like a lazy susan on your great grandma's dinner table.

Each ring snaps onto legs that attach to the base.  Therefore the inner ring could be left off entirely so you can single knit in the round or a flat panel while turning it as you work.  You can even take the outer ring off and use it like any other round loom.

Now for the specifics.

Both rings have 52 pegs.  

The outer ring has a center to center peg spacing of 1/2".

The inner ring has a center to center peg spacing of 7/16".

The space between the 2 rings is approximately 3/4".

The diameter of the base is approximately 9".

The height of the loom with base is approximately 8".

Great for yarns that are 4 and 5 weights for double knitting and 4 weight for single knitting.

Now for the thing you have all been waiting for....  THE FREE PATTERN!!

Free Pattern

The Dyad Hat

It's Reversible!

This double knit hat is an introduction to double knitting with 2 colors creating a reversible hat with the design on the outside being different than the inside.

This hat will fit an adult.  But it will fit children as well.  If you are making it for a child, simply make the hat shorter by leaving off the end section or simply knitting fewer rows in all the sections making the hat shorter.

Loom: Rotating Double Knit Loom
Yarn: 170 yds 5 bulky weight yarn in 2 colors.  Patons Shetland Chunky in Oxford Grey and Wine, 85 yds each used in the sample.
Tools:  Loom tool, tapestry needle, crochet hook
Gauge:  6 sts x 10 rows = 2"
Size:  Adult 


CA - Color A - wine
CB - Color B - grey

Pattern Notes

Follow the instructions for casting on in stockinette, the rib stitch, and stockinette stitch in the booklet that came with the loom.

Special Stitch

2 Color Stockinette - Work stockinette stitch as follows with 1 color on outside loom and the other color on the inside loom.

When first adding the new color, place the slip knot on the first peg on the side it will be worked.  Wrap the second color around the first peg on the side it will be worked.

Leave the tail of the new yarn in between the 2 looms so it will be hidden from both sides.

Then twist the 2 strands around each other.

Then wrap the pegs with both strands and twist the 2 strands around each other.

Make sure the twist of the yarn is in the center between the 2 loom rings when wrapping the pegs.

Keep the tension tight so that the wraps stay on the pegs with the twist in the yarn stays in the center between the rings.

Continue with this method of twisting the 2 yarns and wrapping the pegs around the loom.

Do not skip pegs when working 2 colors in this manner.

When all the pegs are wrapped, lift the bottom loops over the top.


With CA, cast on in double knit stockinette.

Work 9 rounds of rib stitch.

Add CB

Work 3 rounds of 2 color stockinette with CB on outside loom and CA on inside loom.  See instructions in Special Stitch.

With CB, work 7 rounds of stockinette.

With CA, work 3 rounds of stockinette.

*Work 1 round of 2 color stockinette with CB on outside loom and CA on inside loom.

With CA, work 1 round of stockinette.

Repeat from * 2 more times.

With CA, work 2 rounds of stockinette.

With CB, work 7 rounds of stockinette.

Work 3 rounds of 2 color stockinette with CB on outside loom and CA on inside loom. 

With CA, work 9 rounds of stockinette.

Bind off following instructions in booklet that came with loom for the gathered bind off and secure.

Bind off at the anchor yarn with a crochet hook following instructions in booklet.

Weave in ends.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Introducing the His & Her Sock Looms by KB - Review and Free Dog's Ear Potholder Pattern

The His & Her Sock Looms by KB

The Review

Just when you think that KB cannot top themselves, they surprise us all.  Here is a set of 2 oval sock looms that are fine gauge at 5/16" center to center peg spacing.  The larger purple loom is designed to fit a foot with a circumference of 9 - 10 inches.  The smaller orange loom is designed to fit a foot with a circumference of 7 - 8 inches.

While these are labeled sock looms, these looms are perfect for knitting ANYTHING YOU WANT.  Yes.  That is right.  Do not let the number of pegs keep you from creating anything in any size you want.  Just as long as you are willing to seam pieces together.  

Want to make a blanket?  Just make panels and seam them together.  Sweaters?  Just seam the pieces together.  The mattress stitch is a wonderful seaming technique that leave the right side seamless therefore making it the perfect choice for these types of projects.

These are also great looms to make fingerless gloves on with DK weight yarn.  Not to mention an endless supply of socks...

Gauge and Construction

I love these looms as much as the new circle looms by KB.  They are made with the same quality plastic on the base and the pegs.

The pegs are smaller in diameter due to the fine gauge but remain approximately the same height as the pegs on the other looms.

Since the pegs are narrower, this does leave the groove in the pegs narrower as well.  A sharp point pick is recommended by me to use on these looms.  Other picks will work, but it just makes it easier with a sharper loom pick.  The Ergonomic Loom Tool from KB has a nice sharp point that would be perfect.

Now for the specifics all in one place.

This is a set of 2 looms.

These looms are oval, not circle.

Gauge is 5/16" center to center peg spacing classifying them as fine gauge looms.  They are fine indeed!  These looms are perfect for DK/3 weight yarn.

The ORANGE loom has 56 pegs and has a major axis of 7 5/8" peg to peg diameter and a minor axis of 2 7/8" diameter.  Outside of base measurements are 8 1/8" x 3 1/4".

The PURPLE loom has 64 pegs and has a major axis of 8 3/4" peg to peg diameter and a minor axis of 3 1/4" diameter.  Outside of base measurements are 9 1/4" x 3 3/4".

The ORANGE loom is designed to fit feet with a circumference of 7 - 8" using DK weight yarn.

The PURPLE loom is designed to fit feet with a circumference of 9 - 10" using DK weight yarn.

Why Do I Need This Loom?

If you already own the original adjustable Sock Loom by KB that has the metal pegs, you may be wondering why you would "need" these looms.  Well just let me say this...  You cannot own too many looms...

Also these are easier to work with for some people since they are ovals instead of the rectangle shape.

But no matter why you want them, the reason is yours alone, I can only tell you that I like these looms and would recommend them to anyone looking for a fine gauge loom.

Free Pattern

The Dog's Ear Potholder 

While there are tons of potholder patterns for crochet, there are not quite so many in knitting.  Loom knitting has hardly any at all.  I have been thinking on my favorite crochet potholder that goes by a lot of various names for quite some time.  More specifically, how I can knit it on the loom.  And here it is!  This is the simplest version.  While there are several different ways to seam these potholders in my head, this is the easiest way to get it done.

I call this pattern the Dog's Ear Potholder due to the folds in it that create the finished design.  This potholder is made on the largest purple sock loom using 4/medium weight cotton yarn.  While this weight yarn is thicker than recommended, it will make a nice, tight stitch so that the potholder is extra thick when folded over.

I realize the finished potholder is on the small size.  Or at least for me it is.  Right now though this is the largest we can make on this gauge with a KB loom.  If using a different gauge loom, the swatch gauge will change leaving you to do the math in order to make the size right.  Also the stitches will not be quite as tight depending on what weight yarn you use.

PLEASE NOTE!!  Acrylic yarn is NOT recommended for use with this pattern.  Acrylic will not hold up the heat and will melt.  100% cotton yarn is the best for this project.

Loom:  His & Her Sock Looms - 64 peg loom
Yarn:  50 yds of medium 4 weight 100 % cotton yarn.  Lily Sugar 'n Cream in color Sunkissed used in the sample.
Tools:  Loom pick, tapestry needle, stitch marker to mark beginning peg
Gauge:  10 sts x 16 rows = 2"
Size:  4 1/2" sqaure


K - knit
P - purl
Ch - chain (see special stitch)
CO - cast on
BO - bind off
Rnd(s) - round(s)

Special Stitch

Chain (Ch) - E-wrap knit the same peg the number of times indicated creating a chain.

Pattern Notes

Keep tension loose.  Using the true knit stitch will help keep the stitches looser than the other knit stitches will.

The chain cast on was used in the sample so that it matched the basic bind off .  Any cast on may be used.

The ends were seamed with a zig zag stitch catching the outside loop of the chain edges in the sample.  Any method of seaming may be used.


Leaving an 10" tail for seaming, CO 64 pegs and prepare to work in the round.

K16  Place stitch marker on next peg to mark the beginning of each round.  This will leave the CO tail in the proper place to use for seaming the CO edge.

*K all for 5 rounds
P all for 1 round
Repeat from * twice (3 times total)
K all for 10 rounds
BO using the basic BO method leaving the last stitch on a peg
Cut the working yarn leaving a 10" tail for seaming.
Secure by drawing the tail through the last loop.

Finished chain before seaming.

Using a tapestry needle, first secure the end of the chain loop to the first bind off stitch as shown below.

Join chain in first bind off stitch.

Secure chain loop by sewing back through the base of the chain.

Then back through the first bind off stitch again and pull tight.

Seam the top bind off edges together in whatever manner preferred.

After seaming bind off edge.

Fold the potholder so that the top seam is now flat and on the diagonal of the square as shown below.

Turn the potholder over and seam the other side

Ready to seam cast on edges together.

Cast on tail is in proper position to seam from corner to corner.

Ready to use!

*Pattern designed and written by Renita Harvey.  The written pattern may not be reproduced or reprinted in any manner or media without the express permission by the designer.

*Items made from the pattern may be sold by individuals.

*Review of KB looms by Renita Harvey is an unbiased and honest review.  Review may not be reproduced or reprinted in any manner with the express permission of the author.