How to Add Beads to a Knitting Project As You Go

Beaded knitting pattern
A finished pattern using beads in knitting.

The Spruce / Sarah E. White

Once you've conquered the basic stitches, how can you level up your knitting? There are several ways—advanced techniques such as entrelac knitting come to mind—but one of the most charming ways is to start adding in beads as you knit. A row of beads spread out along a neckline can take a sweater from beautiful to unforgettable. An easy way to knit with beads is to do so with a crochet hook as shown here.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1mm crochet hook or thin dental floss
  • Knitting needles
  • Beading pattern or graph paper


  • Yarn
  • Beads


  1. Gather Your Beading Materials

    Depending on your knitting project, you will need a variety of supplies to thread your beads correctly.

    If you are using a bead pattern, use yarn and beads specific to your project. Pick the shape of the bead by understanding the texture and width of your yarn. Ensure your bead and yarn are the right fit, keeping in mind that bigger beads tend to not work well with thinner yarn while little beads often do not work with heavier yarn. Test a thread of bead on the yarn before starting your project to make sure it will work.

    If you are creating your own bead pattern, sketch it out first on graph paper to visualize threading and crocheting placements. Typically, patterns will include instructions for what beads to thread. Without a pattern, plan ahead of time to ensure your design looks flawless.


    Choose the right size knitting needle, so your beads fit appropriately over the needle. 

  2. Put Your Bead on the Crochet Hook

    Bead on Crochet Hook
    Placing a bead on a crochet hook to incorporate it into knitting.

    The Spruce / Sarah E. White

    Start your knitting project and knit as far as you want to go before placing any beads.

    When you're ready to put a bead in place, use a crochet hook that is smaller for tinier beads. Utilize a crochet hook conversion chart to measure correctly and view available sizes.

    To prepare the bead for being placed on the knitting, slide it onto the crochet hook. You may need to use your fingers to get it on there.

  3. Catch the Knit Stitch

    Hooking the Knit Stitch
    Hooking the knit stitch to place a bead on the fabric.

    The Spruce / Sarah E. White

    When you are at the point of the knitting stitch where you want the bead to sit, hook the stitch with your crochet hook that has the bead on it, as illustrated.

    If your yarn is too slippery, pinch the stitch at its base, so it does not drop.

  4. Place the Bead

    Sliding the Bead onto the Stitch
    The bead is now surrounding the knit stitch.

    The Spruce / Sarah E. White

    Slide the stitch off the knitting needle and bring the bead on the crochet hook up and over the stitch, so that the bead is surrounding the stitch, which is securely hooked onto the crochet hook.

    Add more yarn as necessary to place the bead appropriately.

  5. Put the Stitch on the Needle

    Stitch and Bead Back on Needle
    The stitch with the bead on it is now back on the needle.

    The Spruce / Sarah E. White

    Use the crochet hook to help you put the stitch, now being choked by the bead, onto the right-hand knitting needle.

    Do not try to knit the stitch.

    The stitch should have enough stretch in it to allow you to place it over the needle even though the bead is taking up some of the stitch's space.

  6. Finish the Project

    Finished Beading Knitting
    A couple of rows of knitting with beads worked in as they were knit.

    The Spruce / Sarah E. White

    Continue to work across the row, adding beads where you want.

    You can place beads deliberately throughout a project or a section of a project, or place them randomly.

    On the wrong side of the work, you will work the stitch with the bead on it the same way you would work a stitch without a bead. Note that in the case of the example in the photo, that would mean purling it.

    Repeat the steps as noted above to add as many beads as you like to your project.

Watch Now: How to Slip Knit Pass