How to Bead a Shawl

It is a mystery to me… shawl, that is!

My Saturday knitting buddies ‘peer pressured’ me to join the Goddess Knits Fall Mystery Shawl knit-a-long without even uttering a single word in my direction. I simply succumbed by listening to their enthusiasm and my resolve to not start another project crumbled. Enthusiasm can be infectious.

What the finished shawl will look like is a mystery that will slowly be unveiled over the next five weeks. One thing I do know is that there will be 860 beads in it. That’s a lot of beads folks!


Whenever I wear a beaded shawl in public I can pretty much count on someone asking me how those beads got knit into my shawl. Once upon a time I steered clear of beaded patterns because I was mystified by the whole beading process…..and then I tried it. Beading is not hard at all. It may be a little tedious at times but not difficult at all. Let me demystify it for you and hopefully, you won’t take as long as I did to dive head first into combining some lovely beads with your knitting!

For this project I am using size 6/0 seed beads and a crochet hook tiny enough to be inserted through the bead hole. In this case it is a US 9/1.25mm crochet hook.

Step 1 Put a bead on your crochet hook:

Step 2
Knit in pattern up to the stitch that will hold the bead. With bead on hook, Insert crochet hook into that stitch like you are going to knit it:

Step 3
Pull stitch off knitting needle with crochet hook:

Step 4
Use fingers to slide bead over knit stitch on crochet hook and push it over the crochet head:

Step 5
Pull loop up through bead with crochet hook:

Step 6
Return beaded stitch to left knitting needle:

Step 7
Knit beaded stitch and continue in pattern:

And there you have it… that is all there is to adding beads to a shawl! Easy Peasy! And, speaking of shawls – this mystery shawl is getting prettier and prettier with each released clue.


This afternoon I made some lightweight snag proof stitch markers. They are just as delicate as the laceweight yarn I am knitting with and are perfect for shawls. I have found that regular stitch markers are a bit on the heavy side and are too intrusive when knitting lace.

Happy knitting!


3 Comments on “How to Bead a Shawl

  1. I was also intimidated by knitting in beads & now that I have done it, it’s really easy. Love your little stitch marker.

  2. Thank you for the explanation of how the beads get on the yarn! I just couldn’t figure out how that was going to work. Happy bead knitting!

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