Bead Knitted Purse Patterns: Helpful Tips for using my patterns
The patterns featured use size 11/0 seed beads from the Czech Republic or size 3 Bugle beads; size 8 pearl cotton thread and size 0000 knitting needles. A small crochet hook, darning needle and flexible eye needles will also be handy. Experiment using different size beads and other threads. Size FF silk thread, or size 20 Cebelia thread also work well (Cebelia will cause beaded fringe to twist slightly). The finished sizes of these purses will vary slightly depending upon the gauge of your knitting, size of the beads and type of threads used.
2. Getting started:
Transfer the beads onto pearl cotton cord. If your beads are strung pull one side of the beads out of the hank's knot, tie an overhand knot with the seed bead thread around the pearl cotton. Slide beads carefully over the knot onto the pearl cotton. Remove any miss-shaped or poor quality beads as you go.
If your beads are unstrung use a bead spinner or, using a fine flexible eye needle, thread beads onto pearl cotton (and be patient!). Cover one end of double pointed knitting needles with something to protect yourself from getting poked. Suggestions: metal or rubber earring backs, small corks, or glue some large accent beads onto your needles.
Read all instructions prior to knitting. Always make sure to get all of the thread and beads needed to complete a pattern at the same time to avoid dye lot problems. Most purse patterns have beads on both sides of the purse (inside and outside) and are knitted in one piece with one or two seams. Flaps are usually knitted first, then the purse pattern follows.
3. Thread Management:
Place your pearl cotton thread spool in a small baggy (size 3 x 4 inch, or a small sandwich bag will do), only slide beads down cord about 3 feet at a time to prevent thread from tangling. It is best not to transfer more than one hank of seed beads onto the pearl cotton (because it becomes unmanageable to keep sliding beads down). Keep beads close together on the cotton cord. Place all of your cord (including the spool in it's small baggy) into a larger plastic bag to keep cord/beads clean.
If your thread with beads tangles hopelessly, or a knot is discovered in the spool of cord try to untangle the knot(s). If that does not work, transfer the seed beads onto a thin thread (sewing thread will work) from the section of pearl cotton in question. Tie the other end of the thin thread onto a new portion of the spool of pearl cotton thread. Transfer all beads and proceed.
Note that in all of the patterns, the bead is slid into place between knit stitches. If you drop a stitch, don't panic. Get into an area with good lighting. Hold dropped stitch with spare knitting needle until you locate your crochet hook (use a tiny one). Pick up the stitch, being careful not to twist stitches.
4. Finishing Techniques for most purses:
Using a darning needle, whip stitch purse sides with right sides together. Turn the purse inside out. To make your strap: use a length of about 30 inches of the beads left on the cotton cord, or desired length. For a stronger strap consider using a soft, flexible beading wire. Thread ends through larger accent beads using the flexible eye needle (space accent beads with seed beads) and attach to purse sides. Dab knots with fray resistant glue. Attach charms or decorative beads to purse front or side, as desired.
5. Taking Care of beaded purses:
Hand wash in cool water with a gentle detergent. Re-shape or block as needed. Dry flat. It is recommended that purses be protected from bright sunlight when not in use. Ask about the colorfastness of beads when you purchase them. Color-lined beads may lose their inside color.